Arguably, the the creation of board or wood tracks for automobile and motorcycle racers was one of history’s most deadliest woodworking projects in history. It was not really deadly for the woodworkers, nor was it their fault that board track racing ended up being such a risky, lethal sport.
Americans have been in love with speed and the thrills involved for over a century. Woodworkers were first hired to build wooden tracks specifically for cars and motorcycles around 1909, and that is how board track racing emerged.
The board or wood tracks that were built became known as motordomes. These mile-and-a-quarter-long circuits actually came in a variety of different sizes. The lumber that was used to build them would be 2 by 2 inches and 2 by 4 inches long, and they would have rough-cut surfaces.
In a matter of an hour, racers would riding over these board or wood tracks would reach speeds of over a 100 miles, especially of the severely banked turns. Consequently, many racers would be frequently get into dreadful and horrible crashes, a lot of which would prove to be fatal.
Even the spectators at these motordomes were not safe. They were equally at risk of getting injured due to peering down at the race from the lip of the track. Even after occurrences of accidents, including fatal ones, people would still amass at motordomes to spectate at these deadly board or wood track races.
Even though this was quite an appaling form of modern day track racing, it raises the question of whether it would be safer if today’s advanced woodworking techniques were used to build those tracks. Regardless, board or wood track racing is nothing but history now.
The sport had already become less and less appealing by the mid-1920s, and the people who would frequently be present among the audience no longer considered it a novelty. Now that automobile and motorcycle racers have far advanced protective gear, and thanks to techniques used in modern day woodworking projects, perhaps board or wood track racing might resurface again some day.