The mode of transportation for the teams is also varied, from the back of a pickup truck to a NASCAR-type hauler.

The Kart Classes

The type of karts run by both IKF and WKA are similar and have a number of different classes. No matter what the class, there are two basic types of race karts in the beginning Junior classes.

First, there are the Sprint and Champ Karts, which run mostly on small dirt ovals. The driver sits in the upright position in both styles. The lower-slung Sprint Karts have the driver sitting low in the cars with the engine sitting immediately on their left side. The fiberglass body is clean and quick.

The Champ Karts, a more recent addition, are the only karts that look like a real full-sized racer and are often confused with Quarter Midgets. In this case, the Champ Kart body carries the downsized look of a nonwinged Sprint car or Midget.

The Sprint Kart also appears in the advanced classes on road courses, along with the super-quick, low-slung Enduro Karts. The Sprint Karts are similar in appearance to the short-track versions, but the Enduro Karts are a different beast. Aerodynamically clean, the driver drives from a lying-backward position with his head just barely visible, in the style of Indy and Formula 1 race cars.

Needless to say, it takes a while to get to the speedy Enduros, which are capable of over 100 mph on the superspeedways. It's thrilling, but it's also dangerous racing.

Imagine running at those speeds with your body about an inch off the track with a cat-quick machine at your command. Those road races usually last an hour as opposed to running a particular distance.