In North American auto racing, particularly with regard to NASCAR, a short track is a racetrack of less than one mile (1.6km) in length. Short track racing, often associated with fairgrounds and similar venues, is where stock car racing first got off of the back roads and into organized and regulated competition. Many traditional fans and purists still see short track racing as the "real" NASCAR, because the lower speeds make "paint swapping", where the bodies of the cars actually rub against one another, practical without a very high likelihood of serious accidents. In fact, NASCAR sanctions such "club" racing, offering the Whelen All-American Series as a national championship for the drivers, and an invitational race for club racers, the Toyota All-Star Showdown, a 150-lap race featuring the common Super Late Models with NASCAR-established rules. In 2007, NASCAR is increasing marketing of the short tracks with the "NASCAR Home Tracks" campaign, with Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, and Carl Edwards featured in advertising to market short track racing. In some cases a NEXTEL Cup star or two will race in a weekly short-track event held usually on a short track near that week's race, or in a midweek special, such as the Slinger Nationals at Wisconsin's Slinger Super Speedway, a quarter-mile track (but is not NASCAR-sanctioned).
Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. all own short tracks, most of them being dirt. Stewart owns the Eldora Speedway, which features Nextel Cup stars and other nationally recognised drivers in the "Prelude to the Dream" dirt late model race. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a partner in the Paducah (Kentucky) International Speedway.
In recent years, there has been a gradual push away from short track venues for Nextel Cup (the highest level of NASCAR) in favor of longer tracks. This is due to larger venues having accommodations for more fans (although the short track in Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol Motor Speedway, now has over 160,000 seats) and higher speeds.
The description on this page is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Short Track Motor Racing".