The History of Auto Racing

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Auto Racing

Auto racing comes in many forms. In America, stock car racing has become one of the most popular sports (and NASCAR one of the most recognizable brands) in the country. Formula 1 racing takes center stage throughout Europe and is expanding internationally, where icons like Michael Schumacher have captivated crowds. Yet there are many other forms of racing, including touring car, production car, rally car, karting, and more. Whatever kind of racing you're into, all the information you desire can be found online. If you have a need for speed, we will lead you through the Internet's winding road.

The History of Auto Racing

Auto racing traces its roots to the creation of the first petrol-fuelled autos in the late 19th century. The Paris magazine Le Petit Journal initiated the first automobile race in 1894. The sport quickly spread to the United States, where the first race traversed about 54 miles of Illinois and took the winner more than 10 hours to complete. As the sport evolved it differentiated, as some cars were made lighter, packed with superchargers, and made more aerodynamic. Now rally cars, stock cars, production cars, funny cars, and more all race under their own unique rules and specifications. The Internet can help you keep up with the different branches of this sport, all with their own rich histories.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Auto racing has a few different names: automobile racing, autosport, motor racing, and motorsport. The latter two names can also characterize motorcycle racing, so if you want to narrow your search, do not use them.
  • Because of the growing popularity of auto racing in the United States and throughout the world, sites devoted to some aspect of the history of this sport are plentiful. But everyday people who have a passion for the sport create the great majority of these sites, and as a result, there are a lot of issues with legitimacy. So certainly do not be afraid to peruse these potentially rich sources, but pay attention to who the source is.
  • AutoRacingHistory.com does more than provide you with a large amount of historical auto racing history: it's also a great source of links to other auto racing history sites. Not every site listed on its "Links" page is worth your time, but if you are looking for a wide variety of choices, this is the place to go.

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For general auto racing history...
For Formula 1 history ...
For NASCAR and Indy Car history ...
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Auto Racing Organizations

With such a large variety of auto racing in the world, there are numerous organizations. In fact, with the rising popularity of the sport, it is likely that the structure of the sport will only become larger and more complicated. Use the Web to navigate the labyrinth of organizations.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Organization pages for auto racing are great resources for finding scores, standings, schedules, and official team pages. Team pages have driver and team specific news, race previews, track and ticketing info, and more. These pages are chock full of information, so give them a thorough surf to discover all the treats hidden within.
  • There are too many auto racing associations to include them all here, so we've listed some of the more popular ones. We normally don't recommend Wikipedia because of its well-documented problems with accuracy; however, if you search for a type of auto racing, like "rally," the entry will lead you to many of the organizations associated with that sport.
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Auto Racing News and Analysis

The Internet’s wealth of auto racing news and analysis is a cut above what TV and the local paper have to offer. The top auto racing sites provide up-to-the-minute coverage of headline news, scores, standings, and stats, with multimedia features like photos and videos, plus blogs, columns, interviews, and opinion pieces to provide perspective.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Most racing blogs have a running list of links to other recommended blogs in the margins of their page. These lists are called "blogrolls," and they're a great way to discover new sites.
  • Another excellent way to locate driver- or team-specific blogs and discussion forums is to check Wikipedia. In the "External Links" section at the bottom of your favorite racer or team's entry you'll find a list of the most popular news and community sites.

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For auto racing in general ...
For Formula 1 ...
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Auto Racing Statistics

Next time you're in a friendly argument about Mario Andretti versus Jackie Stewart or who has the most wins at the Brickyard, use the following detailed statistics databases to resolve the squabble.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • For current season statistics of active racers and teams, your best bet is to visit NASCAR.com or the official Web site of the relevant league. To learn more about those sites, see the section of this guide entitled "Where can I find information on auto racing organizations?"

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For Formula 1 stats ...
For NASCAR stats ...
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Fantasy Auto Racing

When it comes to fantasy sports, auto racing frequently takes a back seat to sports like football, baseball, and basketball. Some people would be surprised to learn that, indeed, there is a fantasy auto racing community, and it is a vibrant one. If you already knew that (and even if you didn't), you'll want to use the sites below to join leagues and out-manage your opponents.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • To succeed at fantasy auto racing, you'll need to know whether your driver is injured or which driver has been racing especially well lately. Besides viewing the fantasy-specific sites below, get the latest updates from the news sites found in the "Where can I find the latest auto racing news, rumors, and commentary?" section of this guide.
  • When signing up for fantasy auto racing you can join a pay league, a free league, or create your own league. Smaller fantasy league sites offer only one possibility, whereas major sites like ESPN.com typically provide several options. Our recommendations below include both types of sites.
  • Many of the F1 fantasy leagues are from European Web sites, particularly from the United Kingdom. You will most likely still be able to play regardless of your location, but before you pay any entrance fees just make sure you understand how much money you're investing. Use a free online currency converter like this one from XE to easily and accurately convert pounds to dollars.

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For NASCAR ...
For Formula 1 ...
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How to Learn and Improve at Auto Racing

Whether you want to learn the tricks the pros use or you simply have a need to go fast, the Internet can be of service to you. The United States, and the world for that matter, is now burgeoning with auto racing schools which typically last up to a few days and have you spend some time in a classroom and some time on the track (although you probably won't be racing against someone for some time). There are also plenty of sites out there that offer free advice and tips on how to conquer the track.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Most sites that appear on an Internet search for "auto racing schools" will be individual schools. This could be unhelpful and tiresome if you are simply looking for a place in your vicinity. That is where sites like RacingSchools.com come in handy; this site lays out the different driving schools in your area, with brief descriptions of each.
  • Because young kids are allowed to drive karts (unlike, let's say, Formula 1 cars), many professional racers, such as Danica Patrick, started out in karting. Karting sites often offer the best tips because they know they are speaking to people who may just be getting into the sport.

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For finding racing schools ...
For racecar driving tips ...
To find organizations ...
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Auto Racing Equipment, Apparel, and Memorabilia

If you're going to race, you don't want to be without your fire-resistant underwear. But you also want to look good while you make your turns. There are numerous Web sites that can fulfill those needs. And if you're more of a spectator type, Jeff Gordon's racing goggles can be a great conversation starter as the focal point of a game room. We've found some reputable sellers that can help you find what you're looking for.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The online versions of your favorite stores often stock a significantly larger variety of goods than their physical counterparts. Because many also offer options for free shipping, shopping for sports equipment on the Web can be both time- and cost-efficient.
  • To buy official team apparel, consider checking out the "shop" areas on the appropriate team or organization Web sites.
  • For a humorous look at some of the more unusual NASCAR-licensed merchandise available, take a look at this column from Sports Illustrated.
  • Many of the sites listed below sell similar equipment and apparel, and the differences among them are negligible. We provided many options so you can have a thorough selection.
  • For information on larger department stores that sell equipment and apparel for multiple sports, and for guidelines on buying online memorabilia, look to our general sports guide.
  • You should always maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to the authenticity of sports memorabilia, especially autographs. Your best bet for trustworthiness is always going to be buying directly from driver, team, or league Web sites like NASCAR.com.
  • You can also find great apparel and memorabilia at the official sites of your favorite racing car companies, like Ferrari, Renault, or McLaren, for example.

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