Popular Types of Racing

For as long as there have been cars, there has been auto racing, and since the very first race the sport has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. As cars have improved and evolved, the sport has grown into a number of varieties, many as dramatically different from the next. Each has different rules, different goals, and different methods of getting there, but most have one thing in common: getting across the finish line first. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of auto racing and discuss some of the differences between them.

Stock Car Racing

This has become the most popular type of auto racing in the United States. The biggest series, known as the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, or NASCAR, draws an average of well over 100,000 spectators to every major race, and millions more watching on television. Modern stock car races tend to be longer-distance events, sometimes going as many as 500 laps around a track that is most often in some form of an oval shape (though not always).

Stock cars draw their name from their roots: the original stock car races were run using the same cars you could go to the dealer and purchase off the showroom floor. While most modern stock cars share almost no similarities with their production-line counterparts, the spirit of the original longer-distance oval-track format still lives on in many of these cars.

Drag Racing

Drag racing, unlike stock cars, is competed by vehicles running on a wide variety of fuels, chassis, and engine powers, and designs. Also unlike most stock car races, these races are super short: a quarter-mile in length. Top fuel dragsters, the fastest class raced in the U.S., can cover the entire track in less than four seconds, and frequently hit speeds well in excess of 300 miles per hour with engines that pack a punch of more than 10,000 horsepower.

Rally Racing

Rally racing is generally more popular in Europe, but is growing rapidly in the United States due to its high intensity, lots of contact, and extremely skilled drivers travelling at high speeds in very lightweight cars. Rally racing is traditionally done on a course made either entirely or partially of dirt, allowing cars to drift through corners while kicking up big rooster tails, and even catch air over jumps along the course. In Europe, rally races are typically point-to-point races through hills or across countrysides. However, in the United States, rally racing is making headway in Red Bull’s Global Rallycross series, which is a short race of about six laps around a part-dirt, part-asphalt track that’s just a couple miles in length. MB2 Raceway’s own Christian Brooks competes in the Lites division of this series.


Autocross is a type of racing that a lot of regular car owners will participate in. Autocross tracks are usually created out of cones on a flat asphalt surface, like a large parking lot or an airport runway, and are a time-attack style race, where only one driver is on the course at a time. These courses are usually very tight, technical, and place a lot of emphasis on driver skill and car handling over power and outright speed. This allows cars with a wide variety of specifications to compete against each other head to head on a relatively-level playing field.

Open-Wheel Racing

Open wheel racing is a high-speed, high-action style of racing that makes up some of the biggest racing series’ in the world. Open-wheel racing vehicles are any cars where the tires are exposed to the open air and unprotected, which can offer extremely high aerodynamic and handling advantages. Two of the biggest series are the Indy Car Series, and Formula 1. While the Indy Car Series races on a wide variety of courses in North America, including both ovals and road courses, Formula 1 is strictly road course tracks and travels all around the world during their season. It is not uncommon to see these cars reach speeds in excess of 220-230 miles per hour at their fastest points. Go-Karts, like the ones you will race at MB2 Raceway, are open-wheel racing cars, with exceptional handling, agility, and high speeds.

If you have the need for speed, head to your local MB2 Raceway for a thrilling race experience in an arrive-and-drive format. Hit the course in one of our European-style fully-electric go karts and race your friends or go for the fastest lap time around our twisting and turning San Fernando Valley indoor karting center track.

Call MB2 Raceway at (866) 986-RACE or head to any one of our five locations today.