There was active organized racing throughout the U.S. prior to WWI. Venues such as Santa Monica, CA, Savannah, GA, Elgin, IL, and the Vanderbilt Cup races at Long Island, NY, provided tracks where individuals could race their cars side-by-side. These cars were usually stripped sports cars, meaning the lights, fenders and any unnecessary items were removed.
In this popular era of sports car racing, the leading cars were the National (which had the most wins), the Stutz Bearcat (which had the best advertising), and the Mercer Raceabout (which was considered the most advanced). The cars are shown in front of the scoreboard for one of the Fairmount Park races in Philadelphia, an event that drew over 400,000 spectators.