KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The cars and stars of the American Sprint Car Series and the Dixie Outlaw Sprint Car Series will co-sanction Outlaw Sprint Car action this Saturday night at Atomic Speedway. Outlaw Sprint Cars on Atomic...
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The cars and stars of the American Sprint Car Series and the Dixie Outlaw Sprint Car Series will co-sanction Outlaw Sprint Car action this Saturday night at Atomic Speedway.
Outlaw Sprint Cars on Atomic Speedway mean record speeds. Last year, Joey Saldana of Brownsburg, IN turned in an official time at Atomic Speedway of 9.990 seconds to set a world's record for a 1/3-mile clay oval.
These single seat open-wheel race cars are designed for speed. They weigh 1,200 pounds, and are powered by 800-horsepower fuel-injected, methanol burning V-8 engines. The Outlaw Sprint Car's weight per horsepower ratio is the highest of any short track racing car in the world.
The cars are very simple. The engine is in the front, and the driver sits directly behind it with the drive shaft going between the driver's legs. There is no clutch, no transmission, and no flywheel between the engine and the rear wheels that propel the race car. It's a direct drive that has to be pushed to be started. There is only one gear, and that's go!
Behind the driver is the rear-end and axle assembly. The fuel tank sits on top of the rear-end assembly. A huge factor that make the race cars fast and safe sits above the driver's head on top of the roll cage.
Newton's laws of motion tell us that a car this powerful would fly out of the race track if one tried to drive it through the turns without lifting. Sir Issac will be proved wrong this Saturday night at Atomic Speedway by aerodynamics because these daring drivers will drive around Atomic Speedway without even bothering to lift off the throttle for the turns!
A large wing on top of the race car uses air to push the race car down on the clay surface. This down force gives the rear wheels tremendous traction. It also fools the laws of gravity. When we turn left sharply in our passenger cars, the laws of gravity make the car lean to the right. With an Outlaw Sprint Car, the air pushes on the side of the wing, and makes the car lean to the left!
Powerful Outlaw Sprint Cars with open wheels and a relatively short wheel base can get upside-down rather easily. The wing also serves as a cushion to absorb impact should a driver get one of these cars "on his head."
Leading Saturday night's entry list are defending ASCS Champion Terry Gray of Memphis, TN, defending ASCS Atomic Speedway Southern Nationals Champion Gary Lee Meier of Dodge City, KS, Tommy Estes Jr., of Ada, OK, and Darryl Pittman of Broken Arrow, OK. North Carolina drivers Mike Hudson and Bill Wilburn lead the DOSS contingent.
If the track conditions are as good as they were last Saturday night at Atomic Speedway, the Outlaw Sprint Cars could set a new world's record this Saturday night. Last week's Late Model fast qualifier Patrick Duggan turned in a time of 11.79 seconds in a car that weighs twice as much with two-thirds the horsepower of an Outlaw Sprint Car.
Along with the Outlaw Sprint Cars, the Atomic Speedway Late Models will be in action, along with the Pure Minis and Pure Street Bombers.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with racing scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $20 for pit passes and V.I.P. seating, $15 for reserved seats, $12 for adult general admission, $3 for children 6-12 general admission, and children under six are admitted free. Atomic Speedway is located just west of Knoxville at I-40 and U.S. Highway 321. The race day information line is (423) 986-3589.