Jump to content


Photo

The Garbage Heap


  • Please log in to reply
61 replies to this topic

#1 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 01 January 2007 - 16:54

Fully recognizing that probably a sizeable majority of those on TNF openly loathe and despise NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) in any of its various forms and think scarcely little better of American racing overall -- even American road racing seems to fall short of being acceptable to many for no end of reasons (mostly because it is either not in Europe, a fatal flaw in and of itself, or that The American Way of Racing despoils the racing itself), as a public service I thought it might be nice to provide the dwindling few left here who have an interest in American racing with some tidbits or links that could be of some interest. Even those with their heads firmly jammed up their pinnacles might find an item or two that will amuse them.*

Also, this might serve as a warmup for the Zeitgeist Edition of RVM which may or may not be forthcoming in a few months or even weeks.

The Year Before the Modern Era

A most confusing year in the history of the NASCAR Grand National Division was 1971. There were two titles on the line that season: the Grand National title dating back to 1949 (with the name change from "Strictly Stock" to "Grand National" taking place during 1950) and the Winston Cup title. The latter was the first step in the transformation of the Grand National series into what would become simply "Winston Cup" in coming years.

The Grand National schedule for 1971 was much the same as preceding seasons with 48 events on the calendar, begining with Riverside in early January and ending with the Bryan-College Station event in the middle of December, a very long season. R.J. Reynolds had been approached by Junior Johnson as a possible sponsor for this team in late 1970. The FCC ban on cigarette advertising was due to expire at midnight 1 January 1971. Although the Reynolds management turned down the individual sponorship of Johnson's car, it did respond to his suggestion that perhaps they could sponsor the Grand National division. Keep in mind that at this time Phillip Morris was now sponsoring the Marlboro National Championship Trail with USAC and Liggett & Myers was the sponsor of the SCCA L&M Continental Championship (later the L&M Formula 5000 Championship).

Reynolds and NASCAR quickly came to an agreement. Reynolds had an idea of what it wanted to do with the Grand National series which was not too different from the change that was occurring on the USAC/Marlboro National Championship Trail -- eliminating the smaller events, reducing the number of events while concentrating on longer, major events. However, the 1971 schedule was already in place, although it was to be the first season to not have a venue using a dirt track to host a Grand National event.

The Grand National circuit was beginning to feel the effects of changes that were taking place. In 1969, Firestone departed the GN series leaving Goodyear as the sole tire supplier. Then at the end of 1970, both Ford and Chrysler dropped their support to GN racing. The departure of the two manufacturers was not quite total or complete, but only due to a few existing contracts being honored into the folowing season, meaning that by the end of 1971 the teams were on their once more.

The way Reynolds dipped its toe into GN racing was to sponsor a championship-within-a-championship: the Winston Cup. Points towards it would only be awarded in events longer than 250 miles, which meant the the shorter events were eliminated from the "Cup" series. Plus, there was a points fund which was quite lucrative for the day, with the Winston Cup champion getting $20,000 of the $50,000 to be distributed at the end of the season. The plan also included $25,000 being distributed after the Charlotte event and another $25,000 after the Darlington race. Needless to say, this got the attention of all involved.

One of the problems that became apparent as the GN season progressed was that entries were down for the events compared to past seasons, with more than a few of the stars looking for rides -- Pete Hamilton, Bobby Allison, David Pearson, and others as examples, and although Hamilton and Allison got rides, Cale Yarborough left to compete in the USAC/Marlboro National Championship series.

Another problem was the Grand American series. At the end of 1970, it was left in limbo. While the SCCA Trans Am series was doing well in 1970 and again in 1971, the NASCAR counterpart was somewhat adrift. The GA season did not even begin until May 1971. However, a way to at least put bandaids on both problems went into effect on 1 August: the GA drivers and cars could enter GN events using venues of 1 mile or less. This provided a place for the GA cars to compete and filled out the depleted GN fields -- even though the GN and GA cars were not supposed to be competing head to head with each other, each being a separate class in the race.

Naturally, this led to problems such as there not being "winners" for three GN events -- the Wnston-Salem, Hickory, and North Wilkesboro events. Although NASCAR officially include the wins in the totals for each manufacturer -- Ford Mustang at Winston-Salem and Chevrolet Camero at Hickory and North Wilkesboro, in the GN column, it seems that Bobby Allison (Winston-Salem) and Tiny Lund (the other two events) were never credited, "officially" that is, with their victories in the GN column.

