Why Do Races Run Counterclockwise?

Wonder Project Example

The first US track was created by William Whitley in the year 1780. He was a supporter of the American revolution from England, and in England they ran all of their races clockwise. Therefore, he decided that all races run on his track would be counterclockwise. Many other American tracks followed shortly after Whitley did this, but some took longer to change. The Belmont track didn't change until 1921.


All races in American are run counterclockwise. In European countries, most of the car and horse races are still run clockwise. Car racing in Europe is called Formula 1 racing. In 2000, there was a Formula 1 race in the US. It was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (where the Indianapolis 500 is held) and the race went clockwise.

Other Theories

Some people believe that science has to do with it. They think that for humans to race counterclockwise is easier because most people have a dominant right leg which makes turning counterclockwise easier.

For NASCAR, since the driver is on the left side, they can see better to pass over their left shoulder--therefore, they turn counterclockwise.