- Go Karts
- Quarter Midgets
- USAC (Midgets)
- MC (Virginia Mini-Cup) VMCRA
- VA Sprints (Virginia Sprints Cars)
- B (Bandoleros) (INEX Sanctioned Division)
- LEG (INEX Legends) (INEX Sanctioned Division)
- MM (Mini-Modifieds)
- SS (Street Stock)
- SM (Sportsman)
- LM (Late Model)
A go-kart is a small tubular frame open wheel vehicle that typically uses small 2-stroke or 4-stroke gasoline powered engines. Racing karts are single seat vehicles that can reach speeds up to 160 mph but the typical dirt track kart usually reaches speeds ranging from 30 to 50 mph. Most karts are open and have no roll cage, but on many dirt tracks a cage is required due to the higher speeds being reached and the increased chance of a rollover or flip usually caused by close contact racing.
Karts are usually the entry level class at most tracks and people looking to get into the sport find this an economical way to test the waters before committing serious money on a true race car. Drivers can start racing karts as young as 7 or 8, however there are different classes divided between different age groups. During a typical Saturday night racing program the karts are usually the first class on the track and the races tend to be very short, anything ranging from 4 laps for a trophy dash to 20 laps for a feature event. One of two types of qualifying and race formats can be used. Some tracks use a racing format of two 10 lap heats followed by a 20 lap final. Finishing positions in the two heat races are used to calculate the starting position in the feature race. The other popular format is time qualifying. Karts equipped with transponders are sent out onto the track in groups of 5 or less to try to achieve the fastest lap time. Positions for the 20 lap feature event are determined by qualifying times.
Quarter Midgets are a popular class of entry level racing and the next step up from racing karts. A quarter midget is ¼ the size of a full midget sprint car. Drivers are usually restricted to the ages of 5 to 16 years old and there are upwards of 4,000 quarter midget racers in the United States.
Most quarter midgets can reach speeds of anywhere between 30 to 45 mph and this is considered safe due to the limited size of the tracks they compete on. Tracks are typically banked dirt ovals of 1/20th of a mile long. Although quarter midgets can run on larger tracks that run Saturday night programs this is not common and most quarter midget races are sanctioned by a local or regional sanctioning body that runs on tracks specifically built for quarter midget racing.
Midget cars (also speedcars in Australia) is a class of racing cars. The cars are very small with a very high power-to-weight ratio and typically use four cylinder engines. They originated in the United States in the 1930s and are raced on most continents.
MC (Virginia Mini-Cup) VMCRA
Virginia Mini Cup cars offer all the excitement of NASCAR racing in only half the scale. The cars themselves look a lot like NASCAR racecars but are the size of a Bandolero racecar. At some tracks, the Mini Cups run laps times comparable to those of the upper divisions. Just because these cars are small doesn’t mean they’re not fast. They’re fast, wide open and the racing often looks like what you’d expect from a NASCAR race at Daytona. These cars are a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun for the drivers to race.
VA Sprints (Virginia Sprints Cars)
Sprint cars are high-powered race cars designed primarily for the purpose of running on short oval or circular dirt or paved tracks. Winged sprint cars are simply put the fastest, highest horsepower and most dangerous race cars on dirt today. They are truly awesome machines and words cannot describe what it is like to see one in person. Although they can be seen throughout America, sprint car racing is the motor sport of the Midwest. The vast majority of sprint cars racing’s biggest events take place at tracks in this region.
B (Bandoleros) (INEX Sanctioned Division)
Bandolero car racing is a type of entry-level racing in the United States and Canada. Many bandolero car drivers move into Legends racing. Cars can reach in excess of 50 mph, but do not accelerate very quickly. The most wins in Bandolero race cars used to be held by Joey Logano but was broken in 2016 by Clay Thompson. The cars are built like miniature stock cars, with a tube frame and sheet metal cage. Drivers enter through the roof of the vehicle. Most drivers range from 8 to 14 years old, but older drivers can also race. The cars race on 1/4 mile, 3/8 mile and 4/10 mile ovals and also road courses and dirt tracks.
LEG (INEX Legends) (INEX Sanctioned Division)
Legends car racing is a style of race car, designed primarily to promote exciting racing and to keep costs down. The bodyshells are 5/8-scale replicas of American automobiles from the 1930s and 1940s, powered by a Yamaha motorcycle engine. The worldwide sanctioning body for legends car racing is INEX.
Legends Cars are an economical form of racing very similar to dwarf cars but with stricter rules and regulations and have fiberglass bodies. The bodies are 5/8-scale replicas of American automobiles from the 1930’s and 40’s and are powered by Yamaha motorcycle engines. The sanctioning body for Legends car racing is called INEX (INEXpensive racing). Legends are an offshoot of dwarf cars and are styled after vintage modified race cars that competed in the 1950’s and 60’s. They are common on both dirt and asphalt race tracks.
U-Car is an acronym for U Can Afford to Race and the division is intended for low budget racing excitement. U-Cars utilize a standard production front wheel drive car and chassis powered by a stock 4-cylinder engine, outfitted with racing safety equipment. Cars can be prepared for the racetrack for a few thousand dollars and are intended for the casual racer who wishes to experience racing action in a fun economical race car.
Mini-Modified cars are 4-cylinder rear wheel drive compact size cars that utilize performance and stock production parts, chassis, engines and tires. Mini- Modified cars are very competitive and require suspensions to be setup for the track much the same as a Late Model car. These popular cars are driven by both entry level and seasoned drivers and crews.
SS (Street Stock)
Street Stocks are a rough and tumble class of production based race cars. This class is the most numerous on the local dirt track due to the fact that few modifications are allowed and a car can be brought from a local junk yard and brought up to racing standards. A team has to simply strip the car of all unnecessary components and add a safety roll cage and go racing.
Street Stocks run under a strict set of rules that allow for only very few performance modifications, but with all safety devices added. These division are generally intended for novice and low-budget competitors.
Also known as super sportsman cars, limited late models, late model stocks or outlaw cadets; some of these models look just like dirt late models. A limited late model typically uses a small-block V-8 with a 5.7-liter engine. Most tracks have a displacement limit for a limited late model engine. Frames can also be a standard automotive type.
Sportsman are the next highest stock car class of racing at the local dirt track. Very similar in appearance to street stocks, sportsman allow more modifications to the engine and are capable of producing between 500 and 550 horsepower. Depending on track they can be called super stocks, sportsman, or limited late models. Super stocks have the same body rules as dirt late models and super late models with the main difference typically being maximum engine displacement size, certain required cylinder head angles, maximum compression ratios, and maximum carburetor size. Suspension rules typically forbid the use of expensive canister shocks. Tire choice is also limited to a spec tires usually produced by the Hoosier Tire.
Sportsman cars have a factory chassis – often from a mid 1970’s through mid ‘80’s Camaro or Firebird – and only a slightly modified engine. Aftermarket bodies are allowed, and many of these cars are nearly as detailed as a Late Model.
LM (Late Model) (Holtzman Oil Late Models)
Late Model stock cars have the same body rules as sportsman but have more stringent rules than the higher level super late models. Late Models are full size NASCAR Sprint Cup type cars with horsepower ratings of approximately 450 HP and are the feature division of both Dominion Raceway and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Late Models are driven and supported by experienced racecar drivers and teams.
Cars in the Late Model division have a highly sophisticated racing chassis and a powerful V-8 engine. Their fiberglass and aluminum bodies closely resemble a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Dodge Charger, or a short list of other American-made cars. These are the fastest machines that compete regularly at the speedway.