Hard to believe it's been nearly 20 years since the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) ran exciting, wheel to wheel stock car races on short tracks around Indiana. This series was distinct from and should not be confused with today's southeastern CARS series that descended from the old Hooters ProCup series.
In the spring of 1922, Alton Hartley was a college student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He and a friend decided they wanted to attend the 10th International 500 Mile Sweepstakes, as the race was then known, on Tuesday, May 30.
Qualifying for an Indycar race is no longer considered an accomplishment of any value in the auto racing world. Of course, qualifying well is still valued. But qualifying itself is not, because every team that shows up automatically makes the race.
“No Trespassing” signs were everywhere. I had taken a wonderful 90-minute ride on my Triumph Bonneville to see the old race track and I didn't want to go home empty-handed. It took half an hour to find someone who assured me that I could take a few quick photos of the former Armscamp Speedway in Alexandria, Indiana.
It was early 2015 when the World Endurance Championships (WEC) got rid of them, and Formula 1 may be next. Director Ross Brawn of Liberty Media, the new controlling group of Formula 1, recently said that the tradition of grid girls is being reconsidered.
The past few years have brought every gimmick imaginable to auto racing. NASCAR holds races that three people can win. The ever-changing playoff system (a gimmick in itself) functions like an automotive version of musical chairs.
NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series is in trouble because competitive engine packages are too expensive. Teams are losing money and closing up shop. NASCAR's response is to consider a spec engine. Wrong thinking.
My karting career began by paying $5 for 10 minutes of track time in a five-horsepower, 25 miles-per-hour fun kart at tiny, tourist-driven venues during our family vacations. We stopped at go kart tracks from Virginia to Utah. Any track, anytime. It wasn't real racing, but it was the only racing I had.