Houston has never been known as a hotbed for big-time auto racing. Sure, A.J. Foyt grew up in the Heights, but as far as top-notch racing facilities are concerned, forget it. That was, until 1988, when Houston Raceway Park in Baytown came onto the scene. The sprawling facility has played host to national events sanctioned by the traveling horsepower circus known as the National Hot Rod Association for the past 12 years, and has been the site of numerous speed records. The track is open to amateur racers as well. The NHRA races twice a year on the quarter-mile drag strip, while the facility this year added a three-eighths-mile oval dirt track for your high-speed enjoyment. In addition to holding weekly Saturday-night events for area racers, the dirt track also hosts the World of Outlaws sprint car series twice a year.