Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

Archive for the ‘Auto Racing’

6 Incredible Innovations in Race Car Tech 1

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Martin Banks

The automotive industry is constantly looking to improve the driving experience. Racing is where these innovations are born — experimenting with new technologies is expected in the racing industry. 

Drivers want to reach faster speeds and cut down on resistance to win. So whether it’s NASCAR or Formula 1, racing has always been at the forefront of developing and implementing advanced tech into their cars.

NASCAR focuses its efforts on entertaining its loyal fans, while F1 is the leader in revolutionizing the racing industry. There’s a perceived rivalry between the two, but both organizations work to elevate their technology to improve overall racing performance.

Whether you’re a racing fan or not, it’s interesting to learn more about racecar tech. Some of the advancements are incorporated into the standard vehicles we use on the road every day. 

Let’s dive into some of the recent advancements in racing technology.

1. Carbon Fiber

What makes carbon fiber attractive in automotive racing is its strength and durability. Compared to other materials used for cars, carbon fiber can withstand high-energy forces during a high-speed race. 

How a vehicle performs can mean the difference between a winning and a losing race. In addition, carbon fiber allows cars to go the extra mile. Parts that are made from carbon fiber tend to last longer, which is an attractive feature for racers.

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Get Started in Motorcycle Racing 2

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Martin Banks

Racing is one of the most exciting pastimes in the world, pitting drivers against each other at high speeds as they fight for first place. It gets even more exciting — and more dangerous — when you remove the roll-cage and put your drivers on motorcycles instead of in race cars. Motorcycle racing is an adrenaline junkie’s dream, but it’s not something to take lightly. What do you need to know to get started in motorcycle racing?

Put Safety First

Before you start following any of the other steps on this list, you need to ensure you’ve got everything you need on hand to stay safe. The exact details may vary depending on your track’s requirements, but whenever you’re riding a motorcycle — on the track or off — you should keep safety in mind at all times. 

Invest in a Department of Transportation (DOT)-certified helmet that will protect your head in the event of an accident. Be sure to always wear appropriate clothing and eye protection if your helmet doesn’t feature a face shield. Not all states require helmets for adult motorcycle riders, but we recommend wearing one regardless of your state’s requirements. 

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Get Started in Auto Racing 1

Posted on October 20, 2020 by Martin Banks

Watching motorsport events can be exhilarating, but nothing beats being behind the wheel. If you’ve never dipped your toes into the world of racing, though, you may not know where to start. Thankfully, auto racing may be more accessible than you realize.

You can join many entry-level racing events with the car you drive daily, not needing any modifications. If you want to get serious about racing, you should get another vehicle, but you don’t need one to start. All you need to begin with is a working car and an event you like.

This late race accident by Jimmie Johnson helped give his teammate, Jeff Gordon, a chance to pass many of the race leaders and remain within contention for the Chase.

Choosing an Event

You have some options when it comes to amateur racing, each offering a different experience. Perhaps the most popular event is a track day, where racetracks open up to the general public. You won’t race door-to-door in these events but can compare lap times and get a feel for the track experience.

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) hosts track days across the country you can look for. On top of letting you drive freely on a professional course, these will also give you some track driving tips and instruction. All in all, it’s an excellent first step in auto racing.

If you want a more competitive experience, you may want to check out autocross. Like track days, you can use your daily road car and won’t engage in any door-to-door races. Unlike track days, though, they take place on temporary courses and are more competitive, offering tournaments and prizes.

Autocross is typically cheaper than a track day event and is an excellent way to hone your skills. The SCAA hosts a range of autocross competitions, too, from racing schools to national championships. 

If you’re after something closer to the NASCAR experience, you should look into club racing. These are door-to-door races on professional tracks that racing organizations hold for amateurs. You’ll need a racing-ready car and some good insurance given the extra risk, but these events are surprisingly accessible.

Club racing will be more expensive than other options but is the closest thing to professional racing. You can find nearby events from the SCAA, National Auto Sport Association and other organizations.

Taking Care of Your Car

If you’re going to make a habit out of racing, you’ll need to perform some extra maintenance. Make sure you follow all the standard steps, like changing your oil every 7,500 miles or so. The new pressure from racing will require some extra care, too.

You may want to buy a set of track tires, so your racing doesn’t affect your daily drive. If you race frequently, you’ll also need to change your brake pads more often. You may also need brake fluid with a higher boiling point since you’ll brake harder on the track.

If you’re not already familiar with doing basic repairs and maintenance yourself, you should learn. Going to a mechanic for routine procedures will get expensive quickly when you’re racing. Knowing how to do it by yourself will save you a lot of money.

