Dirt Track Auto Racing, 1919-1941: A Pictorial History
Publish Date: 2004-01-23
Author: Don Radbruch
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Prior to World War I, auto racing featured expensive machines and teams financed by auto factories. The teams toured the country, and most of the races were held in large cities, so the vast majority of Americans never saw a race. All this changed after World War I, though, and in the 1920s and 1930s there were approximately 1,000 dirt tracks in the United States and Canada. The dirt tracks offered small-time racinglittle prize money and minimal publicitybut people loved it.
This pictorial history documents dirt track racing, with what is today called sprint cars, around the United States from 1919 to 1941. Information on dirt track racing in Canada during this time is also provided. Regionally divided chapters detail the drivers, tracks, and specific races of each area of the country. Some of the drivers went on to win fame and fortune while others faded into obscurity. Tracks included well known facilities as well as out-of-the-way sites few people had ever heard of. The cars ranged from state of the art machines to the more common home built specials based on Model T or Model A Ford parts. Taken together, the drivers, tracks, and races of this era were instrumental in making auto racing the popular sport it is today.