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midget-car racing

form of automobile racing, popular in the United States, in which miniature front-engine racing cars compete on 14- or 12-mile dirt or paved tracks. Races are short, usually no more than 25 miles (40 km). Cars are of limited engine displacement, varying according to engine type-e.g., 114 cubic inches (1,870 cubic cm) for an overhead cam model, 76 cubic inches (1,245 cubic cm) if supercharged. The sport originated in the 1930s among racing enthusiasts who could not afford to race and maintain full-size cars. Racing is under the direction of a division of the United States Auto Club. See also karting; automobile racing.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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