There is no better showcase of racing machinery than the IMCA Supernationals. In terms of sheer car count, no one can even come close. Nearly 700 cars in four stock car classes converged on the well-groomed 3/8-mile central Iowa oval last September. Throw in the Sprint Cars and the number went over 700. The weeklong Supernationals required nearly 300 races to eventually crown champions.

Not surprisingly, IMCA's own Modified class dominates the scene. The division, created by the sanction in the late '70s, started the Supernationals craze in 1983. This one-division show took root until a second class was added in 1988. Late Models joined in and the two divisions built the momentum for the event. The 1989 Supernationals saw Sprint Cars and Stock Cars added for a four-division extravaganza. The fifth and final class came in 1997 when the Hobby Stocks joined the fun.

Traditionally, the Modifieds draw well over 300 cars. Expect the century mark to be topped for Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks.

Iowa racers have dominated the winner's list with all Stock Car and Hobby Stock champions hailing from the Hawkeye State. There have been Modified champions from five states, including Arizona, home of defending champion Darren Williams. Iowa drivers have won 13 of the 14 Late Model crowns.

It's hard to fathom the space needed to put on a massive endeavor like this. Even more difficult to imagine is the quality of the racing surface as the week goes along. A strict regimen of track grooming is a key to the success of the event.

The 2003 IMCA Supernationals promises to be another chase for the ages with incredible car counts. Visit www.circletrack.com for highlights of this year's Supernationals.