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.
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.
- 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.
For general auto racing history...
The National Museum of American History
, part of the Smithsonian Institution, presents its "America on the Move" exhibit online. The exhibit is a great place to begin learning about the history of American auto racing. The site consists of drawings and photos to accompany the history, starting with the birth of racing in Europe and continuing to the present day, when there are races involving fuel-efficient vehicles.
For Formula 1 history ...
Grand Prix History
is part of The Motorsports Publishing Group. The general Grand Prix history section details the formation of auto racing and particularly GP racing in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand manner. The site lists 26 Grand Prix Hall of Famers, each with a concise history and numerous photos.
The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing
is a unique site in that it specializes in the history of GP racing from 1934 to 1939, the years when Mercedes-Benz was in fierce competition with Auto Union. The site is a bit disorganized but it contains troves of very interesting information that you probably won't find anywhere else. However, all of the information may not be 100 percent accurate (as the foreword by Doug Nye warns), so be careful with your analysis of the details.
Formula One Art & Genius
contains an impressive account of the history of Formula 1 racing. The information is well organized in sections for "The Early Years," "The British Era," a "Grooves and the New Legends" section, and more. Plenty of photographs help to round out the information.
For NASCAR and Indy Car history ...
provides a great history of stock car racing as well as NASCAR. There's a decade-by-decade recount of stock car history, a section dedicated to great races, a year-by-year compilation of articles for the Daytona 500, an assemblage of passages on the 50 greatest drivers, a section on past champions, and a feature on the evolution of the stock car.
has a good, concise history of NASCAR beginning with the foundation of the sport around World War II and continuing through the Dale Earnhardt era. The site's goal is to create a community for female NASCAR fans throughout the country, but this history is quite useful for fans of any gender.
The Indianapolis Star
offers this interesting and helpful history of the Indianapolis 500. The site describes the origins of the track and its decline during the Depression and World War II, feuds, famous families, and bios. There is even a list of deaths at the racetrack, including racers, mechanics, and spectators.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
For auto racing in general ...
Auto Racing Daily
is a comprehensive source of news for most aspects of auto racing with sections devoted to NASCAR, F1, NHRA, IHRA, drag racing, and more. The site is loaded with vivid photographs and thorough news articles. There's also a list of the most clicked-on and the most commented-on articles.
has all the news you need for the sport of auto racing. The easily navigable site presents up-to-date news on the auto racing industry and devotes equal coverage to the different forms of auto racing.
is chock full of information on every form of auto racing, including a section on rumors, forums, and the latest news. You can also read a number of columnists. The site does require you to pay for a subscription, which comes out to $34.95 for a year. As a result, you will not be troubled by pop-ups.
For Formula 1 ...
is an optimal site for all F1 racing news and updates. Formerly called Formula 1 Foreign Report, it won the 1996 International Automotive Media Award for the best newsletter related to the automotive industry. The site has an extensive selection of F1 news, features, photographs and a "GP Encyclopedia" that's quite helpful if you know what you are looking for.
is a great site for news on Formula 1 racing. The online magazine is a product of the Netherlands and is available in nine languages. Scroll down the homepage for a quick look at team and driver standings.
is the largest commercial television network in the United Kingdom. Their Formula 1 site will also serve any of your F1 news needs. Sponsored by Honda, the site has a large selection of news and features, plus photographs and a section for forums. Their newsletter contains on- and off-track F1 news on the most recent races to keep you up to date on fast-breaking race developments.
is a blog written by Formula 1 enthusiasts from the United Kingdom. The writers are quite knowledgeable about the sport, and the blog is easy to follow and well done. A photograph accompanies each post.
For NASCAR ...
offers up-to-date NASCAR coverage. The bottom of the homepage posts constantly updated standings for the Nextel Cup, Busch Series, and Craftsman Series. You can find the latest news and press releases on this site, in addition to links to articles from partner sites such as NASCAR.com, USAToday.com, and Sportsline.com.
focuses the majority of its extensive coverage on NASCAR but there is information on other auto racing as well. The site has recent news, columns, blogs, Q&A, and forums. There are two other helpful sections: one lists every NASCAR driver, along with short bios and relevant articles; the other lists the tracks and races, with articles and information about each one.
The NASCAR FanHouse
is a great blog for NASCAR fans. Part of the AOL Sports FanHouse series, it is easy to read and filled with photographs and videos.
specializes in NASCAR but occasionally touches upon other issues, such as the death of legendary NFL coach Bill Walsh, for example. According to one quote on the site, "Every negative stereotype ever made about fans of NASCAR or the Oakland A's and Raiders is proven wrong by the Dude's classy and perceptive analysis on the topics he cares about."
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.
- 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?"
For Formula 1 stats ...
The Formula One DataBase
is a great source for Formula 1 statistical information past and present. One of the more helpful features is the "Graphs" section where you can see visual comparisons for certain statistics, including the number of championships per nationality.
All Formula One Info
prides itself on its slogan: "No News, No Rumours, Only Statistics." So if you're looking only for statistics, this site won't disappoint, as it includes information going back to 1950 and is easy to navigate.
gives you any information you need about drivers, teams, engine suppliers, tire manufacturers, lubricant manufacturers, race entrants, and car numbers since 1950. Note that the site is not well designed, and it may be slightly uneasy on the eyes.
For NASCAR stats ...
The Inside Groove
is loaded with NASCAR statistics, both past and present. The site has about 700 graphs and is better organized than most statistics sites.
is a great site for any information related to NASCAR, but one of the areas where it excels is statistics. Simply scroll down to the "Statistics" section on the left side of the homepage to access such stats as all-time wins and all-time poles.
can give you what you want if you are looking for NASCAR statistics. The design of the site is fairly plain but the information is all there. You can also access news and links to other NASCAR sites.
