Tag: nascar

By on February 8, 2019

Corey LaJoie might not have the most impressive stock car record in motorsport, but he will have the most recognizable car at Daytona 500 later this month. Go Fas Racing, along with its sponsors, have decided that the best livery for the No. 32 Old Spice car is a giant stretched version of its driver’s head. The end result makes those reoccurring dreams about your teeth falling out seem positively tranquil by comparison.

The team documented the process of wrapping the Ford Mustang they’ll be running in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series over the last couple of days. LaJoie’s face resides on the hood and bumper, with the teeth cut out to make an opening for the grille.

While we can’t say whether the new visuals will provide much of an edge on the racetrack, it’s difficult to imagine something scarier coming up behind you in the rearview mirror. Still, we doubt intimidation was on anyone’s mind when they dreamed this monstrosity up.  (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2018

Image: NASCAR

When Chevrolet rolled into last month’s SEMA show with a vivid, one-off Camaro SS show car, our attention was drawn to its new “concept” face. It seemed like the bowtie brand had read Matthew Guy’s mind, swathing the grille’s horizontal crossbar in body color and moving the Chevy emblem to its rightful, slimming place between the headlamps. Before this change, the refreshed-for-2019 SS looked a little homely next to its Camaro 1LE and RS brethren.

Who knows, we thought, maybe it’s not too late to fix a mistake. Our hopes remained guarded, however. Then came Chevy’s eCOPO Camaro electric dragster concept, also premiering at SEMA, which appeared with the same facial quirk. Now, we have the brand’s new NASCAR offering and, lo and behold, the front end is, again, just as we’d like it. (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2018

While I throughly enjoy motorsport, my NASCAR fandom has dwindled over the years. It’s not a frequency I’m perpetually tuned into anymore, but I revisit the series regularly to keep tabs on what’s happening. However, when I put on Sunday’s race, I noticed something different about the cars. Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet had a picture of his own face on the side, as did Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota. What the hell was going on?

A few minutes of investigation later, I learned that NASCAR had decided to slap emoji’s on the side of every important vehicle to celebrate the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs. Monster Energy Cup Series race teams have each unveiled customized hashtags and emojis for all 16 of the competing drivers in collaboration with the Race Team Alliance and Twitter. And it’s probably my least favorite marketing gimmick in motorsport’s history. (Read More…)

By on August 6, 2018

Brian France, NASCAR Chairman/CEO and least photogenic man alive, was arrested for driving under the influence and being in possession of Oxycodone over the weekend. If your illicit substances dictionary hasn’t been updated for a few volumes, Oxycodone is a powerful opioid with a few different brand names that lends itself heavily to addiction and dependence. Meanwhile, “under the influence” still just means drunk.

In charge of NASCAR since 2003, France’s family has been behind the wheel of the sport since its inception in 1948. While we absolutely don’t condone drinking and driving, there is something oddly fitting about the CEO of a sport founded by bootleggers getting slapped with a DUI.  (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2018

There was no shortage of motorsport action this past weekend, from Indy cars in Toronto to machines of all sort being flung (and flinging themselves) up Lord March’s driveway at Goodwood.

With NASCAR currently suffering through a valley of attention, the thought popped to mind: what’s your preferred type of motorsport?

(Read More…)

By on July 12, 2018

While the returning Toyota Supra should be big news, the endless parade of teasers without any real information has left everyone feeling burned out. We previously announced that the vehicle would debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week. But Toyota later clarified that the car we would see wouldn’t be the production version and remain camouflaged, resulting in rage-induced nose bleeds at automotive-media outlets across the globe.

Our expectations couldn’t be lower but we still had to check and see if any new information could be gleaned from the event. We definitely got a better look at it but technical specifications remained elusive. We did learn a thing or two, though. (Read More…)

By on July 9, 2018

It’s understandable that an automaker would want to prolong the unveiling of a hotly anticipated model. After all, building suspense is essential when marketing a vehicle that’s exciting but lacks broad appeal. This is why Dodge was so fastidious in its debut of the Hellcat and Demon, parsing out just enough information to keep us fed without ever letting us get full.

By contrast, Toyota’s preliminary marketing of the Supra started with as few details as possible and has continued starving us of all meaningful information. That’s partly because the vehicle is a sister car to the new BMW Z4 — and sharing details of one model means giving away the goods on the other. Despite this, Magna Steyr (tasked with manufacturing both vehicles) isn’t building two identical models with different badges. The Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, describes the Supra as a pure sports car where practicality and comfort are almost not considered.

That sounds very exciting, so it was a relief when we learned the car will finally see daylight at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this week. Unfortunately, Toyota clarified on Monday that the vehicle we’ll see wouldn’t be a production vehicle and will remain wrapped in red camouflage.  (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2018

Toyota made it clear it wants the returning Supra to have presence in motorsport when it unveiled the GR Racing Concept in March of this year. However, based on its looks, we assumed the model was destined for the grand touring circuits.

