In the 1982 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racetrack, driving a BMW powered Brabham Nelson Piquet Sr. was leading 18 laps into the 45 lap race. As he passed backmarker Eliseo Salazar to lap him at the new Ostkurve chicane, Salazar turned into Piquet, wrecking the two of them. It was a relatively low speed collision and neither was injured but both of their races were over. An enraged Piquet was already gesturing angrily at Salazar as he got out of his car. Piquet then pretty much charged at Salazar, stiff armed him, then hit him with a left right combination of punches to the head followed by a karate kick towards Salazar’s groin, which missed. Next time some hoity toity F1 fan mocks NASCAR and the Allison brothers versus Cale Yarborough throwdown, remind them of Piquet’s kick.
The Chevrolet Caprice might be second to the Toyota FT-86 in the sheer volume of rumors surrounding when and where it will go on sale. The rear-drive, 6.0L V8 powered Caprice is currently sold only to fleet customers, but the “detective’s cars” sold as unmarked units look suspiciously like civilian-ready full size sedans.
The rot-gut whiskey powered good ol’ boys who turned their fleet flite from revenooers into stock car racing must be flipping their ‘40 Fords in their graves. Nah, on second thought, they’d be so proud that their Prohibition-defying race car culture has swept the nation they’d be bemused by the news. Nascar is going effete… uh, green.
I’ve heard a lot of derisive comments about NASCAR lately on this site, many of them from people — my fellow racers and fast-road drivers — who should know better. While it’s true that the common template is a disgrace, the idea that NASCAR is a low-tech ghetto compared to the oh-so-modern sports-car series like the ALMS is, to put it mildly, false. There’s a reason that the abortive USF1 team wanted to locate near the NASCAR guys. It’s where the tech is. Click the jump to find out why racing NASCAR takes more brainpower than any Touring Car or prototype series out there…