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Thread: Why do we love Racing?

  1. #1
    Vman$01
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    Why do we love Racing?

    Folks,

    It started with my Dad who raced on the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America), circuit. The racing we saw overseas and articles in Road & Track and Autocar, and the great muscle cars past and present.

    NASCAR for whatever reason is bigger than any major sport in the US. F1 in Europe and South America rivals soccer.

    High fuel prices and a Worldwide recession have not brought the Beserker to the pontious Prius. MPG is not MPH. And finally domestic cars (US), like the Cadillac CTS-V are playing hardball in the big leagues.

    NASCAR articles are here because they are racing right now. When F1 and Indy come online it will rock. Imagine the Le Mans series in dozen cities in America. The next big thing.

    Also racers aren't spoiled SOB athletes. In the pits of the SCCA you can look in the car and speak with the driver.

    Thanks to great performance car articles: Man and machine duel in a city near you. V-Man - Video Alert


  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman$01 View Post
    Folks,

    It started with my Dad who raced on the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America), circuit. The racing we saw overseas and articles in Road & Track and Autocar, and the great muscle cars past and present.

    NASCAR for whatever reason is bigger than any major sport in the US. F1 in Europe and South America rivals soccer.

    High fuel prices and a Worldwide recession have not brought the Beserker to the pontious Prius. MPG is not MPH. And finally domestic cars (US), like the Cadillac CTS-V are playing hardball in the big leagues.

    NASCAR articles are here because they are racing right now. When F1 and Indy come online it will rock. Imagine the Le Mans series in dozen cities in America. The next big thing.

    Also racers aren't spoiled SOB athletes. In the pits of the SCCA you can look in the car and speak with the driver.

    Thanks to great performance car articles: Man and machine duel in a city near you. V-Man - Video Alert

    Maybe I just like to complain, but I much prefer racing as it used to be to what it is today.

    For example, NASCAR:

    When the "stock" cars bore some resemblance to actual production cars, it was much more interesting to me. Today, it's like pro wrestling - mostly about the personalities of the drivers. The races I've seen are pretty boring compared to what it was like in the '70s.

    SCCA is cool because it's still mostly regular people driving real/accessible cars.

    I just find it hard to relate to multi-million-dollar cars and teams where it's as much about the sponsor as it is about the driving - or even the race itself.

  3. #3
    Vman$01
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    Yes Eric - I agree with you and all points well taken.

    I want to critique the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), as well.

    The cost of running a "Club" car has skyrocketed. Insurance issues and safety concerns have forced even weekend enthusiasts to get sponsors or not race at all.

    Safety however is a good thing. Many drivers died in the 50's. 60's and 70's on the SCCA circuit - having fun! However the widows of these drivers to this day are not thrilled.

    I look at stickers on a race car like stickers on a guitar case. Kind of cool in some ways.

    You are right. In the 60's you could race a Saab, Volvo, Lotus, MG, or a Daimler with little modification. The compliance rules for each class was only a few pages of modifications. Now it is a book that rivals War and Peace - with no expense spared.

    If you win your class on the SCCA there is substantial prize money. When my Dad raced his trophy was worth more than the prize money. Tax write offs in the 60's allowed him to write of everything! He did not need a sponsor! He was a car dealer and you name it was practically free!

    The racing schools are better today and far more expensive. The tires, breaks and suspensions are better and that increase speeds on the same old road courses my Dad ran on with few repairs over time.

    Back to NASCAR. Other than SCCA - The do resemble a street car more than an F1, an Indycar, of a Le Mans car. When was the last time you saw a (Le Mans Spec.) Renault turbo diesel with 800 hp driving down route 66? These are race cars.

    Last year the Nationwide cars introduced the Mustang, and Challenger on the Nationwide Car of Tomorrow. Chevy and Toyota stayed with the Impala and the Camry. Eventually there will be a Camaro and a Supra. This trend will find the way to the Sprint Cup Series soon.

    The new 2011 Sprint car has a molded "splitter" and not the add-on that was a tire slasher, giving it a cleaner look and more like a production car on the outside.

    If you trace back Indy and F1 it was a long time ago (almost 100 years), since the cars resembled a street car. And those street cars were built for lunatics with money, or people who intended to race them.

