Primghar Figure 8 Races

How they work.

(Detailed Rules)


The Primghar Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsors figure 8 races every other week starting in late May and running to mid August. These Saturday night events draw good crowds and many drivers.

Usually over forty drivers participate in each race. And, these drivers may be wearing custom shirts or jumpsuits. For the most part Primghar and the surrounding towns (Sutherland, Paullina, Granville, Sanborn, Sheldon, and Alton) are represented in the races.

The Track

What is a figure 8 track?

The highly banked, dirt track is oriented north south. The cars enter the track on the east side; the crowd has stands on the west. Because the prevailing winds are from the west, dust is usually not a problem; and the sun is at the crowd's back.

A typical race will have five heats in which the drivers are selected randomly. The first three cars place; the rest who finish receive points (See scoring). Intermission and a trophy dash precede the A-E feature races. The trophy dash includes the top ten in points who have not won a trophy. The winner earns a trophy and cash, but no points. The placement in the heats dictates who races in which feature race. The first and second place winners in the heats race in the A feature, the last race of the night.

The cars are lined up with the fastest cars or heat winners at the back of the pack. They proceed around the south oval,

Cars proceeding to start.

and, if they are tightly bunched and all past the north turn, the flagman gives them the green flag.
Bunched-just before the green flag.

During the race

During the race a disabled car can continue to limp along if it doesn't present a safety hazard and didn't cause a restart of the race. If a car gets spun around, high centered on the banks, or otherwise stuck, it may rejoin the race if it can be restarted by the driver's own efforts. Some locations and situations present safety hazards, so the race is stopped, the offender dismissed, and the race restarted. Car number xx below spun but was able to rejoin the race. A stopped car is left in place if it poses "no" hazard. The dynamics of the race and the strategies needed by the other drivers change to accommodate any stopped cars. Two examples of stopped cars that are hazards: a car that blocks the view of the crossing zone in the 8 and a car on the bank with the rear end in the air so high that another car hitting it would hit the driver's cage first.

Dark car faces wrong way

Where the cars cross paths

The figure 8, conflicting traffic, part of the race is usually routine and cars cross one another's path without undue raising of the heart rate. The cars from the south must yield to the ones from the north. By timing just right a driver can cross the intersection without losing much, if any, speed.

Routine, usual crossing at the X

Timing is everything. Here we see a northbound car (which is responsible for being out of the way) squeak by the southbound car(which has the right of way).

Close but successfull crossing

Black Flags And Restarts

Black flag because trunk lid open.

Some things that will get a driver black flagged and dismissed from the race are losing tire and rim (the steel rim is hazardous); dragging a bumper (that may fall off); leaking gasoline; and having the trunk lid come open (restricts vision). This departing car has been black flagged because his trunk lid is open. Not yielding at the intersection and unsportsmanlike conduct are also reasons to get the black flag. The flagman's judgement prevails without question. Sanctions include barring an offending driver from one or more race nights.


Assembled by ovk. Last updated 07/05/2001.
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