Sprint Car Saturday is Born...
So Firts Thing is To Explain the Term / History of This Cool Tact of Racing / Sport.
Sprint Car Racing... Not to Be Confused with Midget Car Racing but Sure the Sibling of.... The Big Difference Being Midgets are Mostly Four Cylinder and the Sprint Cars are V8's and Can Crank Out About 800 hp. So You Can Imagine They're Hard to Control
Since an Uncertain Time in the Mid 1930's the Term Big Car was... Of Course, Used to Identify Cars Bigger than the Midgets. In these Days Midgets Were Growing in Popularity Nationally. At That Time The Big Car Term also Referred to a Single Seater Race Car, During a Time When Indy Running Two Man Cars. In the Early 1950's the Term "Sprint Car” Emerged as a Media Convenience, Referring to Cars with Engines Smaller than Their Indy or Championship Brothers and Which Raced in Shorter Events... Usually on Half Mile Tracks.
The AAA First Referred to the Term "Sprint" in 1951. In Their Non-Championship Divisions. In Their 1951 Annual They Explained: “Non-Championship is the Term Applied to Sprint Racing; the Class Between Midget and Championship Speedway Cars.”
Sprint Cars.... Open Cockpit, Open Wheel, Very High Power-To-Weight Ratios, Race Cars Primarily Designed & Built for the Purpose of Running on Short Oval or Circular Dirt or Paved Tracks. With Weights of Approximately 1,400 Pounds (640 kg) Including the Driver. Power Outputs of Over 900 Horsepower (670 kW) Are Common for These Machines, Which is Around 140-340 More Horsepower Then 2014 Formula One Engines.
They're Typically, Powered by a Naturally Aspirated, Mechanically Fuel Injected (Methanol) American V8 with an Engine Displacement of 410 Cubic Inches (6.7L) Capable of Engine Speeds of 9000 rpm. Depending on the Mechanical Setup (Engine, Gearing, Shocks, Etc.) At The Track These Cars Can Achieve Speeds in Excess of 160 Miles Per Hour (260 km/h).
A Lower Budget and Very Popular Class of Sprint Cars Uses 360 Cubic Inch (5.9L) Engines That Produce Approximately 700 Horsepower (520 kW).
Sprint Cars Do Not Utilize a Transmission, They Have an In or Out Gear Box and Quick Change Rear Differentials for Occasional Gearing Changes.
They Also Don't Have Electric Starters (Or even Electrical Systems Other Than Magneto / Ignition) and Require a Push to Start Them.
Their Safety Record Has Been Greatly Improved By the Use of Roll Cages, and Especially On Dirt Tracks, Wings, to Protect the Drivers.
Sprint Car Racing is Most Popular Primarily in the United States of America and Canada, as Well as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Many IndyCar Series and NASCAR Drivers Used Sprint Car Racing as a Stepping Stone On Their Way to More High-Profile Divisions... Including Indianapolis 500 Winners A. J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Parnelli Jones, Johnnie Parsons, Al Unser, Sr., and Al Unser, Jr., as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.
Photo Taken by Ted Van Pelt.
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum located in Knoxville, Iowa, USA Features Exhibits Highlighting the History of Both Winged and Wingless Sprint Cars.
If You Like to Read More About The History of Car Racing, Midget & Sprint... HERE's a Cool & Comprehensive Story By Gene Crucean You Should Check Out!