    I feel the debate should be about: Primitive cars that have approximately 1 G of downforce VS open wheel cars that are much lighter and aerodynamic and have around 4 G's of downforce to lay the rubber down.

    Shouldn't the debate be: Which car is easier to drive? A 2011 Nascar goes over 200 mph and on the same tracks that Indy and some cases F1 cars run on, at comparable speeds.

    I am always miffed by the fact that NASCAR does not allow fuel injection that is good for the environment in fuel savings. Overhead cams to improve performance. Toyata has never made a 6 liter pushrod V-8 (That is totally Bogus).

    In summary the platforms are somewhat comparable on the track and not the street. Their grills are different but the drag on the aero package are similar. Unless they establish multiple classes in NASCAR, I don't see how they can do it any other way.

    Nothing is like when we were kids. Let's face that fact. Let's put a Camaro, a Challenger and a Mustang on the track with the race compliance manual of the early 70's. Costs would be reduced dramatically and fatalities would increase. It would be seriously interesting though! V-Man

  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    During the 1974 racing season, I helped out in the pits at one NASCAR race. Even then, cars were begining to morph into race machines only. When Richard Petty was racing in the 60's, he pulled his car on a trailer behind the truck used to haul parts. Now they have complete machine shops inside a semi trailer. While heavily modified, the '74 contenders were actual cars that were heavily rebuilt to include a steel cage inside. Granted, all I did was hand tires and fuel cans over the wall, but I did get to hang out around guys who had raced convertibles in the 50's.

    Todays NASCAR machines only look kind of like a production machine, sort of. Except for the name on the body and the number of wheels and tires, they have nothing in common with on the street. The engines are race only engines and sometimes the manufacturer doesn't make that engine anymore. The body is a plastic or fiberglass shell that goes over a full out race chassis. I've even heard of coupes when the factory made only 4 door sedans. I'm pretty sure the trucks only have a different shell, underneath they are the same as the cars.
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  5. #5
    Vman$01
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    My Take is - Wow that's so cool! Several points...

    "Granted, all I did was hand tires and fuel cans over the wall"

    I never partied with Elvis in the Jungle room or met the King Richard Petty. That's just way too cool for me to imagine. Very nice!

    "The manufacturer doesn't make that engine anymore."


    Toyota never made a 6 liter pushrod V-8?? What are they doing on the track?

    Sub-point II - This racing series revels in the past and not the present era of so-called "street rods". The engines in the Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford are " very similar" to the configuration of an era 40 to 50 years ago that was the good ole days of NASCAR when it was barely profitable.

    Country music is not the same today either. But it is more profitable that even Hip Hop <-- Imagine that! We might be able to bring back a lot of nostalgia, but not Stock car racing and not hardcore *&^% kickin' country music (that I personally listen to).

    In closing my point <- V-Man get on with your @#$%ing Point Errr!


    Street cars are for the Street. Race cars are for the Track. Put Street cars on the track and you have happy Funeral Directors.

    Also, <- (V point Part Deux) - In the Grand Am Road Racing Series (Continental Tire Class) - They are highly modified Camaro's, Vettes, Mazdas.... I call this series the next big thing. These are - Street cars modified for the track. I hope all race fans check out this series!

    V-Man
    Last edited by Vman$01; 02-27-2011 at 01:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman$01 View Post


    My Take is - Wow that's so cool! Several points...

    "Granted, all I did was hand tires and fuel cans over the wall"

    I never partied with Elvis in the Jungle room or met the King Richard Petty. That's just way too cool for me to imagine. Very nice!

    "The manufacturer doesn't make that engine anymore."

    Toyota never made a 6 liter pushrod V-8?? What are they doing on the track?

    Sub-point II - This racing series revels in the past and not the present era of so-called "street rods". The engines in the Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford are " very similar" to the configuration of an era 40 to 50 years ago that was the good ole days of NASCAR when it was barely profitable.
    V-Man

    I've trimmed it to keep the post a reasonably comfortable length for reading.

    I never met King Richard either. I was just helping a buddy who was on a team that was short handed in the pits. I see the jump suits made of fire resistant material, helmets and such and I have to marvel. We were wearing t-shirts and either blue jeans or polyester bell bottoms. Fire and polyester is not a good mix.

