Oval Track Racing

There are many different types of races that make up the general racing sport. Each of them has their own demands for the environment that they perform in. One such environment is the oval track.

What is the Oval Track?

The oval track is a form of speedway that is used in various types of auto races. It is a popular sport that is supported by many participants, media and spectators.

Oval Track Compared to Road Course

There are some major differences between the oval track Speedway and a road course. With the oval track, the shape of it as the name implies is oval having only a one direction turn which is usually to the left. Although they carry the name of being oval, some tracks that fall into this category are not perfectly oval.

When it comes to auto racing, the track itself dictates a lot of the techniques that must be used in a particular race. There are differences between a road racing and oval track racing such as with racing on an oval track means:

  • Drivers do not have to shift as much in oval racing
  • Brakes are not used as often
  • There are not as many radial turns

Weather Conditions

Wet weather often affects these two types of tracks differently. For those that are using a road racing Speedway, the cars can make use of rain tires. Oval tracks, if they are paved, do not have a wet track surface.


The oval track speedways usually have retaining walls made of concrete that help to keep the fans safe. With a road racing Speedway, there are several runoff areas and barriers of tires or gravel that lend to the safety.

Oval Track Racing Categories

The types of races that are run on the oval track Speedway include:

  • Stock-car racing
  • Open wheel racing
  • Sprint car racing
  • Modified car racing
  • Midget car racing
  • Dirt track motorcycle racing

Types of Oval Tracks

There are different versions of oval tracks that fall into classification. These include:

  • Short track: Which usually is less than 1 mile in length with a lot of them being about a ½ mile. Those that are first entering into oval track driving will do so by starting on this particular track.
  • Mile oval: This is a 1-mile oval track that can come with some small variations. In a lot of cases, these tracks are flat banked.
  • Intermediate: Most often these tracks are referred to as the Speedway. The courses can vary in length from 1 to 2 miles, but normally when called Speedway the track will be about 1.5 miles. Races run on this particular track are most exciting because of the high speed and sight lines that they allow for.
  • Superspeedway: The length of this particular track is at a minimum of 2 miles. A good example of this type of speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as the Daytona International Speedway.

Each classification of track allows for its own racing excitement.

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