If you watched the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night like I did, more than likely you were at the edge of your seat for the entire race. NASCAR has done a great job with all of the changes that they made in the off-season to their super speedway package.
They worked hard to get the cars back to pack racing that the fans have longed for over the past couple of seasons, and by golly it’s BACK! The two car tandem seems to be gone and we’re back to pack racing!
The Budweiser Shootout Saturday night was one of the best that I’ve seen in years. A guy could push the guy in front of him, make a charge for the lead and then pull out of line with enough horsepower to control his own destiny. That was what we were missing and what seemed to be back during the Budweiser Shootout. That race was so good I’d watch it again.
How about that Kyle Busch save. Halfway through the race he all but lost the car in the middle of the pack. He turned to the left and then to the right, sparkes were flying everywhere off the front air dam and somehow he gathered her up and kept on cruising along at 200 mph.
If that wasn’t enough for you, on the green-white-checkered restart Kyle Busch pushed Tony Stewart towards the front as they created a 200 MPH freight train that took off from the pack; coming out of turn 4 Busch broke formation, made the slingshot move around the right of Stewart and took Stewart right at the finish line winning the Bud Shootout by half a fender!
If this is a preview as to what’s going to take place during the Daytona 500 next Sunday, I think the race fans are in for a treat. This should be one of the best Daytona 500’s in years.
Saturday night the lights will be lit at Daytona International Speedway, kicking off the 2012 NASCAR Speed Week. If you haven’t watched the Bud Shootout in the past this is always a great race to watch. It’s a non points race, so there’s always plenty of hard racing to go around under the lights of Daytona!
The starting positions will be drawn on Friday, by luck of the draw. As a driver your starting position will be totally random. The race is 75 laps with a 10 minute pit stop after the first 25 laps. Under the first caution teams are allowed to take on a fresh set of tires, adjust the chassis and refuel.
Under the cover of darkness (okay, not really), there has been an evolutionary change going on beneath some new car hoods. Something that we all have grown to love & hate may finally become a thing of the past. For these new GM V6 engines, upgrading to a set of long tube headers for some added fun at the track is a total impossibility, because the exhaust manifold doesn’t even exist anymore. A tragedy? Nope, not really.
You see, General Motors has been starting to integrate the exhaust manifolds into the cylinder heads themselves. This is absolutely terrific news for several reasons. It gives engineers & technicians a bit more room to play, weighs several pounds less, has fewer gaskets to blow, and it locates the catalytic converters closer to the cylinder heads which reduces emissions even further. Oh yeah, they also claim that these fancy new heads flow better than the old exhaust manifolds used to. So unless these integrated cylinder heads start cracking from heat cycles (plausible?), they are really nothing but great news for the enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. It’s a strange new world out there, and times they are a’ changin’.
In the warmer months, I find myself sauntering around car shows quite a bit. It keeps me motivated on my automotive projects, gives me some great ideas, and I often meet great people. One car that I have seen several times over the past couple of years is this 63-64? Fairlane 500 with a twin turbocharged 5.0L nestled under the hood. This sort of thing always brings a smile to my face because it’s soooo outside the box, and most likely disturbingly fast. Both of which I happen to appreciate greatly.
That said, I have absolutely no details on this car other than what you see in the pictures. I can tell you that it appears to be a 5.0L fox body mustang engine with a couple turbos hanging off it. It’s gotta have some kind of aftermarket ECU (megasquirt? AEM?) because well….it’s injected, and the owner has extra sensors wired up for measuring temperatures on the inlet and outlet of the intercooler. Most factory ECU’s can’t handle additional inputs. Anywho, with that, I give leave you with this. An absolutely killer Fairlane 500 with an engine to match.
Last year Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series under his new crew chief Steve Letarte. The previous year he had finished the season in 21st place in the points standings under his old crew chief Lance McGrew.
Although he still hasn’t won a race since 2008, Dale Jr. and Steve Letarte made huge strides and really improved over the 2011 season. He could have easily shot Kevin Harvick up the hill at Martinsville to reclaim the lead and put an end to his winless streak, but Dale said he wanted to race him clean, and I’m sure Junior Nation can respect that.
Then there was the Coca-Cola 600 when Jimmie Johnson blew up, Dale Junior was coming to the checkers and ran out of gas! Kevin Harvick ultimately once again claimed a victory during that race.
Dale also hung out at the back of the pack under Chad Kanaus’s request in an effort to stay out of trouble for the race which ultimately worked against junior to the point where, when he got out of the car he said he was done sand bagging at these tracks.
I think in the 2012 season Dale will finally end his dry spell and claim the checkers more than once.
I could go about a million different directions with an eBay find like this. Maybe I should reference Brad Pitt in the movie “Seven” when he is screaming “WHAT’S IN THE BOX!!!“? Or I could write my own version of Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg’s famous “Saturday Night Live” like song:
Step 1) Cut a hole in the box…
Step 2) Put a motorcycle in the baaaahhx…
Step 3) Never open the box… and that’s the way you do it. It’s a bike in a box!…
It’s not just a bike though. This is a 1984 Harley XR 1000, and yes it is brand new, straight from 1984 to your computer screen. You can’t make this stuff up. Here’s the story quoted right from the eBay auction:
Up for auction is a 1984 Harley Davidson XR-1000 Motorcycle. This bike was delivered to Thurnalls Harley Davidson in Clarksville Indiana. Due to slow sales at the time, the motorcycle remained at Thurnalls warehouse in its shipping crate. Mr Thurnall passed in 2003, and in 2007 the bike along with other motorcycle related items were purchased by the current owner. When the bike was transferred in 2007 a small C shaped cut was made in the crate so the local sheriff could inspect the VIN number. Other than that, the Motorcycle has been undisturbed in its crate. I was able to take some pictures by inserting my camera through the C shaped hole. We have a clear Ky title in the current owners name showing 3 miles. Local pickup, is preferred, with payment of the balance at that time. We will ship if payment methods are acceptable.
Much like the brand new Bronco from a few weeks, I’m left wondering what the owner can possibly do with it? It’s a crazy piece of history that is totally one of a kind. Tearing the box off of it would potentially hurt its value, never mind ever starting it and riding it. Sure, it would be amazing to tear up the streets with a brand new bike from the 1980’s, but let’s face it, once this thing has a couple thousand miles on it, its value will slice in half. Amazing mechanical finds like these are always a blessing and a curse for me to see because I am always so torn up about what the “right thing” is to do with them! Luckily, none of us will have to stress out about it, because the motorcycle sold yesterday for $30,000 to somebody that we don’t know (most likely).