No one ever said that this was supposed to be easy.

In 1972, the Winston Cup and the "Modern Era" arrived. In the oming years this meant that whatever happened in the 1971 and earlier seasons began to be treated differently and eventually discarded from the statistics and lore of the new Winston Cup series, which eventually dropped the Grand National title altogether.

For two seasons, 1972 and 1973, NASCAR ran the Grand National East series. However, it was dropped at the end of 1973. Here is a link to about the only site which even mentions the series:

National National East

It is interesting that 1971 is something of a blank in the history of NASCAR and its premier series, the current Nextel Cup series. The season is rarely mentioned, much less discussed. It is an irony that the Columbia Speedway was paved prior to the 1971 season in an attempt to keep its GN date. For the record, the last GN event to run on dirt was the event at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on 30 September 1970, won by Richard Petty. Of course.... However, the car was entered with Don Robertson as the owner and entrant and not Petty Enterprises (formely Petty Engineering until 1969) with Lee or Richard Petty as the owner. It was the second win that year for Robertson with Petty as the driver, the earlier win being the April event in Columbia.

This just barely touches the surface of the the season, but maybe that story will find its way into print soon.















* Although my tongue was somewhat wedged firmly in cheek when I wrote this, I do subscribe to the belief that one of the greatest motivations I have had to dig even deeper into American racing and its history is the general scorn and derision that is leveled at traditional American racing by more than a few members of the forum. Naturally, there are exceptions, which is why they are called exceptions.

Advertisement

#2 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,811 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 01 January 2007 - 17:56

An interesting resume of the changes in Nascar/GN racing, events that regularly used to be covered by Motoring News and Autosport in the late '60's and early '70's. I for one was interested enough to read the race reports on these events, I may be a tad confused here, but am I correct in thinking names like Richard Petty, Buddy Baker, and even on ocassions Jim Clark and Dan Gurney? I visited Daytona some years ago, it was a pity there was no meetings on as I would love to see a race close up with the cars pulling a 200mph train........how can than not excite any petrol head??
Perhaps next time, as I make various road trips over the pond, I pick up so many names that I used to read about and would love to visit, Road Atlanta, Monterey, Edmonton,Sebring, so much to see.....still have to work and please management ( the wife :rolleyes: !!!!)

I do not know if the current weeklies cover any of the Nascar/GN racing now, as I no longer have enough interest in contemporary motorsport to subscribe to them, but they did back in the day and it certainly kindled an interest in this Brands Hatch boy!

#3 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 01 January 2007 - 18:29

Fully recognizing that probably a sizeable majority of those on TNF openly loathe and despise NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) in any of its various forms and think scarcely little better of American racing overall -- even American road racing seems to fall short of being acceptable to many for no end of reasons (mostly because it is either not in Europe, a fatal flaw in and of itself, or that The American Way of Racing despoils the racing itself),


A good article, excellent background to the 'modern era' in NASCAR, a considered and balanced analysis of an important turning point in the history stock car racing, yet totally let down by the self-pity and wailing and gnashing of teeth in your introductory paragraph. I wonder how many readers went no further? :(

#4 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,330 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 01 January 2007 - 22:38

Oops - stir crazy in the desert? Perfectly understandable, if this is the case. Having just read two fascinating books, one entitled 'Fiasco' and the other 'Vice' perhaps my view of how Middle Eastern exposure afflicts the American mind is too vividly coloured...

However, I think perhaps there are more regular TNFers who are quite objectively appreciative of good US racing and race series over the past 100 years than those who dismiss them.

I certainly am deeply unimpressed by modern-era US 'Vintage' 'racing' and couldn't give a toss about 90% of NASCAR or short-track racing but then I have always pretty much despised racing with tin-top saloons/sedans of any kind, any where.

In contrast, however, America's pioneering road racing and oval-track period pre-WW1, the board tracks, ARCA etc tween-wars and the later USRRC, Indy (1909-to-preIRL), FA, FB, IMSA etc....right through to ALMS provide me (at least) with tremendous interest and occasional entertainment. I don't think the outlook here is as bleak as Don evidently believes it is. Or have I got this all wrong?