While that still may be the case, Toyota recently announced that the Supra will make its way to NASCAR in 2019. If you’re worried about the Camry, don’t be. The sedan will continue running in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series while the Supra handles the Xfinity Series.

Even though the NASCAR Supra is representative of the production model, the two won’t share many parts. All stock cars are required to run naturally aspirated, pushrod V8 engines — which the production model certainly won’t have. But it shows Toyota is serious about the returning Supra making a splash in the U.S.

The automaker no doubt hopes the vintage maxim “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still rings true.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

1992 Pontiac LeMans sedan decklid emblem in California junkyard, © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Whether it’s a job, car, or food, trying something new often takes a dose of courage. It’s that reason why I always sit up and take notice when a racer steps out of the machine in which they normally compete and turn a wheel in a different environment.

Fernando Alonso did just that this weekend with Toyota at LeMans. The Spaniard appeared in the LMP1 class, part of a team that took the overall win. Not shabby at all.

(Read More…)

By on April 18, 2018

Mustang goes to NASCAR Cup

In the halcyon days of NASCAR, men drove coupified versions of machines one could actually buy on the showroom floor: rear-drive Thunderbirds, Grand Prix coupes, and Monte Carlos simultaneously plied both racetracks and dealer lots as recently as the 1980s. Race fans know what happened by 1989, of course, when GM slapped the names of mid-size front-drivers on their V8 NASCAR racers, with Ford following suit within the next 10 years.

Last year, GM made an infinitely logical move, bringing its Camaro nameplate to to the top-tier Winston Nextel Sprint Monster Energy Cup Series. Ford’s now mercifully following suit, binning the Fusion and putting a Mustang in the hands of those who choose to run the Blue Oval.

(Read More…)

By on September 28, 2017

Image: 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, Richard Petty Edition, via sellerThere’s a bit of a history with Rare Rides entries featuring Pontiac models. First was the awesome all-wheel drive 6000, with a Pepsi Edition Grand Prix following on its heels just three days afterward. Now, three months have elapsed since we last saw a Pontiac on these pages — far too long!

Bend the knee, for the Richard Petty Pontiac Grand Prix SE has arrived.

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2017

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

Our last couple of Rare Rides have been special limited edition vehicles. Last week we saw a GMC Spectre which, upon viewing, my friend declared, “That interior looks like an old Taco Bell!” Prior to that, a Nissan Desert Runner made all your Zima-beach-toting dreams come true, even with its sketchy and unclear history.

But today’s limited edition is more rare and more ugly than either of those two prior examples. It’s also newer, which makes its styling all the more egregious and offensive. By the year 2000, we were supposed to be beyond such gaudy nonsense. But the Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon Signature Series Commemorative Edition is as ridiculous as its name is long.

(Read More…)

By on February 13, 2017

A touching moment of solidarity crowned the inaugural series event. During the second race’s podium, the winner and Nissan GT Academy driver decided to offer his two Nissan Canada cheques of 1,500 worth of parts to new driver Mario Berthiaume, who was unable to start the race after seriously damaging his car in a practice session accident. Image: Nissan Canada

There’s an old saying, coined by NASCAR legend Junior Johnson, that suggests the quickest way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a big one. While my yard is notably devoid of multi-million dollar race haulers, I can certainly understand the seeds of truth in this cautionary tale: when the powers-that-be decide to change the rules in a particular series, it causes all hands to reach for their checkbooks.

There have been plenty of rule changes in motorsport over the years. Formula 1 changes its downforce packages more often than my wife’s teenage sister changes her Snapchat filters, for example. F1 is also known for decreeing the use of new engines, ranging over the years from turbo V6s to honkin’ V10s to small-displacement V12s, not to mention the bizarre powertrain configurations that appeared in the ’60s and ’70s. The amount of adaptation beggars belief.

Stock car racing isn’t immune to this trend, either.

(Read More…)

By on December 6, 2016

Cadillac DPi-V.R race car

Automotive athletes tend to age a little better other sports figures. While Formula 1 drivers tend to be a little younger, the average NASCAR driver is in their late thirties. That means racing retirement can be delayed well-past the comparative norm for an Olympic boxer or linebacker in the NFL.

However, every sport seems to share the common theme of athletes’ complete inability to remain retired after making a public announcement that they were packing it in.  (Read More…)

By on December 5, 2016

NASCAR (public domain)

The old NASCAR adage “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still temps modern automakers, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t immune to its spell.

After pulling out of stock car racing in 2012 to get its financial house in order, FCA now wants to see the Dodge brand back on the track. (Read More…)

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