Put together oval racing, road racing, and demolition derby and you have Figure 8 racing. The sport began way back in the late 1940s, just right after the Second World War. At the time, the tracks that were used overpass systems just to make sure that the race cars will not cross each other’s tracks and paths. The famous Indianapolis Speedrome was the first ever location of such races (and the first ever speedrome in Indy), as history tells us. Its track ran a good 1/5 mile in length. Consequently, the Indianapolis Speedrome is also the oldest of all the tracks in the world or Figure 8 racing in the United States. Since then, the location has been hosting the yearly “World Figure 8” races. This event is more popularly called as the world championship event. One of the more interesting races ever held was the three-hour world championship race back in 1977, which is up to this day a very famous point in the history of all racing.
Because of the tremendous publicity that the racing hype stirred up at the time, it has been a regularly televised event, particularly in the show “Wide World of Sports” from the ABC network, particularly during races held at New York’s Islip Speedway. This publicity was the brainchild of a certain Larry Mendelsohn who thought of an idea to bring racers from different areas together for a grand event. The winner emerges as a racing hero in the world championship. The idea generated a great deal of buzz from the racing fans and enthusiasts that the network ABC bought it and televised the events. The Islip Speedway held its first ever Figure 8 race on August 11, 1962.
In more contemporary times, a revolutionary event was formed. On July 2008, Charlie Hargraves and David Sink came together and started the now renowned International Outlaw Figure 8 Series (IOFS). The event gives many opportunities to racers from different place origins to come and compete against the best ones from different places. Different venues keep the competition fresh and exciting. Through the years, the IOFS has been able to produce new fans from the by-passers and spectators because of the use of various racing venues every time.
A notable icon in Figure 8 racing is Roger Maynor, son of a racer as well. After the death of his father, Ernie “The Wrench” Maynor, Roger’s determination has not waved. He currently holds the record of having the highest number of wins in any division on the Long Island tracks. He has 8 Figure 8 titles. Roger Maynor usually drives his No. 28 old-style race car (his father drove No. 82).
At present, there are numerous speedways and race tracks not only in the United States but all throughout the globe. Figure 8 racing is an exciting sport because of the twist and most of all, the higher risk of danger that comes with it. The sport keeps fans standing up on benches especially during the last minutes of every race. At present, the sport attracts a huge following and holds many events all over the world.