What's the Weather Like at Your Favorite Dirt Track?
Dirt Track Racing FAQs
WHAT IS DIRT TRACK AUTO RACING?
"Dirt track auto racing" is one form of auto racing that takes place on dirt and clay oval shaped tracks. Dirt track auto racing got its start in the United States before World War I and became very popular during the 1920s and 1930s. There were two different types of race cars that dominated this type of racing: open wheel racers which were popular in the Northeast and in the West, and stock car racing which was popular in the South.
The open wheel racers were built specifically for racing mainly on asphalt tracks, and the stock cars were any type of ordinary car that the racer modified in some way. Stock cars could race on either asphalt or dirt tracks. Dirt track auto racing is still the single most common form of auto racing in the United States. It is estimated that there are as many as 1500 regional and local race tracks nationwide.
Dirt track auto racing is also popular in Australia and Canada. For variety, many of the dirt track cars also race on asphalt during the racing season.
WHERE ARE THE DIRT TRACK RACES HELD?
There are auto racing dirt tracks all across the country in the USA as well as internationally. You can find the locations of tracks in your area by going to Google or Bing and typing in "dirt track auto racing tracks located near . . . " and then put the name of your city and state in the search bar. This will bring up many returns so you can find the dirt track nearest to where you live.
In Western PA where Jeremy races, the two main dirt tracks that he frequents are Dog Hollow Speedway and Roaring Knob. By clicking on these links, you can see actual pictures of the tracks as well as get the daily weather and a listing of dirt tracks all over the country.
A driver will typically go back to his or her favorite dirt track many times throughout the racing season. However, there are many drivers who will travel from state to state to compete.
WHAT'S IT LIKE AT THE DIRT TRACK?
of the tracks have old stadium style bleachers that you will be sitting
on so bring a blanket, padded seat or even a chair with you if you want
to be the most comfortable. There is always room to place your own
seating if it isn't over crowded. You can even sit on some of the grassy areas. The tracks have bathrooms of varying qualities. You may want to bring some extra TP if it is your first time going to a track and you aren't sure of the conditions. The stadium seats are usually on one side of the oval track.
This is a great video from Roaring Knob speedway. It will show you what actually happens at the dirt auto racing track.
There is a fence blocking off the actual track to protect the fans sitting in the stands. It is always a good idea to sit several rows away from the fence anyway because the dirt will kick up from the car tires and you may get hit with a rock or two from time to time to time. That is a very painful experience and can still happen even if you are sitting near the top of the bleachers. It's less likely though. Also, don't sit on the end around the curves of the track. When the late models and super late models go around those bends at near 100+ mph, the dirt will fly. The dust cloud will be so great that you won't be able to breathe or swallow and you will get hit with debris or at the very least, you will get covered in dirt. That's part of the fun but you can still get covered in dirt and not put yourself in danger.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO THE DIRT TRACK?
You can wear whatever you want to the dirt track. You will see just about everything you can imagine, but the atmosphere is mostly family friendly so keep that in mind when dressing. It also will depend on the time of the year you are watching the races. Most of the races are held in the evening as the sun is going down. That's when the air cools off a bit, even on a hot summer day, and the bugs come out. If you wear shorts you may want to bring a light weight blanket to cover up with even if you don't think you are going to get cold.
This video will show you what a night at the track might look like.
GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY - Yes, you will get covered with fine dust and if you sit too close to the fence, maybe even get covered with pieces of mud or clay that kick up from the driver's tires. Your car will have a thick layer of clay or dirt dust on it for sure so be prepared with windshield washer fluid.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET IN?
The entry costs for a fan vary from track to track, but the average cost is between $10-$15 for the night. Special event nights can range from $15-$25. In some places, that fee will get you a free hot dog or drink if you purchase the family size ticket. The cost may seem like a lot but you are spending 5-6 hours at the track, helping to pay for the upkeep, and contributing toward the costs for the dirt track auto racing winners. Plus, the family time you get together . . . well, we all know that is priceless!
IS THERE FOOD AT THE DIRT TRACK?
Most of the dirt tracks, if not all, do have concession stands. When you look up the links for the local auto dirt tracks in your area, you can visit that track's website to get more information. Some websites are more helpful then others. Most of the concession stands offer the basics of hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, nachos, popcorn, cotton candy, ice drinks or snow cones, coffee and other hot drinks and a variety of candy. The costs are reasonable unlike baseball and football games. The food quality is usually pretty good. You can always bring your own food to the dirt track. Lots of people bring coolers filled with their favorite beverages and buy the hot foods on site.
IS THERE SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS?
At any dirt track auto racing event, you will see lots of kids ranging in age from newborn to the adults who act like kids. There are many toddlers who actually sit still and watch their dads and moms race. Some of the tracks have a time during intermission where they have a candy toss or a bike race or a meet and greet. The best events are where you actually get to go down on the dirt track with your family members and meet the drivers, get some free goodies, and pose for as many pictures as you have time to take. These events are scheduled so be sure to check your local track's website for information.
PARKING AT THE DIRT TRACK
Most of the dirt tracks have free parking. It can be described as parking in a cleared field rather than a parking lot. Sometimes you will be parking on grass. Remember, you are at a dirt track. The oval track has been carved out of the landscape and is surrounded by fields of flowers and grass.
A really great feature at some of the tracks is the ability to pay for parking your car inside the fenced area. This typically sets you back around $20-25 but you don't have to unpack your stuff for the long walk to the bleachers and you can keep your whole family with you. Just pack up the trunk, bring your cooler and a few folding chairs and blankets and sit beside your car. If you have a pick up, you can just back in that big old truck and sit on the truck bed itself or put your chairs inside the truck bed for an even better view. If it starts to rain you don't have far to go. If your kids fall asleep (yes, the races can run into overtime and it could be near 12AM when you are leaving), they can sleep in the car and you can still enjoy the races.
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