The series was conceived by Adelaide based sedan driver and promoter John Hughes in 1986 as an Australian version of the famous World of Outlaws (WoO) series run in the United States since 1978. The WSS is separate from the single meeting Australian Sprintcar Championship and is currently run over 12 rounds during the Australian Speedway season. The championship is open to drivers of any nationality, and is usually held from December until February. As it is held during the North American off-season, many visiting stars from North America will make visits, some even racing the majority of races before the North American season begins.
The first ever World Series Sprintcars (WSS) meeting was held in Perth at the now defunct Claremont Speedway on 1 December 1987. Originally each meeting was held on a single night, though for the past number of years each meeting is run over two nights, with Time Trials, heat races and a Preliminary B then A main on the first night with more heats, three qualifying Top eight shootout races (a three-round knockout—first round 5th-8th take another round of time trials, with the top two advancing, second round elimination race features 3rd and 4th facing the two advancing from the first round, again with the top two advancing, and the run for the pole featuring the two fastest facing the two that advanced in the second round); the format is different from the Dash format used by the Outlaws where the 8-10 fastest participating in a short race to determine the pole), the C Main, B Main and then the A Main (final) in a format similar to most sprintcar races.
Speedway City in Adelaide has held the most WSS rounds with over 55. The Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane is second on the list with 50 rounds hosted.
Like the Australian Sprintcar Championship, the WSS has been dominated by drivers from New South Wales. Of the 26 series held since 1987, 16 drivers from NSW have won. Victorian driver Max Dumesny with seven series titles, foreign driver Darryn Pitman (Oklahoma, United States) with one win, 2011–12 champion James McFadden from Queensland (born in the Northern Territory), and 2013–14 champion Steven Lines from South Australia are the only non-NSW drivers to win the title. Although Dumesny is originally from Victoria, he has been based in Sydney since the mid-1990s. Darryn Pitman's win in 2002/03 is the only title by a foreign driver and the only time anyone other than an Australian has won the series title (the North American World of Outlaws season-opening meet in Barberville, Florida, USA will sometimes conflict with the final race of this series).
Sydney driver Brooke Tatnell has won a record eight series since first contesting races in the inaugural series run in 1987. Brooke is also part of the only father and son combination to ever win the series with his father, former national Speedcar and Sprintcar champion George Tatnell, winning the first two series run in 1987/88 and 1988/89. George Tatnell also finished second in 1989/90, the year Dumesny won his first series.
Visiting American drivers who have been or are regular competitors in World Series Sprintcars include Jack Hewitt, Danny Smith, Joey Saldana, Darryn Pitman, Donny Schatz, Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart. Others who have competed in select races while touring Australia include Sprintcar racings "King" Steve Kinser, his younger brother Randy Kinser and Tim Green. The 2013–14 World Series Sprintcars was sponsored by New Zealand based hydraulic hose and lubricant company Enzed. The series started on 26 December 2013 at Speedway City in Adelaide, and finished with the Grand Final on 22 February 2014 at the Perth Motorplex. Steven Lines from Mount Gambier in South Australia won his first ever World Series Sprintcars championship.
For those who attended the 2014-15 World Series Sprintcars Grand Final at Perth Motorplex, you couldn’t have helped but feel heartbroken for Sprintcar ace Dave Murcott. The reigning Australian Champion was in top form throughout the Series but an unfortunate racing incident in the Grand Final A-Main sidelined the determined Champion, leaving veteran racer Brooke Tatnell to take his 9th World Series Sprintcars Crown.
Speedway fans witnessed history repeating itself in the prestigious World Series Sprintcars competition in 2015-16. A points battle going into the A-Main of 2016 Grand Final Event at Perth Motorplex reflected that of the previous year with veteran racer Brooke Tatnell in the thick of competition. Only in this series Tatnell was to battle young Warrnambool racer Jamie Veal for the crown. Three points separated the pair as they took the green in the final challenge with Tatnell fighting tooth and nail to claw back the narrow points lead. Veal consolidated while Tatnell struggled and it was to be the year of the Veal securing a real deal in WSS 2015-2016.