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Slinger Super Speedway, typical 1/4 mile layout

In North American auto racing, particularly with regard to NASCAR, a short track is a racetrack of less than one mile (1.6 km) in length. Short track racing, often associated with fairgrounds and similar venues, is where stock car racing first got off the back roads and into organized and regulated competition. Many traditional fans and purists still see short track racing as the "real" NASCAR, because the lower speeds make "paint swapping," where the bodies of the cars actually rub against one another, practical without a very high likelihood of serious accidents. In fact, NASCAR sanctions such "club" racing, offering the Whelen All-American Series as a national championship for the drivers, and an invitational race for club racers. In 2007, NASCAR is increasing marketing of the short tracks with the "NASCAR Home Tracks" campaign, with Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, and Carl Edwards featured in advertising to market short track racing. In some cases a Sprint Cup star or two will race in a weekly short-track event held usually on a short track near that week's race, or in a midweek special, such as the Slinger Nationals at Wisconsin's Slinger Super Speedway, a quarter-mile track (but is not NASCAR-sanctioned).

Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney, Scott Wimmer, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. all own short tracks, most of them being dirt. Stewart owns the Eldora Speedway, which features Sprint Cup stars and other nationally recognised drivers in the "Prelude to the Dream" dirt late model race, and began hosting a points-paying Camping World Truck Series race in 2013. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a partner in the Paducah (Kentucky) International Speedway.

In recent years, there has been a gradual push away from short track venues for Sprint Cup (the highest level of NASCAR) in favor of longer tracks. This is due to larger venues having accommodations for more fans (although the short track in Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol Motor Speedway, now has over 160,000 seats) and higher speeds.

The west coast has been home to some of the most competitive short track racing in America. Venues such as Placerville Speedway, in the foothills of Northern California, have been racing dirt track stock cars since 1965. Many west coast communities surrounding short tracks are deeply invested in auto racing. As a result of traveling distance, a number of west coast specific racing series have developed over the years.


Short track motor racing sections
Intro   Paved short tracks    Dirt track racing   See also  References  External links  

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