    A lot of the engines on the track are not factory sold engines. NASCAR was supported and made quite a profit because of the manufacturers. It also had a homologation rule. That's why cars like the Daytona/Superbirds, King Cobra and so on were built in the first place. Why the Chrysler 426 Hemi, and the Ford and Chevy muscle engines were built and sold for the public. To make them legal for racing. In the case of the Dayton, only enough were built to be legal. Now, it's all about money. No more "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday".

    As for very similar, race engines usually barely compare to street engines. I've driven engines built and tuned for the track on the street. It isn't pleasant. That vrooom vrooom isn't just for show. It's to keep the alternator charging and keep the induction system from loading up. Anyone who can drive a race engine on the street any distance at all impresses me. Guys spend all sorts of money smoothing out the air flow, raising compression, adjusting the valve timing, all to make the engine as efficient as possible.

    Current NASCAR rules go by a template. Which means all the bodies are the same pretty much. Oh the trim and details vary by make, but squint your eyes and look. You can pull the body off one car and remove all the decals and paint, repaint it and put it on another car and nobody would notice.

    Granted, templates are a good idea. I remember the Chevrolet that Smokey Yunick built in the early 60's. That wasn't one body part that would swap with a stock production car on the lot.

    One of the reasons I still will watch Rally Car racing is the cars usually were bought off the dealers lot, even if they are heavily modified. You also don't get the appearance of a moving parking lot. There are also no prima donnas there either.
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  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "Toyota never made a 6 liter pushrod V-8?? What are they doing on the track?"

    I may be wrong (someone correct me if I am) but I don't think Toyota has ever made a pushrod V-8 for a production vehicle; at least not a passenger car and not in modern history. Maybe they had a truck motor back in the '60s or '50s... I dunno.

    But all their current V-8s (in cars) are OHC designs and I think that goes for trucks, too.

    Of course, none of the current pushrod V-8s being used in NASCAR has anything but a very distant and tenuous relationship to any production engine.

    Ford stopped selling their pushrod V-8 (the old 302/351W) back in 1994, I think.

    And the current LS series GM V-8s are completely different designs from the old "small block" family (267/302/305/327/350) that served in G vehicles from circa 1955 through the '90s.

    And of course, no one has used carbs on a production car since the late 1980s!

  8. #8
    Vman$01
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    Grouch it is true that racing engines are racing engine. The engine "shell" used by NASCAR was fairly typical of a muscle car engine of the 60's and 70's.

    Have a Great Weekend! V-Man

  9. #9
    Vman$01
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    "Toyota never made a 6 liter pushrod V-8?? What are they doing on the track?"

    I may be wrong (someone correct me if I am) but I don't think Toyota has ever made a pushrod V-8 for a production vehicle; at least not a passenger car and not in modern history. Maybe they had a truck motor back in the '60s or '50s... I dunno.

    But all their current V-8s (in cars) are OHC designs and I think that goes for trucks, too.

    Of course, none of the current pushrod V-8s being used in NASCAR has anything but a very distant and tenuous relationship to any production engine.

    Ford stopped selling their pushrod V-8 (the old 302/351W) back in 1994, I think.

    And the current LS series GM V-8s are completely different designs from the old "small block" family (267/302/305/327/350) that served in G vehicles from circa 1955 through the '90s.

    And of course, no one has used carbs on a production car since the late 1980s!
    Eric,

    My entire point was for Chevy, Dodge, and Ford: The configuration of the current NASCAR engine is "similar" to engines sold at car dealerships in the 60's and 70's. I call this period the "Muscle Car" era.

    The engines on the track in Phoenix today are very primitive racing engines as you well know. Gotta go back to the race.

    V-Man

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman$01 View Post
    Eric,

    My entire point was for Chevy, Dodge, and Ford: The configuration of the current NASCAR engine is "similar" to engines sold at car dealerships in the 60's and 70's. I call this period the "Muscle Car" era.

    The engines on the track in Phoenix today are very primitive racing engines as you well know. Gotta go back to the race.

    V-Man
    Yep!

    If I recall right Toyota had to design a pushrod V-8 specifically for NASCAR; I don't think this engine has any production car cousins at all.

    I wonder why NASCAR is frozen in time - the cars being (loosely) based on what "stock" cars were like in the '60s and '70s (and even into the '80s).

