What are the Most Popular Types of Professional Car Racing?

What are the Most Popular Types of Professional Car Racing?

When it comes to the topics of cars and racing, there exists an interesting relationship, one that can be different for every single person. Motocross has become a dominant force of weekend activities. Passions flare. Traditions are passed down from generation to generation.  It has become an obsession.

Why are people so obsessed with car racing? What is that about? Well, there are lots of us who, as racing fans, develop unreasonably strong feelings of love for our favorite drivers. They bring us so much joy when they win! For those who are just getting into the sport, it’s time to pick a team, pick a driver, pick a racing style to obsess over. Who even knew there were so many different types of professional car racing to invest in?

Go Fast Girls (GFG) takes you behind-the-scenes. Jump in.

Top Types of Professional Car Racing

Stock Car

How can we describe stock car racing — well just one word — NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). America’s fan-favorite of motor racing took off in 1948, but its origins back to the 1920s. During the prohibition era, moonshine sprinters needed a way to outrun the cops. Modifications were made to their cars to move the moonshine without getting caught. This type of engineering soon became a competition, with drivers entering their modified rides in national races — which is now known as NASCAR. Race cars are built from the ground up as pure racing beasts to compete lap for lap until they reach the checkered flag. The three series under the NASCAR banner are:

  1. Sprint Cup Series
  2. Nationwide Series
  3. Camping World Truck Series

Some of the big names in NASCAR these days are Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson. Attending a NASCAR race is an experience like no other. The bright lights, the sounds of the engines and the screaming fans, the lingering smell of brake dust. It’s truly an honor to feel the rumble in your seat.


Open-wheel racing, including Formula One (F1) and IndyCar features vehicles with exposed wheels (no faring covers). Though the vehicles competing in F1 and IndyCar look similar at first glance, they are governed by very different rules and compete on different tracks.

Professional open-wheel racing also features Karting — a popular form of amateur open-wheel racing.

Sports Car

Sports car racing is the second most globally popular form of professional motorsport. Races run between 2.5 and 24 hours, in both fair weather and dreadful conditions. Long-standing competitions include the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Nurburgring, and 24 Hours at Daytona. Races test the durability of the cars, the skill of the drivers, the ingenuity of the engineers, and the speed of the pit crews.

Most performance vehicle manufacturers compete at the GT (Grand Touring) level. GT racing is split into GTE Pro and GTE Am.

Touring Car

Touring car racing depends on heavily modified road cars, contact between vehicles is common and minimal aerodynamics mean there are numerous position battles.

The most common Touring car series include World Touring Car Cup (WTCC), British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), and Supercars Championship (SC).


Rallying takes place year-round on snow, ice, gravel, dirt, mud, sand, and any combination of these terrains. Rallying isn’t purely conducted off-road, but paved sections of each race are typically just connectors between off-road portions.

The premiere professional rally series is the World Rally Championship (WRC), which consists of 13 three-day events over the course of a year.


Drag racing comprises of two fast — almost impossibly fast cars — battling side by side down an eighth-mile or quarter-mile stretch of tarmac. A stoplight, or tree, cues the start of the race, descending from a red light, through a series of yellow lights, and ending at a green light. The moment the light turns green, the drivers hit the gas and accelerate towards the finish line. The first car to cross the threshold wins the race. In America, the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) regulates the vast majority of these races.

Sound interesting? Get in on the action. Learn the personalities, relationships, and rivalries. Find your speed. Go Fast Girls.


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