Last year towards the end of the NASCAR season we had the opportunity to talk with three time Daytona 500 winner and South Florida native Bobby Allison about his life in the stock car circuit. One of his more memorable machines was a red and gold Coca-cola sponsored 1970 Dodge ChargerDaytona, that oddly enough never even turned a wheel in competition, recently went up for auction at the 2010 Mecum Auto Auctions in Kissimmee, FL.
What makes this car so special, aside from the over sized wing towering over the rear end that was designed to provide down force and stability at over 200 MPH on the high banks of super speedways like Talladega and the track the car was named after, Daytona. For the 1970 season, the man in charge of NASCAR, Bill France, handicapped the big winged race cars by limiting their displacement forcing racers to choose between sheer power and aerodynamic optimization. Never being one to back down from a challenge, Allison and car builder Mario Rossi decided to try their luck with a destroked version of the 426 Hemi that only displaced 305 cubic inches.
Any enthusiast knows that there is no replacement for displacement, but any engine builder will tell you that for every 0.1 Liters you lose, the motor gains about 2,000 RPM. While the new combination looked promising for the 1970 NASCAR season, Mr. France flexed his muscle once again and banned the car from competition, so the world was never able to see what a big winged high revving Hemi could have done on track. Unfortunately the one of a kind test mule didn’t sell at auction despite registering a high bid of $210,000.
After many years of similarly shaped economy cars tearing up the high banked ovals of the NASCAR circuit, there will now be a real sports car on track to lead the pack. Ford’s in house high performance division, Ford Racing, and the NASCAR specialists at Roush Fenway Racing have just unveiled the new 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Mustang. The 21st century thoroughbred will have no problem catching up with the competition when the new car makes its racing debut next July. This will not only add a bit of enthusiasm into the NASCAR circuit but it should undoubtedly help the blue oval move a few more units. Despite contemporary automaker’s reluctance to spend money on competitive racing programs, the old adage “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still holds true today.
The Ford Mustang has a storied history in motor sports contests and can claim more than 2,000 professional race wins ranging from Trans Am to Funny Car and even D1 professional drifting titles. Jack Roush should know, not only has his aftermarket parts company been tuning Mustangs since 1995 and racing since the 1960s. Roush Racing fields no less than 10 racing vehicles in all three forms of NASCAR competition including the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and the Craftsman Truck Series as well. Since turning a wheel in NASCAR competition, Roush has earned over 250 wins which all look good for this car of tomorrow spec Mustang.
The NASCAR circus went short track racing this weekend at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware. The one thing that every driver was commenting on leading up to the race is that in order to be competitive at the Monster Mile you must commit 110% into every corner on the concrete racing surface. Being one of the shorter tracks on the NASCAR calendar, this all out commitment can be challenging, because when things go wrong, as they usually do in racing, this leaves the drivers with very little escape room, and tremendous multi car pile ups are almost certain to be on the bill for the day.
Unfortunately for the young driver, Joey Logano, his race ended just 32 short laps after it began; but that is when the ride began. After being bumped from behind by Tony Stewart going flat out, the number 20 Home Depot car slid across the flat part of the track before getting back onto the banking in turn 3 taking out three other cup cars along the way. Then Joey hit the inside wall and began to flip side over side seven and a half times before coming to rest with all four wheels on the ground after teetering on its side for an extremely long moment. Thanks to NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, Joey Logano and the rest of the drivers involved in the racecar mangling spectacle at the Monster Mile this past Sunday.
That car, the No. 48 Chevy, belongs to Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson, who, along with colleagues Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnheardt Jr, dropped by the White House on the invitation of the Commander-In-Chief.
Mr. Obama gladly took some time off – what we can only assume – his hectic schedule to honor Johnson, the three-time Sprint Cup titleholder and defending champion.
We all know the President is a sports nut but we didn’t figure that he ranks Nascar right up there with the NBA and the NFL. While a number of celebrated athletes have all been invited by the President, this is the first time he’s met with NASCAR drivers, something that he’s been looking forward to for a long time. When the time finally came, Obama showed why a lot of Americans have called him the ‘People’s President’, cracking jokes with Johnson and the rest of the NASCAR constituents.
The Ford Mustang has never set a set of slicks onto the high banked ovals of the NASCAR circuit, that is until now. Brian Wolfe, the director of Ford North American Motorsport division has announced that things area bout to change. For the 2010 season, Ford will debut a NASCAR spec Mustang as part of the sereis’s “new car” limited rollout for the 2010 Nationwide Series.
“We had been talking with NASCAR for some time about Mustang as part of its vision for a muscle car rollout for the Nationwide Series. We both saw it as a way of differentiating the series from Sprint Cup,” said Wolfe. “We loved the idea, so we jumped on the chance to extend Mustang’s racing legacy to a new series reaching a huge and loyal audience. Mustang has dominated other forms of racing, including NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am Cup road racing, and Formula D drifting, and now it’s coming to NASCAR Nationwide.
Even if it will only be a Mustang body shell and not a complete race car it is still a step in the right direction for both companies. Ford hopes to take advantage of the old win on Sunday, sell on Monday strategy; while NASCAR needs to step away from the current trend of every car looking exactly the same, aside from the decal package. However it would be nice to see some of that racing technology make its way into a production version, just like the famed Ford 429 Cobra Jet V8 from the 1960s.
One of the sweet mysteries of life has been why Roger Penske has been unable to win in NASCAR.
Here is a man who has prevailed in every form of racing in which he has participated:
Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 more times than any other owner.
His team was so dominant in the Can-Am Series that he destroyed it, because it was no longer competitive. To this date, the Penske 917 Can-Am Porsche is considered the single most awesome racing car ever created.
Back when Penske was the team owner for the original Trans-Am, his Chevies dominated. Until he switched to, of all things, American Motors. Two years later, the Javelin won the championship. A couple of years after that, the series imploded, partly because it took too much money and too much commitment to compete with Penske.
Joe Gibbs is in the football Hall of Fame, has a Super Bowl ring, and a NASCAR Winston Cup. And, he’s now out as the president and coach of the Washington Redskins.
So, does that mean that Gibbs will start paying more attention to the race team? Or does he leave his son, J.D., in the place where he put him: in charge?
Gibbs’ strength has always been considered to be his people skills, his ability to make a team cohesive. This past year, many believe that it was (...) > Full story
It has been yet another proof of Toyota’s fallibility. It had two – count them, two – top five finishes in Nextel Cup racing last year. No wins.
But, Toyota says that this is the year they put a Camry in the winners circle in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup. They’ve sorted out the engine program. They’ve got Gibbs. Their teams have more cars and more guaranteed starting positions. So says the Toyota Motor Sales v-p for motorsport, Jim Aust, is quoted in (...) > Full story