Dirt track racing in Australia has a history dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Most oval track speedways are similar to those in the US for car racing such as sprint cars, speedcars (midgets) and sedans, with most tracks generally around ¼ mile (402 m) to ⅓ mile (536 m) in length. Most tracks have a clay surface, though some use dolomite, dolomite and clay mix or even sand and clay mix. During the 1970s and early 1980s, a small number of tracks were paved with asphalt, though this phase only lasted about a decade and all tracks paved over eventually reverted to their former surfaces.
A typical dirt track “street stock” car racing in Wisconsin, USA
Each racetrack or sponsoring organization a rule book outlining each class of race car which includes dimensions, engine size, equipment requirements and prohibitions. The requirements for each class are usually coordinated with multiple tracks to allow for the widest available venue for each type of car. This coordination allows the drivers to compete at many different racetracks, increase competitors’ chances of winning, and lets racing associations develop a series of race events that promote fan interest.
Many tracks support two types of racing in their programs, open wheel cars and stock cars. Both types range from large and powerful V8 engines to small yet still powerful, four-cylinder engines. Some of the smaller open wheel race cars have classes for single-cylinder engines. Depending on the class, the cars may have wings to aid in handling at higher speeds.