Valentino Rossi is best known for being a seven-time MotoGP world champion, so his racing credentials on anything involving two wheels is pretty much unmatched.
But what happens when you put Rossi behind the wheel of a vehicle with four wheels? Well, we found out when the Italian speedster participated in a PR stunt with Kyle Bush that was organized by Monster Energy at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Rossi driving Busch’s Toyota Camry NASCAR racer seems like an odd team up, but anybody who knows Rossi understands the talent of this man and how he can handle anything you put in front of him, including a 650-horsepower V-8 stock car.
After a few practice laps, Rossi gunned the car and even posted an impressive top speed of 185 mph, good enough to put him in the middle of the field. Now, that’s pretty impressive.
Click past the jump to watch a video of Rossi’s run around the Charlotte Motor Speedway and read the quotes from Rossi and Busch after the event Full story
Over the past years, NASCAR race cars have barely resembled their production counterparts with teams opting to use branding stickers and logos as a way to put some distinguishable flavor to the cars themselves.
This year, however, Ford Racing is taking a different approach. Or should we say an approach that harkens back to the days when the phrase "stock car" actually meant something.
With the season-opening race at Daytona scheduled for this weekend, Ford Racing is giving its Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car a major overhaul and facelift, opting to go back to the method of designing the car to resemble the actual Fusion production model that it represented.
The video will show you how Ford managed to design the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car and the comparisons of the car from its production brother. Of course, it probably helped that the design of the race car was done by the Ford Design Center, something the division hasn’t done since the 60’s.
We’ve gotta say, this return to the stock car approach is a refreshing wrinkle to the 2013 NASCAR season. About the only thing different now is that the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car is powered by a Ford Racing-sourced 5.8-liter V-8 that develops in excess of 850 horsepower, as opposed to the production model which only has 237 ponies on tap.
NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, has been in the headlines recently for becoming the first woman to secure pole position in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. With so much attention - and praise - being heaped her way, questions on whether she could be successful in Formula One are being floated.
But the consensus among people in F1 seems to believe that Danica Patrick isn’t good enough to compete at their level. One voice that shared his opinion on Danica’s chances of success should she race in Formula One was Dr. Helmut Marko, the driver manager at Red Bull, who above all else, questioned her credentials. "You have to look at Danica’s results in the road races," he said. "It’s not enough."
"We are looking for drivers based on performance, not by quota," Marko added.
Triple world champion and Mercedes chairman, Niki Lauda, also weighed in and was a little more diplomatic about his answer, saying that it wasn’t so much Danica Patrick’s skill set, but more about the technical level of Formula One and how U.S. drivers wouldn’t be able to cope with the technical side of F1 in general.
"The last American who had success in Europe was Mario Andretti — and that was in my day!" exclaimed the 63-year-old.
Lauda, however, wasn’t closing the door on a female driver racing in Formula One, saying that they should get a chance if they have the kind of skills to allow them to be successful in the series. If for nothing else, having a female on the F1 grid will boost the sport’s popularity exponentially. Lauda was even quoted by the Bild daily saying that "if we could get a woman into the top six, you would immediately have twice as many fans in front of the TV".
"For ten years," Lauda added, "I’ve told Bernie Ecclestone he’s dopey for not getting a woman into Formula One."
But, at least as far as the F1 folks opine, that ’woman’ isn’t Danica Patrick.
The wonderful Danica Patrick made headlines the other day when she outed herself as dating a fellow rookie in the Sprint Cup Series and now she has made headlines again. This time around, it is less gossip-like and more racing related, as she has become the first woman to ever win the pole position in NASCAR Sprint Cup history.
The closest woman to her new record was Janet Guthrie, who won the ninth starting position twice in her racing career. That’s a pretty significant jump in starting slots, so our hats go off to her.
Additionally, Patrick became the first Sprint Cup rookie driver to win the pole at the Daytona 500 since Jimmie Johnson accomplished the task back in the 2002 season. These accolades pile on top of Patrick becoming only the second woman driver to ever win pole position in NASCAR, which she accomplished in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last year.
Click past the jump to read NASCAR’s press release
Racing Queen and GoDaddy spokeswoman, Danica Patrick, recently announced that she was divorcing her husband of seven years because their marriage was ’’irretrievably broken,” then it slowly emerged that she was dating fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Patrick finally chose to disclose the details of the relationship to the press, so that the couple could “be open about their relationship.” In the process, she officially broke the hearts of many of her male fans – our words, not hers.
Now that the relationship is open we will focus on one weird aspect in this budding relationship. Both Danica and her 25-year-old boyfriend are rookies in this year’s Sprint Cup Championship. This means that they will not only race against one another, but they will also be competing for the Sprint Cup “Rookie of the Year” award.
We can’t help but wonder if this competition may spill over into their personal lives, especially if one should put the other into the wall at some point or walk away with a low-margin victory in the running for said award.
Either way, Stenhouse is a lucky man, and we’ll be here to catch the wonderful Danica should things fall apart.
One of the really cool things about watching NASCAR races, at least for those who are more into the aesthetic side of the proceedings, is checking out the sponsors for each team.
