When people and popular media discuss mainstream sports, they typically don’t talk about motorsports. However, thousands of people continually watch these events to see the fastest cars and motorcycles compete.

If you’re interested in these races but don’t know where to begin, here are the most popular motorsports to follow—they all revolve around different rules, times, and speeds.

Stock Car

Stock car racing is popular in North America, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, and Brazil. Cars run on oval tracks roughly three miles long, and drivers circle around for 200 to 600 miles.

Stock car racers travel over 200 miles per hour on speedway tracks, with top-level cars producing up to 900 horsepower. It’s primarily known for its professional association, NASCAR.

Some of the most famous NASCAR speedways include the Daytona International Speedway and the Talladega Speedway.

The term “stock” refers to the car that has not be modified from its original factory composition. This is to distinguish it from a “race car,” which is custom built.

Superbike

Superbike racing is a form of motorcycle racing with some of the most recognizable races and brands. Its dangerous history led to a lot of changes and supervisions, from wooden tracks to road surfaces.

Superbike racing is a road course race where riders ride on tracks of different lengths and curvatures to see who will be the fastest. All superbikes must have a four-stroke engine between 850 to 1200 cc for twin engines and 750 to 1000 cc for four-cylinder engines.

The top races are the AMA Superbike Championships and the MotoGP. Aside from the U.S., there are Superbike races in Britain, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, and Nigeria.

Open-Wheel

As the name implies, single-seater open-wheel vehicles define this type of racing. An open-wheel design means the wheels are on the outside of the car’s body. In other words, unlike other cars—racing or street—there are no fenders covering the wheels.

An open-wheel car can reach speeds around 220 miles per hour due to its unique aerodynamic drag at high speeds as well as its lightweight, powerful engine. Their high travel rate and open cockpit make crashes and accidents more dangerous than stock car or other races.

Some signature open-wheel races include the Formula One, Formula 2, Formula E, and Indy 500.

Endurance

Endurance racing is a type of sports-car racing where drivers race for long periods of time to test the durability of their vehicles. Race events can last up to six, 12, or 24 hours and only require one to four drivers.

Endurance racing gained popularity with its signature Triple Crown award. To achieve this honor, a driver must win three of the most challenging races: the 14 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Some other famous endurance races include the FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and European Le Mans Series. There are motorcycle and motorboat endurance races as well.

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