Build your Dirt Track Racing fame by capturing championship points from grass roots local competition to nationals as you fight and claw your way up through a dozen progressively more prestigious and difficult competitive events. You'll test your dirt track skills at 30 tracks ranging in configuration from Figure 8s to Ovals.
Dirt Track Racing offers quick races and a career mode where you begin with a $1,000 budget, stock models, earn money and points, invest in upgrades and gain sponsorships (logos) as you strive for the pinnacle of DTR success, the professional late model series. You can choose from 18 cars in three specific classes and two modes of racing are available: arcade or full simulation. Game options include an adjustable skill level based on advanced car physics for novice racers through expert level.
Specific car modifications include car tuning (wheel offset and size, brake strength, tire compound, toe adjustments, pressure and steering lock), suspension tuning (damping, spring strength), drive train tuning (gear ratio, final drive), chassis tuning (weight distribution) and upgrades such as engine specs, performance, exhaust systems, carburetor and more.
Environmental effects of dirt track racing include dust, skidding and realistic damage along with fully configurable car components such as tires, springs, differential and transmissions. Multi-player action for up to ten players is supported via LAN or Internet. Force feedback peripherals, 3D acceleration and DirectX compatible keyboard, mouse, joystick, joypad and wheels are supported as well.
Ready to mix it up and test your best against the competition? Then strap in and peel out in Dirt Track Racing!
In Dirt Track Racing, you aren't going up against the likes of Jeff Gordon or Jean Alesi. Instead, you might be racing against Joe Fields, a grocer from Iowa, or Walter Cunningham, a barber from Minnesota. Regular schmoes with little more than a beat-up old Dodge and a love of racing. Dirt Track Racing simulates short track venues, ranging from quick sprint 1/8 mile tracks to mile long ovals (and the occasional figure 8). This is racing where the total circuit winnings may be less than $6000, and you're likely to be speeding around a track next to a corn field.
You can opt to simply jump into a quick race to practice your skills, or go for the more meaningful career mode. In the latter, you start out your career with $1000 at your disposal. Your first car purchase will be at the local junkyard. Your car won't be pretty, but the engine still hums, and it's a perfect vehicle for the beginning tracks you'll compete on ... dirt ovals. When you start off, you'll only have the option to enter competitions in the basic Stock class. But as you win more races and acquire more winnings, you'll eventually have the opportunity to upgrade your car and enter Pro Stock and Late Model competitions. This ladder system really gives you something to work for in the game, and it's not like most racing sims where you just start off as one of the best racers in the world and get to compete against other big name racers. Instead, you start at the bottom of the barrel and have to work your way up. In this way, Ratbag really did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of semi-pro racing.
Ratbag immerses you even further into short track racing with the exquisite visuals. The Difference Engine from Powerslide is back, and it looks as beautiful as ever. From the primered cars to the dusty tracks, from the grand stands to the local billboard advertisements, everything looks like you would expect it to look at a small venue race. And, even more important, everything looks real. Sure, the tracks are sparsely detailed, and there are no pit crews waiting in the wings, but the same thing holds true in real life dirt track racing. You can choose from several different driving views while speeding around the tracks, such as outside behind to car, or a forward view, with or without the dashboard. The cars themselves are fine representations of junkers, right down to the shotty paint jobs, and cars actually crimp and bend when they're damaged. And, while the damage model may not be the most realistic in terms of affecting performance, it goes a lot further in creating a realistic simulation than many racing titles.
Dirt Track Racing offers all of the options you can find in more expensive titles. Are you a tweaker who loves to tinker around with every single aspect of your car? Well go ahead and adjust your toe in/toe out settings, the chassis weight distribution, the brake strength, the gear ratio, your tire compound, and the bump dampening. Are you into multiplay? Dirt Track Racing lets you race against nine other competitors in a low-lag race. Ratbag left absolutely no stone unturned when producing Dirt Track Racing.
As good as it looks and as impressed as I was by the number of options, the appeal of all racing games still come down to the feel of the car, and Ratbag certainly didn't disappoint on this front either. Dirt track racing is completely different than street racing, and Ratbag captured the feel of sliding around a dirt surface perfectly. It's so realistic, in fact, that you can actually tell if the dirt on track surface is dry (causing more spinouts) or tacky (keeping you stuck to the surface better) by the way the car handles. One of the problems I had with Powerslide was that the controls felt too lose, and you often felt like you were floating a few inches off of the ground. Even though Dirt Track Racing uses the same physics engine, the Ratbag team has tightened it up, making for an even better feeling racing experience than Powerslide. Even though I thought I would get tired of the basic oval tracks when I started the game, Dirt Track Racing never lost its charm, and I have to credit the physics of the title with keeping me glued to my steering just to drive around a circle 20 times.
I can't say enough good things about Dirt Track Racing. Besides a few minor quibbles with the damage model and the monotonous engine noise, there's nothing it's lacking. It's rare that you find this much attention to detail in full-priced racing games, much less in a bargain bin racer. With Dirt Track Racing, Ratbag once again shows that they know how to do racing, and they've produced another high-speed title.
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