Big rig racing has been a popular form of motorsport for many years. However, since then it has gone somewhat under the radar.
Have you ever wondered if semi truck racing still exists? Perhaps now that you understand semi trucks more intricately it has become more interesting to you.
Read on to find out all there is to know about semi truck racing.
Here’s a short summary as to Whether Semi Trucks Still Race:
Semi truck racing has been popular since the 1980s and remains popular to this day. There are different types of semi truck racing, from oval to circuit and even drag racing. Racing semi trucks have been heavily modified, however major parts must remain the same as their road-worthy counterparts.
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Is Semi Truck Racing a Real Thing?
Semi truck racing is a real thing, and it remains popular to this day. The roots of semi truck racing can be traced back to Europe in the 1980s.
It has a very niche fanbase, however, there are many forms of racing when it comes to semi trucks.
Firstly there is semi truck drag racing. Much like standard drag racing, two semi trucks will go head to head to see which is faster over a quarter-mile distance.
Semi trucks are also raced against one another on race tracks. This is slightly less common, and it requires a lot of modifications to be done to the semi trucks.
Even more outrageously, you can find some semi truck rally events. Much like cars would do an off-road rally stage, some semi trucks are also able to compete in these events.
Furthermore there are other forms of competition such as tug of war, racing uphill with a fully loaded trailer, and much more.
Do they Still Race Semi Trucks or Big Rigs on a Circuit?
Semi truck racing around a race track is still a popular form of motorsport. The semi trucks are modified and custom-built to have racing capabilities.
The sport is also popular in Europe, as the drivers tackle some of the best European race tracks in full-fledged semi truck racing championships.
Semi trucks can be raced on both oval circuits and road circuits.
Semi truck racing can attract huge crowds, sometimes up to 100,000 people at a time. However, due to Covid restrictions, these events have become more scarce recently.
Do they Still Drag Race Semi Trucks or Big Rigs?
Semi truck drag racing is still extremely popular. These events can also attract huge crowds who are all keen to see just how fast a semi truck can go.
There are also different types of drag racing events. For example, you will find standard semi trucks that compete in a drag race together.
You may then also find custom-built and modified semi trucks that compete in a drag race against each other.
Finally, you may also see semi trucks with fully loaded trailers competing against each other. These varying events keep the sport interesting.
Are there Different Categories of Semi Truck Racing?
Different categories exist for semi truck racing in each country where this sport exists. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations for the sport.
On top of that, there are also different types of semi truck racing, such as rally, drag racing, rallycross, and time trails.
You can find semi truck racing in the following countries:
- United States
What do Racing Semi Trucks Weigh?
Racing semi trucks are restricted in their weight. They must comply with the rules which say that the minimum weight of the truck must be more than 5500 kg.
Minimum weight rules are imposed in all forms of motorsport to ensure that there is an even playing field for all the drivers involved.
If one vehicle is lighter than another, it will have a significant advantage in speed. However, if you consider that the driver’s weights are a variable in motorsport, it makes it more difficult.
To prevent a lighter driver from gaining an unfair advantage, a minimum weight limit is put in place to ensure that all vehicles are above a specific weight.
How Fast do Racing Semis Go?
Racing semi trucks can go faster than average road-legal semi trucks. This is mainly due to the modifications that have been made which improve the overall speed of the semi truck.
The fact that the racing semi truck is also much lighter than the average semi truck also gives it a speed advantage.
Racing semi trucks are limited to a speed of 160 kph (100 mph) for safety reasons. While the semi trucks can go faster, the speed limit was put in place to prevent the semi trucks from losing control.
Since they are racing around a circuit, top speed is not the most important element. Cornering is where the race can be won or lost.
What is the Point of Drag Racing Semi Trucks?
Drag racing semi trucks are mainly done for entertainment purposes. In most cases, it is great to see how fast semi trucks can actually go.
It is spectacular to see a vehicle so large move so quickly. The entertainment value is carried on when semi trucks race against each other with fully loaded trailers.
In some cases, drag racing can be used as an educational tool as well. Many manufacturers would be proud to have the fastest semi truck of all.
Who Goes to Semi Truck Drag Racing Events?
Semi truck drag racing events are mostly attended by motorsport fans and those who have an interest and a passion for semi trucks.
Most motorsport fans enjoy any form of motorsport, whether it has two wheels or four wheels or if it’s an IndyCar or a semi truck.
Semi truck drag racing is also often featured together with other vehicles. Some spectators may have been drawn in by dragsters, but were interested in seeing how semi trucks could drag race one another.
What is the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge?
The Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge is an annual event that features multiple races for semi trucks. You can find drag racing, uphill towing challenges, and time trails.
Semi trucks from all of the United States and Canada drive through to the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge to take part.
The event takes place over a weekend, usually towards the 2nd quarter of the year. Look out for the annual event next year and grab your tickets as soon as they go on sale.
The event also features a semi truck parade and show as well as live music and entertainment for all ages.
Where is the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge Held?
The annual Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge is held at Onaway Speedway in Michigan. The event is usually held in May and features different types of semi truck racing.
Are there any Prizes in the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge?
All the semi trucks that are registered in the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge are competing for a prize. The prize is a payout of $50,000.
Are there Other Semi Truck Racing Events in the U.S?
There are several other semi truck racing events that take place in the United States. Events have gone quiet since lockdown, however, they have been picking up again in 2021.
Here are some other events to look out for in the US:
- Bandit Big Rig Series
- North American Big Rig Racing
- Diesel Drag Racing
There are also several other amateur championships around the United States which do not get as much exposure.
How Much Does a Racing Semi Truck Cost?
Prices of racing semi trucks vary depending on the modifications made to them. In most cases, people will buy a standard semi truck and modify it from there.
Semi trucks can cost between $130,000 and $200,000. The modifications needed to race the semi trucks can cost anything between $10,000 and $40,000.
However, the true costs come throughout the racing season when you need to factor in the consumables such as fuel, tires, and crash damage.
How Much Money do the Drivers of Race Semi Trucks Make?
Amateur racing drivers do not earn any money from their race teams. In most cases, they need to pay the team in order to race.
This means that your average semi truck racing driver will not be earning money from their racing. The only money they can earn is prize money, which varies from series to series.
However, many drivers have their own sponsors. Sponsors will usually pay the team to secure the driver’s place in it. The sponsors may also pay the driver a small salary and performance-based bonuses.