Driving Today

Have Car, Will Race

New racing series sets sights on providing track access to the average driver.

Do you own a street-legal car? Do you have $50, a valid driver’s license and the ability to strap on a Snell-approved helmet? Well, if you do, you can go racing. The American All Track Racing Series doesn’t just have a name that resembles that of the insurance company Walter Neff represented in the classic noir movie Double Indemnity; it also claims to be the first-ever racing series created specifically for the everyday driver who may dream of turning a wheel on a racetrack, but never has. It was designed from the beginning to attract race enthusiasts with little or no track experience, and over time, it plans to offer racing opportunities in a wide variety of motorsports disciplines that could include drag racing, road racing, stock car racing and drifting. But for its initial season, it will concentrate on drag racing, and its organizers say it will offer a cash prize of up to $50,000.

Compared with virtually any other racing series, the price of entry is very low. Membership is open to all who have a state-registered and street-legal car, insurance, a valid driver’s license, Department of Transportation-approved tires, and a Snell-approved safety helmet. The membership fee is $50 for two years, which should keep out the riffraff.

“The whole concept behind the American All Track Racing Series is to make racing accessible to everyone, no matter your experience level on the track,” says Chris Waters, the founder of the series. “There are millions of race fans and enthusiasts, but only a small fraction can participate because it’s expensive to compete. I don’t believe that racing should be exclusive to those with five cars and million-dollar budgets. With AATRS, we want to reignite racing by taking it back to the time when cars were taken off the showroom floor and raced.”

The first of the drag racing series is set to debut on May 20 to May 22 at the Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa, Okla. After the initial event, the series will travel to some other interesting venues, including Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster, N.Y.; US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo.; Mid America Motorplex in Pacific Junction, Iowa; Southwestern International Dragway in Tucson, Ariz.; and Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va. While this year’s schedule will consist solely of drag races, the other four series are slated for launch in 2012. Some sponsors have already climbed on the bandwagon, including Ross Racing Pistons, BimmerWorld, Team Mad Customs, KT Pro Tools and Oddy’s Automotive.



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