What Is Speedway?

Believe it or not, Speedway has been around since the 1920s and is still a popular spectator sport around the world.

Riders compete on 500cc motorcycle around an oval track. The bikes have no brakes, no gears and no suspension. The tracks are covered in a shale surface and are typically 300-400 metres in length, although this varies around the world.

Many European countries stage league racing throughout the Summer, whilst there are also tracks in the USA, Australia and elsewhere. League racing in Britain is traditionally the toughest domestic competition in the world. There are around 30 tracks in the country and a three-tier league system.

Most racing is on a team basis but there is also individual competition. An international World Championship Grand Prix series is contested by 24 riders each year, from May to September over six rounds.

The sport is most popular in Poland where riders are the highest sports earners and crowds can regularly be in excess of 30,000. In Britain, the sport is also now on an upward trend of attendances and television coverage. To find out more about speedway in Britain, visit the web site of the British Speedway Promoters Association. To find out more about the sport in general, visit the Frequently Asked Questions About Speedway.

The Cradley Heathens team competed successfully in the British leagues until 1995, when the club were thrown out of their Dudley Wood stadium home by the land-owners. Since then the battle to return to action has continued, whilst further efforts have been made to keep the famous name of Cradley Heath speedway alive and kicking. Read on this site the story so far about the fight for Dudley Wood, the distinguished Heathens History plus riders who have worn the green, red and white colours of the club. In addition theres much more for regular visitors and newcomers alike.

Web site created and maintained by Steve Johnson. E-mail me your comments and suggestions.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Cradley Heath Speedway.
Copyright: Steve Johnson & Cradley Heath Speedway Ltd, 1999.