Each February, Speedweeks invades central Florida. Many major touring series’ seasons start during this time, including NASCAR’s three top series. The prestige of running the Big Track has historically been reserved for NASCAR’s Camping World, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup series, with the pinnacle event, the Daytona 500 capping off the week. This year, NASCAR made a major change, giving local racers from all over the country a chance to race on the famed superspeedway. Although these racers didn’t get the chance to drive the full 2.5-mile track, they did get to tear up a specially designed 0.4-mile paperclip-style oval on the Super Stretch in the first ever UNOH Battle At The Beach. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Circle Track magazine. Coming into this milestone, the CT staff has thought hard to come up with many diverse ways to pay homage to the magazine that has become the bible for so many racers and crewmen all over the world. What better way to kick … [Read more...] about Daytona International Speedway – The UNOH Battle At The Beach
Saving at disney world
If you can find his shop, this is the scene that greets you as you enter . Ropes and pulleys are the only things keeping that little roadster up in the air. Yes, that’s a glider hanging from the rafters. “My shop is dark and dirty. I don’t dust, I don’t clean, and you won’t find any billet crap here.” – Scott Dapron Stepping through the tall overhead door is a little like entering an automotive time portal. My first impression of Scott Dapron’s shop is like some blue oval version of that last scene from “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Last Ark” where a worker pushes that crate carrying the Ark of the Covenant into the oblivion of a huge warehouse. Dressed in dirty jeans, plaid shirt, and a stained paper Oldsmobile hat, Scott stands just inside the big door like the gate keeper to an eclectic automotive altar. “The shop doesn’t get many visitors,” Warren Tracy says. Warren is a good friend and owner of … [Read more...] about Look at this Unbelievable Stash of Factory Race Cars!
When most people hear the name Bob Knight, they think of the most controversial coach in college basketball. But to old car enthusiasts around the Midwest, it’s a name that’s been dedicated to rods, customs and classics for over 40 years. Virtually all of his life, Robert Knight, a.k.a “Bondo” Bob, has held an intense passion for car restoration. He’s even gone as far as saying, “Building cars is like an addiction. I spot an old car and immediately think ‘wow’ what I could do to that!” In fact, this hardcore enthusiast has been giving dilapidated vehicles a new lease on life before he could even drive. The Onset of Obsession Because Knight was hired to remove transmissions from scrapped cars, Jack, the shop manager, let him pick what parts he needed to get his “new” rusted piece of metal on the road again. Once the car was running, the next logical step was to give it a facelift. While it certainly isn’t a … [Read more...] about A Daughter’s Tribute to Her Classic Father
Back in '89, the Chevrolet Lumina arrived to take on America's sweetheart: the Ford Taurus. The swoopy-shaped FoMoCo four-door kicked the Lumina's butt seven ways to Sunday. The Taurus continued to crush The Official Car of Disney World– until Dearborn's astrological automobile hit the skids, knocked off its perch by Toyota's handiwork. The Taurus slid into fleet-only sales, replaced by the lackluster Five Hundred. Meanwhile, Chevy replaced the Lumina with the Impala and walked away from the full-sized Ford. And now Ford's back with the resuscitated Ford Taurus. Gentlemen, Ford or Chevy? Place your bets!Introducing, in the Bow Tie corner, a genuine best seller! For real!. At the turn of the last century, Chevy took the dubya-bodied Lumina, haphazardly re-skinned it and slapped the famous Impala logo on the grille. Seven years later, after a few tweaks and a cleaner profile, the Impala has become GM's best selling passenger car (fleet sales notwithstanding). Year-to-date to June, … [Read more...] about Ford Taurus (Redux) vs. Chevrolet Impala (Redo)
God forbid TTAC should criticize someone for making an outrageous suggestion to get people to think (rethink?) their opinion about an auto-related issue. But you gotta wonder if the book “$20 Per Gallon” is at least ten bucks too high in the hyperbole department. Still, credit where credit’s due. By setting sail on a ship fantasii, author, civil engineer (of all things) and Forbes reporter Chris Steiner has outed the environmental hairshirt wearers amongst us. Needless to say, the New York Times is chief amongst them. They’ve published a Q&A with Steiner that somehow manages not to lump-him-in with alien abduction deprogrammers—although the piece is filed under the Freakeconomics banner. Instead of demanding Steiner’s list of prescription drugs, the Gray Lady’s Annika Mengisen “asked him to give us his predictions for what our lives might look like with gas at $8 and $18 per gallon, respectively.” Fun!Before … [Read more...] about Editorial: $20 a Gallon Gas a Good Thing, Not a Bad Thing. Apparently.