    I guess because they can still sell tickets and make money.

    But the irony is that the type of car NASCAR is now running (large, RWD 2-plus-2 coupe with a large, carbureted V-8) hasn't been available in showrooms since the late 1980s - almost 30 years ago!

    Only fans well into their 40s today (for the most part) can even recall what cars like the '80s-era Pontiac Grand Prix coupe, Monte Carlo and so on were like.

    I wonder what the age demographic of the typical NASCAR fan is?

  11. #11
    Vman$01
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    It is curious to say the least E-Man

    Eric,

    For example: Why can't they have fuel injection, overhead cams, and 6 speed transmissions?

    I guess it is like a 70's radio station. If it played 50 Cent it wouldn't be a 70's station would it?

    Strangely, you put an open wheel driver in one of these cars and they tend to struggle. Again, open wheel cars have approximately 4 times the down force on the rear wheels (grip), as does a Sprint Cup car.

    Few NASCAR drivers go to F1 or Indy, as they would rather not take a pay cut. Dario Franchetti who finished in the 30's out of 43 drivers, immediately went back to Indy cars and won the Championship.

    And also Jimmie Johnson drove (with 2 other drivers), to finish 2nd overall in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series during the 12 hours of Sebring last year. I know Michael Schumacher is the best driver of all time along with Ayrton Senna (tie).

    I really need everyone to go to their hometrack and watch any race. They will see sponsors all over the cars that have them. SCCA, World of Outlaws - Every F___ing body!

    I know some rock bands that don't want to be household names. But having said that: They are already millionaires.

    If would could "somehow" implement a socialist government in the US and have them put NASCAR under the microscope for dissing the proletariat. Then we could have "state run" races with sacred cows chosen by the ruling elite. I would love to see Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton come race against the sacred cows and school their them back to the dirt tracks where they came from. Yee Haw!!!!

    V-Ma

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman$01 View Post
    Eric,

    For example: Why can't they have fuel injection, overhead cams, and 6 speed transmissions?

    I guess it is like a 70's radio station. If it played 50 Cent it wouldn't be a 70's station would it?

    Strangely, you put an open wheel driver in one of these cars and they tend to struggle. Again, open wheel cars have approximately 4 times the down force on the rear wheels (grip), as does a Sprint Cup car.

    Few NASCAR drivers go to F1 or Indy, as they would rather not take a pay cut. Dario Franchetti who finished in the 30's out of 43 drivers, immediately went back to Indy cars and won the Championship.

    And also Jimmie Johnson drove (with 2 other drivers), to finish 2nd overall in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series during the 12 hours of Sebring last year. I know Michael Schumacher is the best driver of all time along with Ayrton Senna (tie).

    I really need everyone to go to their hometrack and watch any race. They will see sponsors all over the cars that have them. SCCA, World of Outlaws - Every F___ing body!

    I know some rock bands that don't want to be household names. But having said that: They are already millionaires.

    If would could "somehow" implement a socialist government in the US and have them put NASCAR under the microscope for dissing the proletariat. Then we could have "state run" races with sacred cows chosen by the ruling elite. I would love to see Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton come race against the sacred cows and school their them back to the dirt tracks where they came from. Yee Haw!!!!

    V-Ma
    If people like NASCAR, hell, let 'em enjoy it!

    I just think the name's become silly.

    NASCAR's about as much about "stock" car racing as cRap is about music!

  13. #13
    Vman$01
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    Way back when the plebeians called it Stock Car racing. I know “NASCAR” has been the established name for the brand for many years. Let’s see if this makes sense. New Orleans had a basketball team called the Jazz. The team then moved to Salt Lake City and was called the Utah Jazz??? But when Rambler changed their name to American Motors, I was OK with it…. On the other hand: Those folks went broke didn’t they? Never mind.


    New name: Turn Left and turn Left again 2,000 times unless you are in Pocono racing League!


    V-Man



  14. #14
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Q: Why do we love racing?
    A: 'Cuz it's fun!

  15. #15
    Vman$01
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    Q: Why do we love racing?
    A: 'Cuz it's fun!
    Yeah Man!

    Let's Go Racin'. The worst day racin' is better than the Best Day Workin'!!

    Yee Hah!!!! V-Man

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