So, if anybody has ever wondered how these teams dress up their cars, Joe Gibbs Racing is here to provide you with the answer.
The solution is a vinyl wrap, which has been used by a growing number of racing teams to emblazon their respective sponsors’ logos. In the case of Kyle Busch and his No. 18 Toyota Camry NASCAR Sprint Cup race car, the sponsor is M&Ms, and if you didn’t know, the chocolate maker employs colorful branding.
So, the Joe Gibbs Racing Team decided to show us how they were able to turn the Camry from a bland matte black stock car to a certifiably colorful, ready-to-race machine. Check out the time-lapse video and watch how the magic unfolds. A normal procedure takes a little less than two hours. This video lasts for just over three minutes.
Well worth the watch.
For a car that is mostly seen going straight, then banking left and then straight, tire-torturing donuts are a rare sight to behold.
Here’s David Coulthard, a celebrated F1 driver, performing donuts on the Toyota Camry NASCAR, a rather unusual association for an F1 driver.
Despite the weather, David tries his best getting the lightweight race car to spin around for as long as possible with the occasional drifting to keep the excitement of the fans alive, with bike rider Chris Pfeiffer, attempting the same in a BMW 800R motorbike
To us, the car looks cumbersome when David tries to poke the racecar but, given the fact that the race car is solely not meant for drifting, it does make the video a good watch.
With hybrids and EVs hogging the big picture, it’s good to hear a great V8 rumble once in a while. And this video doesn’t disappoint in that aspect. Also, the idea of NASCAR still excites the enthusiasts in all of us.
Video Courtesy : Marchettino
Though NASCAR lists pretty far down our list of favorite racing series, the movie “Days of Thunder” is one that took NASCAR and made it interesting for everyone. Maybe it was the droves of 20-something women drooling over the pre-nutzoid Tom Cruise, but there was something about it that people liked. It was so well liked that there was even a pretty shoddy video game made about it.
Well, we have received word that the director behind “Days of Thunder,” along with “Top Gun” and a slew of other movies, Tony Scott, was found dead after jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California. His death was an apparent suicide, as investigators found a suicide note in his Toyota Prius.
There are no reports as to what exactly caused Scott to leap off of the 365-foot-tall bridge to his death, but we’re sure some details will arise in the coming days.
This is not the first time a person of notoriety has leaped to their death from this 6,060-foot-long suspension bridge. Back in 1990, Larry Andreasen, a bronze metal winner in the 1964 Olympics, leaped from the bridge in an attempt to set the world diving record.
Our condolences go out to Scott’s family and he will be forever remembered for his contributions to the movie world.
When Penske decided to drop Dodge in favor of Ford, Dodge was left on the outside of the NASCAR world looking in. They had no team to field their newly developed NASCAR Sprint Cup ride and things looked pretty bleak.
Things went from bleak to ugly, as Dodge failed to have its Charger ready for testing this week and reports indicate that this means Dodge is out of NASCAR for the 2013 season. There is no clear-cut reasoning for Dodge pulling out so abruptly, but many sources are pointing toward Fiat, Dodge’s parent company, having no interest in NASCAR and forcing the pull out.
Last time we checked, Chrysler – including Dodge – is what kept Fiat’s ass afloat this year and to take away NASCAR as a means of advertising seems a little odd by a company that knows nothing about the “sport.”
At the press conference held at 2:30 ET today, Dodge SRT and Motorsports CEO Ralph Gilles only confirmed that Dodge is dropping its NASCAR presence. "Following our thorough five month process weighing all options in the sport, we have decided to withdraw from NASCAR racing," he said in an opening statement during the news conference. "You have no idea how much we feel the pain," he added.
This announcement solidifies the elimination of the last rear-driven, V-8-powered factory car from the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Every other car on the circuit is now front-wheel drive.
Dodge’s last NASCAR withdrawal happened in 1977, and it did not return until 2001. By that pace, we should see Dodge return to NASCAR sometime in the 2030s... Actually, we are willing to bet that Dodge returns in just a few years, at the most.
UPDATE 08/07/2012: NASCAR followed up Dodge’s press conference with a statement of their own concerning Dodge’s departure. “Dodge has been a great partner to NASCAR for many years, and they have been part of numerous memorable moments throughout our history,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date."
Click past the jump to read NASCAR’s presser.
The Ford Fusion NASCAR and the Dodge Charger NASCAR have just met their competitor for the 2013 racing season: the new Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR. The top-selling sports car in America will make its series debut in February 2013 at the Daytona International Speedway.
The Camaro NASCAR is painted in a very cool blue paint finish and features a unique power-bulge hood and deep recessed grille, as well as distinctive halo light rings and dual-port grille appearances, and the gold bowtie.
"Our team of Chevrolet designers and aerodynamic engineers did a fantastic job capturing the great looks and styling cues of the production Camaro, while providing our NASCAR Nationwide teams with a highly competitive aero platform," said Pat Suhy, manager, Chevrolet Racing Oval Track Group. "For the remainder of 2012, our engineers will be busy working with our Chevy teams on wind tunnel and on-track testing to fine-tune the car in preparation for next year. It will be great to see Camaro compete on the track against its showroom competition starting with the 2013 season opener at Daytona."