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.
- 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.
For NASCAR ...
is your best bet for fantasy NASCAR racing with six different games from which you can choose. Assemble a team, make trades and hold drafts throughout the season, or work under salary cap constraints.
fantasy NASCAR offering is extensive. You have the typical option of forming a team of drivers, plus mini-games like "Stock Car Challenge" and "Driver Pick 'Em." The site also features fantasy commentators and columnists, as well as all the statistical information you need for your managing experience.
presents a popular version of fantasy auto racing for free. Manage five Nextel Cup drivers and spend up to $1 million to pick them. Win weekly race prizes and season prizes based on your drivers' standings.
For Formula 1 ...
Fantasy League Formula 1
is a great site for all your F1 fantasy desires. You will have to pay £10 (roughly $20) to enter the league, as there are £20,000 (about $40,000) worth of prizes. You will have a budget of £60 million with which to choose a team of six drivers and one constructor. There are also private leagues where you can "Challenge a Mate."
Yahoo's Fantasy Grand Prix
game lets you pick a team of three drivers, and provides you with graphs and tables so you can better understand how to manage your team. You can compete with friends or other fantasy players worldwide.
is a free U.K.-based fantasy racing site that offers a chance to win prizes. Pick three teams and five drivers, and you even get to predict who you think will have a bad day.
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.
- 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.
For finding racing schools ...
provides you with a brief overview of what to look for in a racing school and how to search for a good one. This article also compiles a helpful list of driving schools that should fulfill whatever type of driving experience you are looking for. There are insightful descriptions for each racing school they mention, as well as a phone number and a link to the Web sites.
is a handy (and well-organized) place to search for a racing school. If you click "Search Options" under the "Search" link at the top of the page, you can search for all the different types of auto racing: stock cars, Formula 1, Porches, Indy cars, sports cars, karting, and many more (yes, even aerial combat schools). Each listing includes the school's location and a brief description.
provides links to international and U.S. schools for "auto racing, rally driving, motorcycles, motocross, drag racing, performance driving, karting, go carts, indoor karting centers, watercrafts, powerboats, snowmobiles, ice racing, aviation schools," and more. There are brief descriptions for each school and a link to that school's Web site.
For racecar driving tips ...
NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway's
official site is very helpful. It contains driving tips for beginners and those who do not know how to use a manual transmission, as well as advanced tips for more competitive racing. The site also has a section describing some of the tracks and league rules and regulations.
Stock Car Racing
includes enough racing tips to help you whether you are just starting or you have been stock car racing for some time. There are tips on how to begin stock car racing on a budget, 12 tips for a safer race shop, and even suggestions on preventing shrapnel explosions. The advertisements can be pesky, though.
takes you through the basics of drag racing. This section of the site is concise and has some helpful photographs and short racing videos to get you inspired.
offers thorough explanations for auto racing maintenance as well as some general tips. This site teaches you how to fix a damaged Mallory HEI distributor, how a team should communicate when racing, and how to install a Quick Steer, for example.
To find organizations ...
The World Karting Association
is the premier organization for the sport of karting. Karting is where many professional racecar drivers began their careers, and karting is one of the few venues where kids can break into the sport. The site contains all the information on their tournaments, though it is lacking when it comes to explaining how you can start racing when you are young.
is a very helpful site if you are looking to start out in the sport. Unlike the previous site, this one focuses on learning karting and where to buy karts and supplies. Once you're ready to race, there is an interactive map where you can find nearby tracks.
explains, sometimes quite technically, the science behind auto racing. You will learn about "picking the right headers" and "horsepower loss" among other things.
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.
- 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.
For equipment ...
sells racing equipment with an eye for safety: helmets, suits, gloves, underwear, and more, from many of the top manufacturers in the industry. The site is very easy to navigate with photos of each item making it a snap to find what you're looking for.
Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies
lets you easily order your racing equipment online. You can search by category, part number, or keyword, and the site now has real-time stock status.
prides itself on the safety of its equipment and apparel. Perhaps one of the better features of this site is the "Sizing Charts" section. You can find your measurements in racing suits, gloves, shoes, helmets, and seats for the different brands.
focuses on safety with products arranged in categories like "Driver," "Car," "Garage," and "Karting." They feature measurements for the different brands and great deals in the "Warehouse Closeouts" section. There's also a physical showroom and warehouse in Virginia.
For memorabilia ...
L'art et l'automobile
, despite what its name may suggest, is located in Texas. The store is stocked with a large selection of racing and auto memorabilia varied enough to include watches, teapots, trophies, and autographed racing suits. Well organized and easy to navigate, the site has a collection of vintage posters and carries items from the 1890s to the present.
Freck's Auto Art, Inc.
specializes in vibrant photographs and prints of your favorite racers. You can also find original paintings and autographed photos here.
The Motorsport Collector
has a wide variety of racing memorabilia that includes model cars, prints, books, and more. The site has clear photographs of the items so you know what you are getting, and hosts road shows throughout the year so you can buy in person.
allows you to buy, sell, and trade new and used racecars, from drag strip cars and pro street cars to racing go-karts and muscle cars. There are photographs available for each car.
Auto Racing Trader
is a venue for people to buy and sell racecars and car parts. The site was originally meant to provide a place for race teams entering and exiting the sport to exchange cars and supplies, but it is now open to the general public. There is a brief description and photograph for each vehicle, and it is easy to find your way around the site.
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