DCN

#5 Manfred Cubenoggin

Manfred Cubenoggin
  • Member

  • 799 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 00:28

Always most willing to charge in and make a complete pratt of myself through a total lack of grasp, I have to ask why, Don, you entitle this thread, "The Garbage Heap"?

#6 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,917 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 02 January 2007 - 00:41

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Fully recognizing that probably a sizeable majority of those on TNF openly loathe and despise NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) in any of its various forms and think scarcely little better of American racing overall -- even American road racing seems to fall short of being acceptable to many for no end of reasons (mostly because it is either not in Europe, a fatal flaw in and of itself, or that The American Way of Racing despoils the racing itself), as a public service I thought it might be nice to provide the dwindling few left here who have an interest in American racing with some tidbits or links that could be of some interest. Even those with their heads firmly jammed up their pinnacles might find an item or two that will amuse them.*


A little harsh Don!! In Australia, our family would love to stay up late (no VCRs in those days) to see the likes of Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty going round the ovals and we also enjoyed Indy once per year. Yes, there is the anti-oval brigade around the world, but who cares?? TNF is for all forms of racing as far as I am concerned :up:

#7 Bonde

Bonde
  • Member

  • 959 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 02 January 2007 - 00:46

No, Doug, I don't think you've got it wrong. I for one also enjoy the history of racing, cars and drivers anywhere in the World, including the US of A (though I'm really only interested in racing with cars never intended for every-day transport, although I don't mind road cars donating engine, drive train and running gear bits to competition-only vehicles - come to think of it, the only saloons I find really interesting were the 'Superloons' of the '70s and '80s, which often had racing car bits donated to them!)

Pete, I think TNF regulars that are familiar with Don's, uhm, World View will excuse the intro and read the post. Don has loads of interesting things to relate, and I, for one, enjoy Don's usually very eloquent prose.

Don, to me it doesn't appear that a majority (or even many) TNF'ers are derisive about US racing - for many it's just not their particular niche, simply because they weren't exposed to it in youth, where the racing bug usually catches. I don't expect everyone to be fascinated by Formula Vee, Formula Ford or Formula Easter just because I find it interesting.

There's one thing that I have always found very appealing about much US racing: It's honesty in regarding itself as spectacular entertainment for the paying audience and not only an esoteric sport for the competitors and a few nerds. Motor racing is inevitably both - the way it appeals to different groups is, to me at least, largely determined by the ratio of those two basic ingredients.

Happy New Year, all!

[Having said all that, there may still be some lingering old grudge match between the two countries on either side of The Pond divided by a (nearly) common language...but who am I to comment, being 'third party'...]

#8 Lotus23

Lotus23
  • Member

  • 1,006 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:20

Don, very interesting history. I'd forgotten much of that transitional era, probably because I was in RVN 70-71 and then my son was born in 72: both circumstances diverted my interest from racing somewhat.

I've followed NASCAR with varying degrees of interest for some 50 years now: somewhere I still have a poster for a convertible race in the summer of 58.

As one who still enjoys all forms of motorsport, from drag boats to F1, I thank you for your insight and historical accuracy.

Keep up the good work, colonel!

#9 Graham Gauld

Graham Gauld
  • Member

  • 1,122 posts
  • Joined: September 04

Posted 02 January 2007 - 08:08

As my son, Doug Nye, has already commented may I add a personal opinion.

I have attended the Daytona 500 three times and had the pleasure of spending some time behind the scenes of NASCAR with the legendary Bill France. - Old Bill. What fascinated me was the enormity of NASCAR, the divisions all over America, the different classes. It was huge. Bill then introduced me to a little old lady who was sitting at a desk piled up with sheets of figures. He explained that every Monday morning she took calls from all over the USA giving her the results of every single NASCAR meeting which she laboriously typed out and filed. ( No computers back in the early 1980's)

However, I am not sure if Don Capps is complaining about the state of NASCAR today or whether it is just the intricate details of sponsorship of just two forms of NASCAR in the 1970's. After all there are many more classes in the NASCAR pyramid.

