Tim Kaeding (#83Jr) holds the high line against a charging Tyler Walker (#24) at Antioch (CA) Speedway, April 4, 2009.
Sprint Car home / The cars / Fallen heroes
Updated 12 November 2016:
Removed a bunch of extremely outdated content.
Updated 5 April 2009:
Fresh from the track, have a look at a gallery from the Golden State Challenge race at Antioch Speedway on April 4.
Galleries from late 2008:
The Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway:
The 2008 Wagsdash at Ventura Raceway on 6 September.
Non-winged sprint car racing returns to Calistoga Speedway with the Louie Vermeil Classic for USAC National Sprint Cars and USAC Western Midgets:
More USAC/CRA non-winged action from Santa Maria Speedway on 16 August.
Sprint car racing is a uniquely American form of motorsport, spawned during the early 20th century at fairground horse tracks, where it is still popular today. In my opinion it is the most exciting form of auto racing anywhere in the world!
Once considered a steppingstone to the Indianapolis 500 before the arrival of rear-engined Indy cars in the early 1960s, sprint car racing languished for years in obscurity. But the advent of cable TV coverage in the 1980s brought new interest, and sponsor dollars, into the sport. No longer a steppingstone, sprint car racing today may be as popular as it has ever been.
Why would anyone watch cars go 'round and 'round in a circle? You won't find the answer by watching a sprint car race on television; you have to experience it in person. Even the best home theater setup can't do justice to the sensory overload of sprint car racing.
Imagine you're watching single-car qualifying. The first thing you notice is the noise: the roar of the engine and the whine of the rear gears, and the occasional screech of the big rear tires against the track surface. Then you feel the breeze stirred by the big wings as the car speeds by in excess of 100 MPH. As the car enters the turn, it translates forward momentum into a shower of soft clay in the Turn 1 stands. The distinctive odor of burnt methanol hits you next, as you watch the driver frantically shuffle the steering wheel to keep the car on the track and pointed in the right direction, looking right to turn left. You can't believe a car could be that far sideways and yet not only under control, but accelerating at a fantastic rate!
Multiply this scene by 20, and you begin to understand the thrill of watching a sprint car race in person. Best of all, if you live in the US, it happens most every Friday or Saturday night at a race track near you.
A sprint car is a rolling anachronism; a noisy, powerful, fragile, ill-tempered beast that's a handful to drive. Follow this link to find out more about the machinery behind the mayhem.
By its nature, sprint car racing is a hazardous sport. Despite ever-tighter safety standards, occasionally the unthinkable happens and a driver is severely injured or killed. Follow this link for a tribute to sprint car racing's fallen heroes.
The Sprint Car Page and associated pages are copyright © 1994-2016 Chuck Fry. Photos credited to Steve Lafond are copyright © 1993-2009 Tear-Off Heaven Fotos.
See the full copyright notice for details.
In addition to the folks named above, I offer thanks to the many people who have offered information or links. Sorry to say, there are now too many to list here! But thank you all -- I couldn't have done it without your help.