Figure 8 racing is when automobiles race on a track that purposely intersects itself, known as "The X". Crashes are inevitable. Figure 8 racing has to be the most dangerous and outrageous style of racing in the world. If crashes weren’t wild enough, the wreck happens on the driver’s side of the car!
Figure 8 racing requires strict attention and precise timing to successfully navigate the X. Hammer down, blinders on, and praying that no one is timed to smash into you…but when they do, it shakes the fillings out of your teeth. Some Figure 8 races will pay up to $20,000 to win.
Figure 8 track racing began in the late 1940s using all types of vehicles but mostly junkers. Getting hit, or hitting someone was part of the show. Race promoters found that this form of racing could pack their grandstands. JC Agajanian would pack Ascot Park’s grandstands on Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
As the sport progressed, the drivers developed their cars until they became these expensive, pre-fab, Late Model racecars. But at Ascot, it got even more insane. Aggie would let them run any engine they wanted. So the big Oldsmobiles, the 427 Fords, the 426 Hemis would all burn up the track. The drivers got so good at running the 8 they could actually click bumpers going through the X.