If he is talking about NASCAR it is my view that if anyone is an open-minded motor racing enthusiast who wants to experience the extremes and diverse elements of motor sport they have to go and watch a NASCAR event. I appreciate young Doug doesn't like tin-tops but that rumbling, rolling start at Daytona with Petty, Allison, Pearson and the like is one of the most electric experiences of my life and the high speed passing, bunching and re-passing, something I will always remember.

#10 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,139 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 10:13

Originally posted by petefenelon


A good article, excellent background to the 'modern era' in NASCAR, a considered and balanced analysis of an important turning point in the history stock car racing, yet totally let down by the self-pity and wailing and gnashing of teeth in your introductory paragraph. I wonder how many readers went no further? :(


I was tempted not to, probably because I openly loathe and despise NASCAR (but not other American racing).

#11 KJJ

KJJ
  • Member

  • 702 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:03

It's interesting how NASCAR stirs up some strong emotions, a bit like my Guardian reading friends, who all seem to really hate Country music..........except for the Dixie Chicks of course.

Anyway, I know nothing at all about NASCAR, which unfortunately didn't stop me bashing out a piece about Innes Ireland at the Daytona 500.

#12 Terry Walker

Terry Walker
  • Member

  • 2,717 posts
  • Joined: July 05

Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:47

I have always liked Nascar, but we see little of it on TV down here. It takes some sensational crash to make it onto the TV screens.

However, whenever it was on, I watched. I admit, guiltily, that my interest was stirred up by a fairly bad, but fun, movie called Red Line 7000 with a young James Caan.

It seems to me that it takes a lot of skill, experience and strength to keep those big mooses pointing the right way, and that pack-drafting inches behind (and beside) other cars is pretty damn scarey. I admire those drivers.

#13 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:00

Originally posted by KJJ
It's interesting how NASCAR stirs up some strong emotions, a bit like my Guardian reading friends, who all seem to really hate Country music..........except for the Dixie Chicks of course.

Anyway, I know nothing at all about NASCAR, which unfortunately didn't stop me bashing out a piece about Innes Ireland at the Daytona 500.


I thought that the Guardian-reading set defined country music they liked as "alt.country", "Americana", or even "folk" ;)

I've nothing against NASCAR. It's evolved to fill a particular market slot and it does it well. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not - unlike the pretence of contemporary F1.


#14 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,811 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:05

Originally posted by petefenelon



It's evolved to fill a particular market slot and it does it well. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not - unlike the pretence of contemporary F1.


Spot on! :up:

#15 zakeriath

zakeriath
  • Member

  • 697 posts
  • Joined: October 05

Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:11

Don,

I really hope you do have it wrong in where you state that the majority of TNF loath or hate NASCAR, my one personal opinion most racing fans enjoy pretty much all types of racing (even bikes to some extent).

My passion has always been open car formula`s, but I have had the pleasure of being to the Dover NASCAR races the last few years (work in Philli) and have been to the Indy 500 on a few occasions. It took me a while to appreciate the tactical side of oval racing but now I really enjoy it and have started reading up on the history.

Perhaps it used to redneck heaven, but I think that has changed very much over the last few years, esecially when you look at ticket prices. So to all who do loathe or hate NASCAR, just take a few hours out and watch this years Daytona, at least you can have the excuse that you were only seeing Montoya does. Purhaps you will change your mind.

#16 Twin Window

Twin Window
  • Nostalgia Host

  • 6,609 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:46

Originally posted by zakeriath

(even bikes to some extent)

Today's four-wheeled racing has nothing, but nothing which compares to top-level motorcycle racing.

MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes (plus all their support classes) provide, IMO, the only racing worth turning-on the tv for or actually attending.

#17 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 02 January 2007 - 13:43

Originally posted by petefenelon
I've nothing against NASCAR. It's evolved to fill a particular market slot and it does it well. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not - unlike the pretence of contemporary F1.

Not necessarily so. I do not wish to get into an argument here, but I think that it should be noted that the entire NASCAR marketing machine works non-stop to promote its show as the greatest racing in the world, and by extension denigrates all other racing. The Daytona 500, constantly billed as "the Great American Race" (sic); their scripted TV announcer shills endlessly telling us that NASCAR drivers are the greatest drivers in the world, and on and on ad nauseum. Yes, all racing series promote themselves, some better than others, and all tend to some exaggeration. However, to state that Nascar does not pretend to be something it is not is not quite accurate. In my opinion, mind you.

