Mary Woronov didn't know how to drive when she acted in this film, so the van she drives in this movie had to be towed with a rope.
Wolf Messer, the West German professional racer branded American cars as "stupid" despite the fact the De Tomaso Pantera that he drove is powered by a Ford Cleveland 351 engine and was sold by Ford in the US up until 1975.
Both this film and "The Cannonball Run" (1981) were novelized by the same author, Michael Avallone.
According to Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel did not enjoy making this film because he felt he was being typecast as an action director. Even David Carradine tried explaining to Bartel that he was unsure about the climatic car pile-up and its disturbing subject matter.
David Carradine and Robert Carradine had appeared together previously in Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets' (1972) and Gerrit Graham and Archie Hahn had appeared together previously in 'Phantom of the Paradise' (1974).
Theatrical prints of the film included an announcement after the end credits that had the caption "Watch for David Carradine in DEATH SPORT" alongside the famous poster art for the film, which began principal photography not long after it was released, but due to production problems and extensive re-shoots, Death Sport was pushed back and the next movie Carradine would do for Roger Corman was Thunder and Lightning, actually produced by 20th Century Fox. Death Sport would be eventually released in 1978.
Shown at the second Quentin Tarantino film-festival held at the Alamo Drafthouse in 1998.
David Carradine ended up staging all the fight scenes in the movie, including the one with him and John Herzfeld, playing Bennie's cohort Sharpe, disguised as the fake motorcycle cop. Herzfeld did some amateur boxing before becoming an actor/filmmaker.
According to the press book, Zippo's last name is Friedman, though it is not heard at all in the film.