NASCAR has become synonymous with racing in America, but there's much more to motorsport in the US of A than stock cars going head-to-head. There are newer offerings, like Lucas Oil Off Road Racing where fans can watch UTVs and V8 trucks battle it out on dirt, or the established Formula D, which was founded in 2003 and showcases high-horsepower machines sliding around racetracks across the nation. Here are three lesser-known series to keep your eye on, and how to watch them.
Short for Formula Drift, everyone's favorite sideways-sliding spectacle was brought to America almost two decades ago after having been popular in Japan — where it continues to wow fans. Rather than trying to cross the finish line before your opponent, points are awarded for maintaining an ideal drift line (as stipulated by the judges), how extreme and controlled the steering and slip angle is while navigating that line, and overall style.
In terms of cars, think modified big-output rear-wheel drive examples both domestic and imported. This season ranges from a 2JZ-GTE-swapped (turbocharged MkIV Toyota Supra engine) Japanese-spec Toyota 86 to a wide body BMW 2 Series running a 6.2-litre LS V8 mill from a Chevrolet Corvette.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing
Established in 2009 courtesy of Lucas Oil Products founder Forrest Lucas, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing (LOORR) was born following the dissolution of Championship Off Road Racing a year prior. Owned and operated by the eponymous company, it is now the premiere short-course off-road series in the western U.S. and has even expanded to Mexico.
There are currently nine classes dirt racing under LOORR, including the following:
Pro 2: Two-wheel drive full-size race trucks built on a standardized chassis with 700-plus horsepower, no RPM restrictions, and a 4,200-pound minimum weight.
Pro Buggy: Open wheel buggies running engines no larger than 2000cc and a maximum of 210 horsepower.
Production 1000 UTV: Stock 1000cc two-seat utility terrain vehicles (UTV, also known as a side-by-side i.e. Polaris RZR and Artic Cat) with horsepower ranging between 80 and 110.
An internationally sanctioned professional motorcycle road racing series, MotoAmerica has a simple goal: To “reinvigorate motorcycle racing in North America, reintroducing the most exhilarating motorsport in history to fans while grooming a new generation of American and international racers for the world stage".
It does so through competition featuring classes such as Twins Cup where middleweight 600cc to 800c four-stroke, two-cylinder motorcycles battle it out, all the way up to the premier HONOS Superbike class, which is made up of top-of-the-line, highly modified bikes with a max 1200cc displacement that are capable of approaching 200 miles per hour.
Which one of the above will you check out first? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to add in any of your own favorite racing series we've missed!