Just an hour’s drive from Boston, the Hudson Speedway in pastoral Hudson, New Hampshire, showcases short-track racing at its primal best: loud, fast, and on the edge. On most summer Sundays, the deafening roar of engines upends the country quiet, as a motley collection of stripped-down stock cars is pushed as fast as the steep banks and cracked surface of the quarter-mile track allow. The crowds cheer for local favorites, as well as young, unknown drivers using Hudson as a first step up the racing ladder. Billed as “the original family fun track,” the stands at the 70-plus-year-old venue are filled with picnicking families, packs of local teens, and longtime racing fans who have stayed loyal to the track. The seats are plentiful, and with a pit pass you can get up close and personal with the drivers and their cars between races. Daytona it ain’t, and crashes happen. The result resembles a demolition derby at times, which is why a hastily painted message on the dashboard of one car sums it up: “Drive it like you stole it.”Porter Gifford is a Cambridge native who, when not photographing people, places, or things, can be found walking his dog, playing hockey or not cleaning the basement. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.