How Super Truck Racing Works

Super Truck Drivers: Driving the Fast Rigs
Driving a full-sized rig at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour takes a lot of skill -- and guts, too.
Driving a full-sized rig at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour takes a lot of skill -- and guts, too.
Courtesy of MAN Group

Many people see racing as simply going around in circles -- fast. Sounds easy, right? This is far from the truth. Drivers are drawn to racing by the challenges offered, both mental and physical, and to see if they have what it takes to take the checkered flag.

Truck racing drivers are no different from Formula One or NASCAR drivers -- they're out there to prove themselves, truck drivers just use a bigger machine to do so. Indeed, driving those machines was once characterized by a guest driver at a British truck meet as "driving an apartment block from the sixth floor." And according to the report on the BTRA Web site, the guest driver was hooked after his first run, and that lure is a common theme among the drivers.

Stuart Oliver said he entered truck racing to mix business with pleasure. He was in the road transport industry and wanted a chance to stretch his legs, so to speak, and that stretch has lasted 11 years. "Still to this day I find it demanding, exciting, and challenging," Oliver said, adding racing the truck required the same mental and physical skills as driving a race car.

Carl Brookfield entered racing, he said, when his brain told him he could do better than some of the guys on the track. He was also a big rig driver who, like Oliver, wanted to mix business with pleasure. Brookfield was able to obtain an engine sponsor, locate a rule book and start building a truck from what he saw in the pits at one of the races. "We were foolish," he said. "It may be just truck racing but all racing is a science. Now we keep changing bits, then going back to the track to test it out. This isn't material you can buy over the counter a lot of the time so we invent and test to the best of our budget. It's a lot of fun."

And just as important as equipment is the will to win. "Well, that and speed and track position," Brookfield added.