All About Automobile Racers
Automobile racers race their vehicles on a variety of tracks, roads, and closed circuits. Automobile racing consists of several subtypes, including stock-car racing, drag racing, sports-car racing, speedway racing, karting, rally driving, off-road racing, production racing, and more. Participants and spectators travel from all over the world to see live automobile racing events. Local, state, national, and international organizations govern these events by dividing race cars into different classes and subclasses. Competitors risk their lives and vehicles to win first place at one of these events. Spectators love the thrill of the race. Together they make the sporting events worthwhile of expansion without doubt that the excitement will ever simmer.
The History of Automobile Racing
Automobile racing falls into a separate genre of sporting events. The main objective of motor racing has never changed. It has always involved getting from starting to finishing positions before another competitor. Despite its’ simplicity, automobile racing provides many avenues to enjoy the sport. As a result, it has inspired a richness of history that no other sport can replace. Automobile sporting events began shortly after the production of the first gasoline-powered automobiles. From the earliest organized motoring event in Paris, France to the Indy Series dominated by NASCAR, automobile history shares its delight in giving motorists and spectators a place to enjoy automotive technology in a recreational setting. Its’ extensive history testifies to the fact that people will continue to love automobile racing until technological advancement directs their attention to something else.
- History: Stock Car Racing Collection
- Grand Prix History
- The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing
- Formula 1: Race History
- American Racing: A Diversity of Innovation
Famous Race Car Drivers
Race car drivers compete at the local, state, national, and international level. Accomplished drivers usually receive payment by the team or sponsor. Race car drivers that have reached a level of notoriety can earn substantial salaries. Some of the most notable race car drivers to set foot on a track are Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, Lewis Hamilton, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Carl Edwards, Richard Petty, Mark Webber, A.J. Foytt, and more.
- The Indy 500 Drivers: Where are They Now?
- Biography.com: Famous Race Car Drivers
- Legends of NASCAR
- Forbes: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tops List Of Nascar’s Highest-Paid Drivers
- Jeff Gordon.com
Women in Racing
When people think of automobile racing, it is often thought of as a man’s sport and for a long time it was just that. Female participation during the early days of the Indianapolis 500 was discouraged and while NASCAR has allowed female drivers since it started, they were not necessarily popular. The first woman to race on a superspeedway was Janet Guthrie in 1976. Other female racecar drivers throughout history include Shawna Robinson, Danica Patrick, Johanna Long, and Tammy Jo Kirk.
- Danica Patrick Makes Daytona 500 History
- Race to Equality: History of Women in Racing
- Janet Guthrie Biography
There are many famous automobile races that take place in various places around the world. Well known races in the US include the Indianapolis 500 as well as Daytona 500. In Monaco, the Grand Prix race is famous and dates back to 1929. The 24 Hours of Le Mans race takes place in the French city of Le Mans and is considered one of the most challenging endurance races in the world. These are just some of the famous races that take place around the world but there are many more.
- World’s 10 Longest Auto Races
- History of Daytona 500 & Indianapolis 500
- History & Legends of Grand Prix Racing
The Rules of Racing
Automobile racing events require drivers to follow strictly defined rules in order to make it off the track alive. It also enlivens spectators to give them what they want. Race car drivers follow implemented safety measures, penalties, and flags to alert competitors and crew members of the conditions and issues surrounding the event. Racing teams have to follow these rules and safety measures to win, qualify, and advance in the race. Race car drivers must remain vigilant to the flags signaled by the grand marshal and track marshals. Flags indicate track condition and communicate messages to drivers.
- HowStuffWorks: What are the Rules of Stock Car Racing?