#18 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 02 January 2007 - 13:45

Originally posted by ian senior

I was tempted not to, probably because I openly loathe and despise NASCAR (but not other American racing).

An opinion shared by a LOT of people!

#19 Paul Parker

Paul Parker
  • Member

  • 1,695 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 13:48

I agree with both Doug and Twin Window.

I would add that it seems, subjectively speaking, to be Americans who tend toward the insular in matters sporting/social/culture/commercial and in my experience suffer quite badly from the NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

Nevertheless I enjoy watching NASCAR on the high speed ovals on SKY , but not the daft half mile courses and cannot claim to have any real knowledge of the genre beyond superficial. American friends have offered to take me to Charlotte so I can experience it first hand.

Advertisement

#20 FredF1

FredF1
  • Member

  • 1,951 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 02 January 2007 - 14:01

I'm not prejudiced against US racing series but find what little interest I have waning in the face of the awful picture quality. I tried, I really, really, tried to watch OWRS last season but couldn't bear the Hey! It's 1986 all over again lack of a decent quality feed.

#21 Huw Jadvantich

Huw Jadvantich
  • Member

  • 602 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 02 January 2007 - 14:26

I may be wrong but in order to appreciate oval racing you need to have been to see one, or driven yourself at exceedingly high constant speeds to understand the spectacle being presented to you on the TV. Like some of the other people here, although I can appreciate the technical specialities of remaining competitive on the short ovals, the racing leaves me cold. The big ones however, like Talledega and Daytona I find rivetting. The tiniest misjudgement has massive consequences at the speeds and proximity that they are travelling; personally unlike some here, whilst I love perpose built racing cars, I would like to see the Nextel racers showing a closer resemblance to what they are supposed to represent -ie 'stock' cars in the true meaning of the word.
My favorite period for this type of racing was 64 to 71, the Dodge Daytonas and Plymouth Superbirds. Once the bodies became effectively 'fake' the interest waned.
It has to be said the the TV presentation just does not tanslate well into British entertainment, which can't help matters.
As for IRL and Champ cars, they still look like proper racing cars designed to drive fast, rather than the spikey haircut premier formula cars with stunted growth in Europe these days, with bits and bobs sticking out all over them.
I would be happy to learn more about the historyof these cars and races.

#22 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 14:34

Originally posted by Huw Jadvantich
The big ones however, like Talledega and Daytona I find rivetting.
...

As for IRL and Champ cars, they still look like proper racing cars designed to drive fast, rather than the spikey haircut premier formula cars with stunted growth in Europe these days, with bits and bobs sticking out all over them.
I would be happy to learn more about the historyof these cars and races.


Interesting, I find the restrictor-plate races the most artificial! -- what I've seen of NASCAR on TV on the shorter ovals is impressive though. The 1-1.5mile ovals seem to have the best balance between speed and "oh my god it's full of cars"... but i'd love to see them somewhere short for sheer spectacle.

Agreed strongly re: the looks of Champcar and IRL single-seaters, though.

#23 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,811 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 02 January 2007 - 14:56

Originally posted by Twin Window
Today's four-wheeled racing has nothing, but nothing which compares to top-level motorcycle racing.

MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes (plus all their support classes) provide, IMO, the only racing worth turning-on the tv for or actually attending.



Funny that I find myself attending these meetings to.........I never used to, when they were still exciting, but not as exciting as cars.............how times change ):

#24 wildman

wildman
  • Member

  • 288 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 02 January 2007 - 15:15

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
The FCC ban on cigarette advertising was due to expire at midnight 1 January 1971.


Just to clarify a point for non-US readers, I'm pretty sure you mean, "The FCC ban on cigarette advertising on TV and radio was due to take effect at midnight 1 January 1971."

#25 Angry Onion

Angry Onion
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 02 January 2007 - 15:16

No garbage in this thread... thank you Mr Capps for the article and the Grand National East link, and KJJ for the link to his Innes Ireland article.

