Looking for a hobby? Take up auto racing. As the world continues to evolve the sport of auto racing is seeing stagnate growth in recent years, in relation to the population growth in America. In the sixties and into the seventies auto racing flourished on small local tracks throughout America. Local ordinary people became weekend heroes as they strapped themselves into cars as a thrilling hobby on the weekends or even some nights during the week after a long day of work. Fans packed grandstands, usually at local county fair grounds to cheer on their favorites and boo others that they weren’t so fond of. So, what happened to this great local hobby?
It is still with us, alive and well, although on somewhat a smaller scale. The fan attendance for the most part isn’t what it used to be, but now more than ever the opportunity exists for the average person to climb aboard a high powered automobile and join the sport of auto racing as a hobby. You see, there is a shift taking place in local auto racing that is making it progressively easier than ever for a person not growing up around the sport to by the car and equipment and go racing. For years the barriers to entry were high mainly because of the lack of information and help to get newcomers started.
It used to be that if you wanted to get into racing you paid your dues, hung around for years and helped people out while learning the ins and outs. Many people had family members hand down information that aided their entry into the sport. Many early racers were mechanics or welders, and assembled their own cars in their garages at night or on weekends. They dug through junk yards looking for parts to put on their cars.
Now, within the last ten years, the amount of help available to new racers is growing every year. Now cars can be purchased at builders almost like going to a super market. All you need to do is go pick out the color and maybe choose some options. The same holds true with parts; just go in and buy them off the shelf on your way home from work. No more crawling through junk yards to find parts for your car.
If someone wanted to start out and just get their feet wet, there are many places they can rent a car by the race; just show up with your helmet and fire suit. Diving schools are more prevalent more than ever. Whether you want to drive on dirt or asphalt; race on an oval or road course; there is some type of racing school for everyone.
There are also different levels for every person’s budget that wants to take the wheel. There are showroom stock classes that are basically a stock production car with very few modifications, to full blown semi-professional race cars that are expensive and custom built. The old saying in racing still holds true. The faster you want to go the more expensive it is going to be.