Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Real American Idol

While I was watching this year's Daytona 500 I couldn't help but wish someone would take the Toyotas out. I don't want to sound mean, but I really did not want to see a Toyota anywhere near the winners circle. In my opinion, for a Foreign car manufacture to win one of NASCAR's most coveted races is akin to Americans of European descent taking up Sumo wrestling. Shouldn't happen, ain't gonna happen. The good ol' boys need to step it up. Besides, Toyota wins enough in the truck series, that should be enough to keep their ego in check. Sure, I'm all about being fair and equal rights and all that stuff, but there is a difference between racing to race and racing to win. Take the following for example: Kyle Petty races to race, whereas Jimmy Johnson races to win. A big difference in my book. The Toyotas should just concede and race to race. Naturally we should still be fair and let the "Camrys" out on the track to do some "rubbin". That would make for good target practice for the other drivers. Lets just say I was glad to see Dodge do a 1-2 finish and Toyota finish third.

Here is a picture of Toyota's new 358-cubic inch, iron-block, carbureted V-8 race engine that will be used in NASCAR Craftsman Truck racing next year. About the only thing stock on this engine is the power steering pump. (photo courtesy of TRD)

Now compare it with GM's First Purpose-Built Small-Block V-8 NASCAR Racing Engine, the Chevrolet R07 . Is it just me or do they look similiar? I understand the Toyota engine was designed and built in the U.S. but the block is cast in Japan. Boy, nothing like building on a weak foundation! Although I also heard that because of huge 4th quarter loses at GM, their engine block will be cast in Mexico... just kidding, but you never know! (photo courtesy of

Let's face it, NASCAR is viewed as an American sport, but it is open to all competitors. We all
have our favorite drivers and teams. For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of Richard Petty. I use to watch him race at the now defunct Riverside International Raceway. My favorite spot was against the fence in the middle of the "esses". As a kid who couldn't afford a tele-photo lens, that spot made for some really good photos. Opinions will differ, but I have always loved the "NASCAR look". Those old cars with huge steelies on all four corners looked awesome. My dream was to take a '73 or '74 Monte Carlo and totally NASCAR it out: Adjustable suspension, sheet metal covers for headlights, painted 10 inch wide steelies, roll cage, exhaust pipes coming out by the passenger side door, the whole nine yards. Can you say: "Boogity Boogity Boogity!"?

I think I'll go watch Days of Thunder now. Better yet, I got a special NASCAR history DVD set for Christmas! Talk about vintage race cars. This DVD is chuck loaded with ideas for creating your very own "repliNascar" for the street. Remember, you read that word here first: RepliNascar. Maybe I'll trade mark it. Now I have to start searching for that Monte Carlo...

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