#26 Arturo Pereira

Arturo Pereira
  • Member

  • 842 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 02 January 2007 - 15:20

I was quite interested in NASCAR in the 80s and early 90s. Some races were boring while others were quite interesting, once you got the basic rules clear. I guess that the little interest shown in NASCAR series is due to the fact that is has been limited to race in the US mostly, with some minor exceptions, and nowadays none of their races can be watched on TV here anymore.
Another series that got my attention for years was the CART. It was, imo, a fantastic series with many great drivers and quite close races most of the time.
Probably only a formal issue, but the american series tend to be named as ┬┤World Series┬┤ and more of that kind, while they rarely leave the US and so have little to no support outside its frontiers.
It was not mentioned here yet, but also the CanAm series was a fantastic one while it lasted, one of the truly international series being held at the US and Canada.
In a way, almost all american series could be quite interesting, but most of them are almost totally unknown outside the US, and given the particular rules they use to enforce, in some cases one does not even understand what it being shown.
Anyway, I am quite interested in the history of american motorsports, since in the end, no matter the apparent, it is racing :)

#27 Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart
  • Member

  • 252 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 02 January 2007 - 16:31

Simpleton here :|

Almost ready for The Garbage Heap myself, so I make the most of everything that's available. Yes, it's expensive to subscribe, but when you're too old to go anywhere, or do very much, there's no better way to spend the spare pennies than watching motor sport via TV.

Don't watch anything else except the weather forecast, so there's (just) enough time for my favourites:

F1
MotoGP
OWRS
GP2
NASCAR
A1 GP
WRC
LE MANS

Occasionally IRL and F3

Never BTCC or DTM

Impossible without the Sky Plus dual recording facility (my wife loves cricket, God bless her, and that takes pride of place, along with MotoGP which she admires and enjoys enormously)!

Admittedly NASCAR more attractive with the advent of Montoya, but always liked it for the remarkable skills. Endless yellows and crazy pitstops simply give you loads of races within races.

#28 stevewf1

stevewf1
  • Member

  • 3,259 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 02 January 2007 - 17:06

While I'm not a NASCAR fan, I do have to admit I watch the "restrictor plate" races at Daytona and Talledega. These events feature probably the craziest (and seemingly most dangerous) racing I think I've ever seen...

I know it's "manufactured" racing, but to watch - even on TV - 30 or more cars in a 3 row pack hurtling along at 190 mph, side-by-side, bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper... Well, I think they're crazy... Yet I watch.

#29 canon1753

canon1753
  • Member

  • 618 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 02 January 2007 - 17:28

I think the title "The Garbage Heap" is meant to show that the 1970-1971 seasons in Grand National racing are pretty much ignored by everyone connected to the Sport. Because it was a transitional time between the "Modern Era" of only 1/2 mile and up paved race tracks for the Grand National cars with Winston sponsorship of the series and the prior era where there were 50 specific races run on any type track that gave championship points.

Transition years tend to be ignored. (Clark and Champman Cups anybody?) The racing was still as good.

Not having been ex utero until the 2/3rd point of the '71 season, I can't comment on how the racing was. But I'm sure it was as good as usual, and probably unlike in many ways what we see in the packaged NASCAR racing spectaculars of today. I suspect that the comparison to F1 would be the differences between the 1967 and 1968 or 1969 seasons. NASCAR teams had to find sponsorship because there were no more freebees from the manufacturers, just as F1 teams looked for sponsorships to fund their programs. The technology was similar but there was more specialization- ie. NASCAR teams mothballed their dirt cars, and spent more time on their specific short track and speedway cars, while F1 teams messed around with aerodynamics.

And so on.

#30 scags

scags
  • Member

  • 405 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 02 January 2007 - 20:28

I used to enjoy Nascar when the cars were factory built and race prepped. Now they're basicly spec cars, with the specs frozen using 1969 technology. also, living in the US, you get beaten over the head wiyth it.

#31 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 02 January 2007 - 21:33

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira

In a way, almost all american series could be quite interesting, but most of them are almost totally unknown outside the US, and given the particular rules they use to enforce, in some cases one does not even understand what it being shown.
Anyway, I am quite interested in the history of american motorsports, since in the end, no matter the apparent, it is racing :)


The two series that get most of my attention these days are ALMS and Grand-Am - the former because it's proper high-tech endurance racing, the latter because it is accessible, close, tough and attracts a great mix of drivers. And Champcar is by far my favourite kind of single seater racing - although GP2 is rivalling it at the moment.

