Every transportation device known to man is used in some form of contest involving speed
Auto racing is a contest of speed, that combines the human abilities of endurance, strength, stamina, strategy, and teamwork with the mechanical durability, power, design, construction and maintenance of an automobile.
Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday
The automobile is unique in its appeal due to its worldwide use as a primary form of transportation, and symbol of status. The commercial appeal of automobile racing has grown in prominence since the mid-sixties to include more than the car manufacturers themselves. As a result, the automotive marketing motto now applies to a large number of commercial ventures throughout the world. Automobiles, drivers and teams in every form of the sport have evolved from automobile manufacturer representatives, to national flag carriers, to sales vehicles for everything from breakfast cereal to pharmaceuticals, cigarettes to cartoon characters.
Historically, automobile racing has represented and pushed the cutting edge of automotive engineering. From the rear view mirror to aerodynamics, fuel economy, tire technology, and exotic materials from fiberglass to titanium; all tested in the caldron of automotive competition before appearing in the showroom.
Auto racing is a team sport, demanding the best of each of its members. Not only the driver, but also the owner, manager, strategist, engineer, designer, spotter, pit boss, transport driver, right front wheel man... they each carry responsibility for the success of the team. Without this aspect, the driver and vehicle cannot participate beyond the club level of the sport; and even at the grass roots level, this aspect of organization is necessary in order to be competitive.
Restriction and Innovation are not always compatible
The sport has not been without its failures and tragedies, and these will continue to occur as the sanctioning bodies continue to create rules to balance competition, and participants continue to search for advantages over their competition. Death and injury continue to be a price paid by the driver when these two concepts collide with each other, and driver error, or mechanical failure.
Large strides have been made since the early seventies to assure track safety for drivers, crews and spectators, and collision survivability for the driver. And each loss once again raises the sport's awareness of its responsibility to the safety of everyone participating.
To do something well, is to live. Everything else is just waiting
The drivers themselves have evolved from pot-bellied good old boys, moonshiners and rich kids, to arguably the most physically fit athletes of any sport. Their success also relies heavily on their personality, and the crews to which they entrust their careers, and lives.
At almost every level of auto racing, the driver is no longer able to design, build, test and compete. Nor is he able to just show up and drive. His time is consumed maintaining his image and connections with sanctioning bodies, fans and sponsors. The driver's training and experience in the management of the fiscal needs of his team require more of his time than he will ever spend at the controls of his racecar.