From the August 2014 Issue of Car and Driver Imagine how much better your life would be if 150 mph were legal. Commuting times would be slashed—especially if you also fantasize that there’s no traffic—and road trips to Disney World would be so short that you’d have to listen to the Frozen soundtrack only three or four times each way. You’d spend thousands more on fuel but save hours every week and days every year. Time, the man said, is the only irreplaceable commodity. Then there’s the visceral joy of speed itself, that sensation of running rather than walking, of being very productive, of getting it the hell done. You’d get to experience the true potential of a modern car, rather than the scant percentage of its talent allowed by a 70-mph limit. And don’t forget the thrill of fear, that adrenaline spike as you pass somebody west of Chattanooga at double their speed. We’re here in Deutschland to find out how … [Read more...] about Deutschland De-Restricted: We Storm the Autobahn in the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
His bright blue eyes are permanently bloodshot from 25 years of hovering over dragster and Funny Car engines that burn nitromethane and spew corrosive fumes. His ears have survived decades of exposure to angry pairs of 240-decibel engines leaving the starting line at every major drag strip in the country. His brain runs faster and harder than any engine he's ever built. His drag-racing engines were so powerful and so durable that racers started calling him the Old Master long before he had gray hair. Today, at 70, the wiry, wily Ed Pink still works 12-hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week, 50 weeks a year, commuting from Westlake Village in Southern California in a new Ford F-150 pickup to his unmarked complex of buildings in industrial Van Nuys. Even with this schedule, he manages to work out at a gym three times a week, every week. His second wife of 25 years, Sylvia, is heavily involved in the business. A son, Bill, 42, spent 11 years with his dad and … [Read more...] about The Old Master
The 2006 X Games 12 held in Los Angeles over five days in August wound up being the Travis Pastrana show. After successfully pulling off an unprecedented double back flip on his Suzuki in a nighttime motorcycle competition, the 22-year-old Pastrana showed up the next morning in a Subaru Impreza WRX and beat Scottish driving ace Colin McRae to win the debut rally competition. The eight events of the X Games drew 138,000 paying spectators over the five days, the show scored an average TV rating of 0.9 (816,000 viewers), enough to encourage some in the tiny community of American rally professionals to believe that their days of rowing racing's backwaters seemed to be over. Well, maybe. ABC ran the rally finale live on Saturday, August 5, and those who tuned in got their money's worth. Just yards from catching leader Pastrana, McRae landed his Impreza WRX STI catawampus and rolled it within view of the finish line, handing the victory to his rival. It was so pat it looked … [Read more...] about Will the Travis Pastrana Show Save U.S. Rallying?
From the August 2016 issue We talk a big game. After endlessly professing our love for Chevy Corvettes, Porsche Caymans, and Mazda MX-5 Miatas, more often than not, when the time comes to pick a vehicle for a weekend road trip, we choose something practical. Practical is three rows. Practical is all-wheel drive. Practical is quiet. Practical rides well. Practical doesn’t make us look as if we’re suffering a mid-life crisis. And practical gets driven. In our long-term fleet, the vehicles that rack up 40,000 miles the quickest are always minivans and three-row SUVs. As much as we love driving them, sports cars can’t accommodate the family or carry much stuff. So the Mazda CX-9 is practical, but it’s not all Costco and Home Depot and road trips to Disney. The CX-9 looks like something Karl Lagerfeld would use to run errands on whatever his version of a nice little Saturday might be. A wholesale redo, the new CX-9 lifts the design idioms of … [Read more...] about 2016 Mazda CX-9 AWD
Moneymoneymoneymoney … Money!“GO RACING ON A BUDGET!” It’s the go-to headline of a thousand magazine covers. When you see that headline, you can be assured of several things: the cost of labor will never be mentioned; nobody’s time is worth anything; nothing ever breaks, fails, or requires early replacement; and certain costs, like transportation and storage, will simply disappear without comment from the final accounting.Today, I’d like to change all that. I’d like to tell you what this past weekend cost me, and what I got for my money. I’m doing this because I think some of you are interested in going racing, and the rest of you are simply amused when I suffer, whether physically or fiscally.There was a moment on Sunday afternoon when I was leading the race, the track wide-open ahead of me, the long-stroke minivan motor beneath my Neon’s hood growling at its maximum useful revs of about 5,900, maybe doing 105 miles per … [Read more...] about Trackday Diaries: The True Cost of Racing