- Introduction to SCCA Racing Rules
- The Rules of the SeriesI-SCAR (International Stock Car Auto Racing)
- Flags Used in Auto Racing
- Motosports Mathematics: Flag Meanings
Race Car Driving Terms
Sitting around and listening to a group of race car drivers and enthusiasts can make anybody’s head spin. As with any other profession or sport, automobile racing incorporates a special language that only insiders can decode. Only a true race car fan can understand the definition of “Hotfoot,” “Haulin’ Hollywood,” “King of Trona,” and more. Stay at home or learn to appreciate the terms and definitions of the greatest drivers to ever sit behind the wheel.
- FunFix: Race Car Driving Terms
- Kenton Gray Racing: Auto Racing Terms
- Racing Terms and Definitions
- Racing Junky: NASCAR Racing Terms
- ESPN NASCAR: Here’s Some Help to Better Understand NASCAR
What Happens in the Pit?
Race drivers stop in the pits during a race to service their vehicles. A pit crew consisting of about 5 to 20 mechanics refuel, change the tires, adjust mechanical components, and repair minor changes to the vehicle. A driver-swap may also occur at a pit stop. Drivers typically have their cars serviced in one of the pit stalls located in the pit lane. A pit wall separates the pit lane from the infield. Teams determine the number of pit stops by the fuel capacity of the vehicle, the tire’s half-life, and estimated repair work. Teams project the number of stops and weigh the loss of time getting serviced versus the time on the track.
- F1 World Grand Prix: Jordan Pitstop Snapshot
- Formula One Racing: What Happens during an F1 Pit Stop
- Pit Crews, Race Teams, and Preventive Maintenance (PDF)
- AOL Kids: NASCAR Pitstop Pictures
- Autoracing News: The Evolution of the Pitstop
Safety Concerns of Motoracing
Race car drivers face a clear and present danger when they get behind the wheel. The speed, velocity, and reliability of the car itself make it necessary to consider safety features to minimize injuries. Accidents have happened on the track; therefore, it only makes sense for the sport to incorporate safety advancements to preserve the life of the driver. Motorsports has come a long way in offering advanced safety procedures and equipment to their drivers, including helmets, seat belts, roll cages, fuel cells, fire retardant uniforms, on-board fire extinguishers, window netting, racing seats, and soft wall technology.
- NASCAR: Safety Improvements, Changes Defining Racing Eras
- Circle Track Magazine: Race Car Driver Safety – Cockpit Safety
- NCRA Rating: Auto Racing Gear
- The Change From Halon in the Auto Racing Industry (PDF)
- Racing “101″: Local & Global Racing Organizations (PDF)
Tips and Advice for Becoming a Race Car Driver
Aside from practicing in legal districts, a potential race car driver must know somebody in the business to succeed in motorsports. Most beginning race car competitors join their local chapter of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Many become corner workers or tech inspectors, which places them at a great advantage to meeting like-minded people. It presents a great perspective on motorsports, including what a driver needs in terms of dedication and money to succeed. In addition, interested competitors can join one of the many driving schools in the country to ante-up their skills. Rent or borrow a regional car to get a feel for its controls and gain seat time. Street car races rarely offer any pearls of wisdom when it comes or professional automobile racing.
- The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
- Popular Mechanics: How to Get Started as a Race Car Driver
- Physics, Technology, and Engineering in Automobile Racing (PDF)
- Esquire Magazine: How to Become a Professional Race Car Driver
- Race Car Drivers (PDF)
Motorsports evolved from solo competitions to international racing events involving thousands of competitors from all over the world. Technology advancements have allowed motorsports to soar in popularity. The advent of local broadcasting made it a worldwide spectator’s event, ultimately making it a lucrative venture for sporting organizations. The future of automobile racing depends on the survivability of the vehicles themselves. However, it remains certain that people will continue to race automobiles until advancements in transportation phase it out entirely.
- Road and Track: Future Thinking and Sports Car Racing
- CNN: The Future of Auto Racing a Blur
- BBC: Electric Cars Enter the Fast Lane
- The Rolex 24: The Beginning of Sports-Car Racing Future
- Wired.com: Race Cars Must Go Electric
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Check out articles written by Jeanne Longhorne.