Auto racing, with the exception of its highest forms, seems to be one of the last great frontiers where the use of a computer is purely optional. Really, how can microprocessors make a Late Model or a Street Stock go around the track faster? Is your I.M.C.A. Dirt Modified compatible with Windows 98? Who cares?

Actually, there is reason for concern. Computer technology can be an extremely useful tool for the weekend warrior, just as it is for the full-time professional. Lower prices for software and computers have helped make the lowly home computer a racing machine in more ways than one. This section covers a wide sweep of racer-oriented stuff from racing programs (both entertainment and technical) and tons of Web sites.

Racing SoftwareLooking for ways to improve your race car before turning a wrench? Perhaps the latest round of race car simulation software can help you improve on chassis setups, engine tuning, gearing, and more.

Web Site GuideWant to know the top racing Web sites? We've got 'em right here.

Desktop DrivingCall them games if you must, but these racing simulators are almost more real than the real thing, so fire up the ol' Pentium and take it for a spin. You might be surprised.