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I love those wings!
Ryan Irvin and crew ready his 49 BULLSEYE! Photo by BRONCO
Ryan Irvin and crew ready his 49 BULLSEYE! Photo by BRONCO
September 21st 2006 - FROM "The Race Tracker"
Red Cedar Speedway
Menomonie, WI

What is a Sprint Car?
By Jim Gorecki

A Sprint Car is a rolling, noisy, powerful, fragile, ill tempered beast that is a handful to drive. Reaching an excess of 100 mph on the straights, this 700 hp missile burns methanol for fuel. Tonight at the Red Cedar Speedway, the fans are in for a real treat! Now that the regular season is completed, pick a car, and cheer them on!

A uniquely American form of Motorsport's that started in the early 20th century at fairground's horse tracks it is now moved to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There are no fenders on a sprint car. It is an open wheel, winged or non-winged race car. "Wings" are airfoils, which create downforce to keep the car down on the track. There is a huge one on top of the car and a smaller on over the front axle. The first wings showed up on sprint cars in the 1960's.

Modern sprint cars are simple and brutally powerful, there is no dead weight on the cars. If a part does not contribute to the car's performance it is left off. The chassis is a minimal tube frame with a short wheelbase. Suspension consists of a live axle in the rear and a dead axle in the front with torsion bars for springs. The motor is connected to the quick-change rear axle by a coupler called an "in-out-box", you either are in gear to race or out of gear to coast. There is no starter motor and sprint cars must be pushed by a pickup truck at a fast speed to fire off the motor. Two huge floppy rear tires of different sizes create the "stagger" to hold the car to the track and make turning the left hand corners easier for the driver.

With a power to weight ratio and a short "tippy" frame, a sprint car spends most of it's time working for traction, broadsliding around corners, wheel standing on the straights, while the driver wrestles frantically with the steering wheel to keep the car pointed straight.
Racing tracks the sprint cars run on can be dirt, clay or asphalt. No matter what type of track you watch them race on you will find sprint car racing the most exciting form of Auto Racing you can find. The action is unbeatable.
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