By: MaKenna Moore
Dirt track racing is a sport that runs during the summertime, with the season starting around April and, out of state, some start in the beginning of May. The cars on the dirt track that primarily run up north are open wheel cars. Most cars used in the south are stock cars. Open wheel cars that are run on the track are made for the purpose of racing, and they are called “open wheel” due to having no fenders protecting the wheels of the vehicle. The other types are modified cars, and, like the open wheel, they have no fenders on the front but resemble that of a stock car in the back.
The next model of car sometimes raced is the late model. These cars are much more durable and heavier than the other types of models. The engines in the late model hold the V-8 Chevrolet, Chrysler, or Ford small block. Another type is the crate late model. These, like the late model, have bigger engines and are built to race. The only difference is the crate late models cannot be altered in any way from the factory specifications.
A popular model of car raced are stock cars, which are normal cars that are raced against each other. The car is not to be modified from factory stock, hence stock racing. While the car cannot be modified, regulations are put in to keep the racer safe, such as safety equipment in the car like fire extinguishers and gloves. The car must also include a visible roll cages, door bars, and a harness seatbelt for the stock car to be eligible to race.
The dirt tracks are loud and, as you can guess, muddy. Dirt tracks around our area consist of Stateline Speedway, Lake Erie speedway, Bradford speedway, Tri City Raceway Park, and Thunder Mountain Speedway. The closest ones locally are Stateline Speedway and Lake Erie Speedway. While we only have a limited number or tracks around our area, there are many larger races that are on paved tracks and have larger stands. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, Road Atlanta, Lucas Oil Raceway, Brainerd International Raceway, and many more included are fun to visit if you are willing to make the trip.
The Squire interviewed an Eisenhower sophomore, Mikael Beaver, to find out more about dirt track racing. Beaver races and works on his own Rush Stock Streetcar. The Squire asked him what from his experience is the most difficult thing about racing. Beaver responded, “The most difficult thing about racing is focusing on the other cars while you are driving.” He also went on to explain the best part of racing, “Winning has to be the most rewarding thing about it.” His favorite track to race is Lake Erie Speedway.
Beaver also spoke to The Squire about who his biggest support has been while learning and continuing to race, and he shared,” My mom and my stepdad have been the biggest supporters.” Mike also added that his stepdad has had the biggest impact on him during this whole experience.
If you go to the dirt track, there is even more than just the competitive head-to-head racing to keep you entertained. Whether it is an interest in the vehicles, buying food from the concession stand, hanging out with your family, supporting the people racing or even watching the people in the stand, you can have a great and different experience while there.