Without question, the most fun that I have ever legally had in a vehicle was when I took my 250+ horsepower mini truck to an autocross-like event at my local air force base. It was put together by a driving school, which I had heard about through a friend of a friend. The driving instructors were mostly made up of
crash Spec Miata racers, who all had decades of real racing experience behind them. Needless to say, it made for an extraordinarily thrilling day for everyone in attendance.
Since we were going to be
brutally beating driving our own vehicles on the course, we began the day with pre-race vehicle inspections. The driving instructors needed to make sure that none of us had any planned trips to the nearby hospital. Once all of the vehicles passed the safety test, we signed a waiver and began learning the basics of autocrossing. Certain cones meant certain things, and if you ignored the rules, you would likely end up looking like a jerk in one way or another. Got it. The walk around the track and basic training eventually wrapped up, and it was finally time to run our cars (ehem… trucks…) with our new driving, racing, and acronym knowledge.
The following several hours were spent pushing our vehicles to the limits, and generally having the times of our lives. It has now been about 3 or 4 years since that fondly remembered summer day, and I still get overly excited thinking about how much fun it was. The amount that I learned, and the amount of fun that I had is simply inexplainable to this day.
Fast forward to last week, and I just so happened to come across an extremely cool website. It takes the place of my “friend of a friend” by helping you find the nearest auto racing schools to where you are. It’s known as: “Auto-Racing-Schools.FindTheBest.com“, and if you are reading this, you should definitely check it out. Some of the racing schools listed on the site are far more serious than what I did, but I would bet the knowledge gained is exponentially more serious as well. The other excellent part of this website is the fact that if you are a driving or racing school, you can add your business to the list and potentially get your name out there to the masses. Look, we all just want to drive our cars like we stole them, and we want to do it without landing behind bars. So go tell your family and friends to pool together a birthday present for you, and get yourself into the racing scene! Even better, bring me along!
Travis Pastrana is a man of many things, he’s more of a modern-day daredevil if you will. Mr. Pastrana has been very successful in a variety of goals that he has set out to achieve in life.
You may have seen him jump out of a plane without a parachute (yes you’ve read that right), only to obtain one from a friend in mid-air while plummeting towards the earth, or was it when he smashed the 12-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road Record by 20 seconds!
Hmmm… Well There’s this Pastrana guy in the X Games that has won 16 medals (11 of which are gold), yes this is the same Travis Pastrana. The guy is simply amazing at pretty much anything he sets his mind to.
Travis has stated that he would love to become involved in Nascar. He has run three Nascar K&N series races in an effort to prepare for his driving debut in the Nationwide series this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Travis has struggled a bit in the K&N series. With a 6Th, 22ND and 25Th place finish, he realizes there’s quite a bit to learn behind the wheel of a stock car.
Travis Pastrana has signed a three-year agreement with Michael Waltrip, forming Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. Pastrana said that he realizes that there is alot to learn, and that he doesn’t expect to have instant success right away in the Nationwide Series. Most of his success in racing has come from non asphalt forms of racing, but he wanted to try his hand in Nascar to see what happens.
Michael Waltrip also said that he was excited to work with Pastrana, and that it’s going to take a little while for him to learn how to drive a cup car and communicate with a crew chief, but seemed very excited about the partnership.
The boys had the weekend off last week in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series, some of them took the weekend off and others found different things to do.
Kasey Kahne ran a race in Pennsylvania on Friday night in his sprint car at Williams Cove Speedway. World of Outlaw driver Craig Dollansky went to pass Kasey on the inside coming out of turn four when their cars touched on the backstretch sending the 49 machine of Kahne through the air end-over-end, over a guard rail and ultimately came to a rest about 30 feet from the track. It was a pretty scary wreck. Kahne however emerged unharmed.
Driver Jeff Gordon boarded a plane right after the Lenox Tools 301 in Louden NH, and headed straight for the Congo to help out in a refugee camp for a couple of days, as part of the Clinton Global Initiative that he is part of.
This week the Nascar circuit is off to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where driver Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race back in 1994, passing Ernie Irvan who had the car to beat but ended up cutting down a tire handing the win to Gordon.
If you’re looking for a driver to pick for your fantasy league for this weeks Brickyard 400, Jeff Gordon has 4 wins at Indy, while teammate Jimmie Johnson has 3. However Tony Stewart has 2 wins at indy, he came in second at Louden two weeks ago and typically starts to pour it on at this point in the season.
Another guy to keep and eye on is Clint Boywer. He also knows how to get around Indianapolis Motor Speedway very well and could be a factor during Sunday’s Brickyard 400.
Ryan Newman had a great pay day last weekend or so he thought. Newman won the F.W. Webb 100 on Saturday and also the Lenox Tool 301 on Sunday.
Sitting in the grandstands on Saturday I had the perfect view of the modified race in which for the third straight year in a row Ryan Newman won the pole. Newman’s car was pretty fast during the race, so fast in fact that it failed Nascar’s post race inspection.
On Wednesday Nascar announced that Newman would be stripped of his win in the modified series, due to an illegal motor. The modified cars run a restrictor plate and Newmans crew decided to make a weep hole in the carburetor gasket that would allow more air to be sucked into the intake creating more horsepower.
Nascar has announced Todd Szegedy as the winner of the F.W. Webb 100. All of the other drivers will move up a spot in the finishing order.
As a result of the infraction, car owner Kevin Manion and also crew chief Mike LaRochelle have both been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series for the remainder of the year due to the severity of the issue.
Call me old school if you must, but I looove me some Buick woody wagon. Wagons are not for everybody though, and I’ve come to terms with that over the years. I’ve also learned that a wagon covered in woodgrain will never be able to pass a Hennessey Venom GT, nor will they float as well as an Amphicar. That’s not what they are about. They are cruisers, plain and simple. » Continue reading more of this post…
We left off the last episode with a freshly fabricated trunk floor, and I had a new tail pan and taillight surround on order. A few days later, they arrived, and work commenced. If you are curious, I would imagine that at this point in the story, I must have had about 75 hours into the removal of the quarter, and the repair of the wheel house, filler neck surround, trunk drop off, and trunk floor. It is easy to see why car restorations add up fast. The labor factor is huge. Moving on…
I began this round with the test fitting of the tail pan and the left taillight surround. They were both perfect, except my trunk floor wasn’t. Everything needed some TLC with hammers to align it all. Once I was happy with the tail pan, I drilled a million holes in it and spot welded it all the way down just like when the car was new. I then coated it in ugly reddish primer because that is what was within reach.
The taillight surround was much more challenging to align than the tail pan was. I used a variety of clamps, and cleco’s. If you have never used cleco’s you are missing out. They are cheap little devices that hold metal together like a champ. Every tool box should have some.
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That’s the noise that team owner Tony Stewart heard as Ryan Newman crossed the finish line ahead of him during Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Both Newman and Stewart ran an excellent race yesterday. Tony Stewart has had one heck of a bad year at the beginning of the season. This was a great shot in the arm for Stewart- Haas racing. Ryan Newman is now 8th in the Nascar Sprint Cup points chase and team owner Tony Stewart is pretty close behind in 11th.
Sitting in row 22 on the start/finish line, it was a little toasty on the metal bleachers up in the grandstand. Temperatures were into the 90’s on race day. I was listening in on Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he said it was so hot inside the car he could feel his face blister. » Continue reading more of this post…