What Is Long Track Speedway? [Expert Guide!]

While stock car racing has always been popular around the world, many countries have taken a different approach when it comes to auto racing. In some places, such as Australia and New Zealand, motorsport is a very professional sport with teams of five or six drivers competing in long-distance races. Here in the United States, motorsport was somewhat amateurish up until the 1980s, when the NASCAR platform took off and became the dominant form of motorsport in this country. Even today, many consider NASCAR to be the gold standard in American motorsport.

However, there is another form of motorsport that was immensely popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and continues to grow in popularity every year: long track speedway racing. In this form of racing, the cars are still the same as in standard short-track racing, but the tracks are much longer – sometimes even a mile or more. This allows the drivers to really put their cars through their paces and show off their abilities. It was once estimated that there were over 500,000 people in attendance at some point during the 1923 racing season.


Long track speedway started in England in the early 20th century and was initially used in conjunction with military parades. In 1912, the London based International Motor-racing Club (IMARC) was formed with the goal of promoting motor racing internationally and long track speedway became a major part of their program. The first international long track speedway race was held in London in June 1914 and was followed by a second race a month later. In 1916, long track speedway was included as part of the Olympics in Stockholm.

In the United States, long track speedway was first organized in Detroit in 1911 by a group of car enthusiasts who wanted to create an alternative to the typical automobile races that were popular at the time. The first Detroit Long Track Speedway was an eight-hour race held on a one-and-a-half mile dirt oval and drew over 25,000 fans – more than enough to fill the stadium that was used for this event. This was also the first motorsport event to ever use a pre-arranged points system instead of relying on the judges’ scoring systems to determine the winner. However, it was not until the 1919 race that this form of motorsport was officially recognized by the Motor Sports Association of America (MSA) when they became an A-category sport (along with caromodey, ballooning, and motorcycle speedway) – the others being official sports in the United States. Since then, long track speedway has continued to grow in popularity, even though it has declined in popularity in some countries, mainly the United States, due to the prevalence of other sports (such as NASCAR).


Like other forms of motorsport, long track speedway is a race between drivers or crews of racing cars. The track is divided into several lanes and the racers must obey all traffic regulations – including giving priority to emergency vehicles and preventing racing on city streets. If a driver wants to win, he has to complete the race in a single pass – there are no pit stops in long track speedway. Due to the nature of the sport, most of the tracks are located in remote areas and are not accessible by the general public (with the possible exception of some military bases).

The cars are built with aerodynamic considerations in mind and often have three or more wheels, allowing them to slide on the dirt or snow as they accelerate. Most of the cars are open-cockpit; however, there are some that are closed-cockpit (i.e., they have a windscreen, but no roof). The cars are also lightweight, typically sporting a metal frame and a fiberglass body, making them easier to construct and quicker to build.

Teams And Drivers

In the United States, the popularity of long track speedway waned in the 1960s and it continues to decline today. One of the main reasons for this decline is the lack of interest among the general public. Another factor is time – due to the long distance and time limits, it is difficult for teams and drivers to develop a good strategy over the course of a long race and being reckless on the track often wins out over skill.

However, in other parts of the world, such as New Zealand and Australia, long track speedway is a much more established sport, with dedicated fans who follow the sport closely. In these places, the teams and drivers are often family-run and this close connection to the sport often means that these fans will follow (or begin) their support primarily by way of social media platforms (such as Twitter and Facebook).

Another difference between NASCAR and long track speedway is the position of the drivers in their cars. In NASCAR, the drivers sit in a tandem driving position with the front driver controlling the car via steering and the rear driver protecting the vehicle’s flank. In long track speedway, the drivers sit side-by-side with the front driver controlling the car via the gearshift and steering, and the rear driver monitoring (and often feeding information into) the car’s computer system.

What Will The Season Be Like?

The season for long track speedway is usually divided into two distinct parts. In the first part, the cars will compete in regional races in an attempt to qualify for the national championship. The drivers and teams have a couple of months to prepare for this part and it is not uncommon for the season to begin in early spring and end in late summer.

The second part of the season is the championship race, which is generally held in the late fall or early winter. This is the part that every fan, and even some competitors, look forward to the most. The championship race is typically a one-of-a-kind event with thousands of people in attendance. These are the types of races that make up the bulk of the season and give the sport its unique identity. Teams will often gear up for this part of the season (especially in New Zealand), spending the entire winter preparing for the event so that they can go all out in the finals.

One of the main draws of long track speedway is how affordable it can be to enter. You don’t need to have rich parents or a sponsor to get in on the action. Anybody who has even the smallest amount of disposable income can become involved in some fashion. This is one of the major reasons why many people consider this sport to be for the masses. It is incredibly accessible and offers a great opportunity to people of all ages.

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