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 Charger Daytona, 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.
Press release after the jump.
Remember that story we ran a few days ago about Marine Colonel Doug Hurley’s dramatic entrance in a Chinook helicopter before driving out of it with the Chevrolet Camaro pace car?
Well, here’s the video of the former Endeavor space shuttle pilot’s unforgettable entrance at the NASCAR Dickies 500 race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
We have to say, if there’s anything more show-stopping than this, we don’t know what it is.
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.
Press release after the jump.
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.
No, that’s not President Barack Obama’s new ride.
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.
Continued after the jump.
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.
Press release after the jump.
If you’re strolling the streets of New York, by now you should expect that anything can happen at any given time. Apparently, the people in Times Square didn’t seem to get the memo as they witnessed a NASCAR team conducting an actual pit stop right smack dab in he middle of the world famous landmark.
We’re guessing that the Red Bull Racing Team, which included driver Brian Vickers and a full assembly of the Red Bull mechanics and pit crew, didn’t get lost on its way to Michigan for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race so we’re venturing to say that this is some form of guerilla marketing destined for the internet, it lends a little support to Red Bull in the process. Judging from the stunned and baffled looks on the faces of the crowd while watching the team perform an actual tire change outside of the McDonald’s in Time Square, it’s safe to assume that they didn’t know what the heck was going on. Either way, advertising – be it or good or confusing – is still advertising, and the 20.6 second pitstop certainly made all those people in the area stand up and take notice. Whether that translates to more TV viewers in the New York area is an entirely different matter.
But what the heck, it worked didn’t it? How else do you explain the thousands of hits it has garnered on YouTube.
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.
(more after the jump)
Toyota and Chevrolet teams seemed to dominate last week-end’s Bud Shootout at the Daytona International Speedway, and one of each is on the front row for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
But a number of the premier Chevrolet and Toyota drivers will be starting at the back of the field in today’s Dual 150 qualifying races.
They’ve had to change engines after premature wear was discovered in the valve lifters was discovered.
(more after the jump)
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 Gibbs’ unique capabilities (...)
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.
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 Toyota’s blog.
The real question, however, is (...)
What should NASCAR do with the old Busch Series, now sponsored by Nationwide Insurance?
Something different. Something very different than the Busch Series.
Though television is what brings the bucks into NASCAR, it’s the ticket sales that make money for the race tracks. For that reason, since that first CBS broadcast of the Daytona 500 in 1979, television broadcasts of NASCAR races have always been afterthoughts. The race is not designed for television. Television covers it. But, (...)
About this time of year, it begins to set in.
I know. It was only a few mere weeks ago that we’d all had it with Jimmy Johnson, up to about here. (Yes, he really is worse than Jeff Gordon. So much so, in fact, that I’m actually beginning to like Jeff Gordon.)
But this past week the ARCA competitors were practicing at Daytona, and Christmas is almost here, which means SpeedWeeks is almost almost here, so . . .
Hope springs eternal and there’s a chance, just a (...)
Jimmie Johnson (born September 17, 1975, El Cajon, California) this year winner of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series is the Hendrick Motorsports driver of the car # 48, a Chevrolet own by his team mate Jeff Gordon. 0Career0
Like any other driver Johnson begun his racing career very young, at the age of five, on a 50cc motorcycle. At eight years he won his first competition, the 60cc class championship. From motorcycles Johnson moved to several off-road leagues including SODA, SCORE (...)
Nascar has finaly anounece the 2008 scheduale. For the next year Nascar made a few changes. The first one is that Nextel Cup will be named Sprint Cup, and the Busch Series will be called Nationwide Series. This two changes are not so important – the only change is the name, not the rules and the competition – the real change is the introduction of the new car concept: the Car of Tommorow. 02008 Sprint Cup Series Race Schedule0
Daytona International Speedway (...)
Next year, NASCAR will require that teams use “the Car of Tomorrow” at all races, beginning with February’s Daytona 500.
This completes the transformation of the Sprint Cup into a “spec class” racing series, a major departure from the formula for success that brought NASCAR its initial growth.
Can the series survive the transformation?
Certainly, NASCAR is too big to implode overnight. Yet, it seems evident that the major growth in NASCAR attendance and audience is over. NASCAR races are no (...)
After being used for the end of 2007 Nextel Cup season, the Car of Tomorrow will make its official debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 11 December, where Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne and Travis Kvapil will take part in a Goodyear tire test.
The Car of Tomorrow will be used in all Nextel Cup races next year.
After Johnson’s second consecutive Nextel Cup championship and the 33 races won in their six years with crew chief Chad Knaus, Johnson received from Hendrick Motorsports a life time contract.
"I just offered it to him," Hendrick said. "It’s a commitment. Jimmie and I talked about it, and Chad and I talked about it. You know, I want to do whatever I can do to keep it together. When you’ve got someone that you really enjoy being with and you see that they’ve got unlimited (...)
On Tuesday, in front of the Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the three Raybestos Rookie of the Year winners peeled the yellow stripes off their bumpers and joined the ranks of NASCAR veterans.
"When I first came here, they told me I was running for Raybestos Rookie of the Year, and I was like, ’you’ve got to be kidding me,’" said Montoya, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and a seven-time winner in Formula One. "I thought I would be an exception or something. In a lot of (...)
Johnson became the first driver to win consecutive championships since Jeff Gordon in 1997 and ’98, wrapping up the title by finishing a trouble-free seventh in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnson said after Miami race: “I think that we have a lot of good years ahead of us and we’ll be fighting for more championships and certainly winning more races as the years go by, and hopefully be a three-time champion in the near future.”
Team owner Rick Hendrick was along for the (...)
No sooner does the NASCAR season end with the last race at Homestead this past Sunday and now NASCAR’s already talking about the first race next year, a race which will be the 50th Daytona 500.
The first car across the starting line will, of course, be the pace car and next year it will be this Corvette Z06. That will be the fifth consecutive year it a Corvette has performed that function.
Chevrolet’s General Manager, Ed Peper, had a few kind words for both NASCAR and his employer while (...)
Chip Bolin, the team engineer who led Matt Kenseth to his lone victory of this season on an interim basis, is the leading candidate to step up to crew chief on the No. 17 squad when Robbie Reiser moves into management next season.
Roush Fenway Racing announced Thursday that Reiser, Kenseth’s crew chief since the driver’s rookie season, will become general manager of the team’s Nextel Cup operations. Reiser will succeed Max Jones, who will become co-owner and general manager of the Yates (...)