Anyone Can Get Into Racing

As long as you have a functioning car and a track within driving range, you can start racing. Depending on where you live and your budget, your options may be limited, but they’re still accessible. After you get started, you’ll meet new people and expand your connections in the racing world.

Whether you want to become a pro or just want to drive a few laps, there’s something for you. The world of motorsport is right at your fingertips.

How to Get Started in Auto Racing 1

Posted on August 27, 2020 by Martin Banks

Whether you grew up watching NASCAR or Formula 1, there is something exhilarating about the sport of racing. The only thing more exciting is getting behind the wheel of your own racecar and taking to the track. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as submitting a job application or showing up to a career fair. Here’s how to get started in auto racing.

Make a Plan

Before you start showing up at racetracks with your daily driver and getting laughed off the course, you need to make a plan. Wanting to get into racing is a noble goal that’s too broad to be realistically achievable. You need to make a plan and break it down into smaller pieces so you know what you’re working toward. 

Do you want to drive for NASCAR or just make a name for yourself in local circuits? Do you want to drive someone else’s car or build your own from the ground up? Once you have a clearer picture of the kind of career you want to have in auto racing, it becomes easier to achieve your goals 

Get a Car

Next, unless you get really lucky and land a NASCAR or Formula 1 contract, you’re going to need a racecar. The exact details of your vehicle will depend on a lot of different variables, from the type of race to the rules of the track. You may need a regular car with no modifications or you may have free reign to alter it as you like to get the most out of it. 

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Get Involved in Auto Racing 1

Posted on June 08, 2020 by Martin Banks

Racing is one of our nation’s most popular past times. However, if you’re watching Formula One or NASCAR, getting behind the wheel of one of those automotive marvels might seem entirely out of reach — especially if you’re just an average fan of the sport. While you might not find a place on the NASCAR track, there are still plenty of ways to get your fix and get involved in auto racing. Here are a few tips and tricks to start. 

Start Small

Don’t head into your nearest NASCAR track and demand to sit behind the wheel of one of their multi-million dollar race cars. At best, you’ll get laughed out of the stadium, and at worst, they’ll have you arrested for trespassing. Instead, consider starting small. Nearly anyone can do go-kart racing with a little time, effort and a small investment. Plus, before you buy your first kart, you can head to a go-kart track and try out the sport to get a feel for it. 

If you decide you don’t want to invest in a go-kart, or it just doesn’t scratch your racing itch, move on to our next suggestion. 

Read the rest of this entry →

A Close Look at Big Rig Racing 1

Posted on June 05, 2020 by Martin Banks

When we start talking about racing, we usually think of sleek cars that hug the ground as they tear around the track. We don’t normally picture massive big rigs in their place. What does big rig racing look like, and why is it becoming so popular with race fans around the country?

The History of Big Rig Racing

Big rig racing might not have the history that NASCAR or Formula One has, but it’s been around since 1979. This racing style was featured in the opening of the movie “Smokey and the Bandit II.” Three years later, it became a sanctioned sport, dubbed the Great American Truck Racing circuit or GATR. These GATR races continued from 1982 until the sport closed its doors in 1993.

Some drivers tried to revive the sport in the form of the ChampTruck World Series, but found it shuttered after just a season and a half, starting in 2015 and ending the next year. The race series founder claimed they would work on reorganizing it, but truck racing as we knew it was over. 

In 2017, the Bandit Big Rig Series made its debut, which was the first officially sanctioned big rig race in the United States since GATR closed its doors in 1993. It’s become so popular that at one event, the line to enter the stadium to watch these behemoths race was over a mile long. 

Building a Racing Rig

What does it take to turn one of these massive haulers into a rig worthy of the racetrack?

According to race promoters, you can build a racing semi for around $25,000 if you’re willing to make the investment. Unlike Formula One or NASCAR, reaching a top speed isn’t the goal for these races. These racing rigs are restricted to a top speed of 100 mph for safety reasons. Beyond that, there isn’t a lot of modification allowed before these behemoths hit the track. 

Read the rest of this entry →
  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Dale Murphy: A Hallmark of Excellence
      July 2, 2024 | 1:53 pm
      Dale Murphy

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a standout player of the 1980s, remembered not only for his exceptional skills on the field but also for his exemplary character and sportsmanship.

      Born on March 12, 1956, in Portland, Oregon, Dale Murphy’s journey to becoming one of the most respected players in baseball history is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and a genuine love for the game.

      Early Career and Rise to Prominence

      Murphy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 1974 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut on September 13, 1976, at the age of 20. Initially a catcher, Murphy transitioned to the outfield early in his career, where he would solidify his place as one of the premier outfielders of his era.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    How Much of the 2024 Summer Olympics Will You Watch?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories

↑ Top