Something that racing elsewhere needs to learn from American racing is accessiblity. As a mere punter I've had infinitely more access to and feeling of involvement with the major American series when I've gone to watch them race than you get at anything more important than the BTCC over here. Compare and contrast (say) FIA GT and GA, or ALMS and LMS, roughly comparing like with like... I've been to a FIA GT meeting where you couldn't even get into the paddock.... what's the point of that?

#32 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,172 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 03 January 2007 - 00:35

Originally posted by Twin Window
Today's four-wheeled racing has nothing, but nothing which compares to top-level motorcycle racing.

MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes (plus all their support classes) provide, IMO, the only racing worth turning-on the tv for or actually attending.

Yes, I fully agree. :up:
This type of racing keeps me glued to the tube while the F1 races I usually watch the greater part by just giving the tube sideway glances while writing on my computer.

Touring cars, NASCAR, etc... who cares.

#33 LB

LB
  • Member

  • 12,521 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:44

Originally posted by stevewf1
While I'm not a NASCAR fan, I do have to admit I watch the "restrictor plate" races at Daytona and Talledega. These events feature probably the craziest (and seemingly most dangerous) racing I think I've ever seen...

I know it's "manufactured" racing, but to watch - even on TV - 30 or more cars in a 3 row pack hurtling along at 190 mph, side-by-side, bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper... Well, I think they're crazy... Yet I watch.


That is the spectacle that can take on the bikes but for whole different reasons. The bikes get sideways, overtake, you can see the skill and bravery of the rider. In short balls out racing. Restrictor plate Nascar is like watching a great horror movie, you spend half the time behind the couch knowing that something awful is about to happen. If its a Busch race at Talledega its all the time behind that couch...

I like Nascar, always have. Whenever it was on over here I would go out of my way to watch it. A lot of Euros seem to think that every race is like Daytona or Talledega which is of course nothing like the truth.

#34 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 03 January 2007 - 02:56

Originally posted by wildman
Just to clarify a point for non-US readers, I'm pretty sure you mean, "The FCC ban on cigarette advertising on TV and radio was due to take effect at midnight 1 January 1971."


Correct, thinking "factory support" while writing about the FCC, not a good combination of thoughts.

The FCC was kind enough -- thanks to intense lobbying efforts -- to let the tobacco companies have January 1st to advertise during the college bowl games.

I started to add more to the saga, but decided to defer for the moment.

#35 LB

LB
  • Member

  • 12,521 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:03

I know this is slightly off topic but I discovered this video on youtube earlier and have my doubts to its billing as the start of the 1960 Daytona 500.



The official results don't have some of the drivers mentioned and the numbers that I have don't corrispond. Oh and with a 37 car pile up surely at least a few would be out of the race, according to the results I've seen no-one was out until lap 5 or so.

#36 Buford

Buford
  • Member

  • 11,173 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 03 January 2007 - 04:03

It wasn't the Daytona 500 - it was a race for modifieds.

#37 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 03 January 2007 - 04:40

For excitement in being there and close, nothing approaches (my memories of) 1940s and '50s midget racing on clay ovals; distant second, 60s-70s Can-Am; third, my single experience with 1950s-60s F1 (Riverside); then, 70s F-5000.

Somewhere out in left field, maybe not even on the same continuum, but near the top, sensually speaking: NASCAR on road courses. I marshalled a couple at Riverside, saw a couple as a paying spectator/photographer, and these days go out of my way to watch just two races of any kind on TV: NASCAR at the Glen and at Sears Point. Not so much the latter since recent track "improvements". Not as interesting or as exciting as Pre-Spec racing, but still a great challenge of physics, herding those god-awful monsters this way and that.

As for disdain for American racers and racing, yes, I've sensed it here. Just put it down to some perception, personality, or character deficiency on the part of the denigrator, ignore their subsequent effluent, and move on. Works for me.

--
Frank S
San Diego CA USA

#38 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,001 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 03 January 2007 - 16:44

I occasionally watch NASCAR but resent the amount of it that appears on Speed channel; yeah, I know thy own the channel but there are other kinds of racing! I also find, and after 33 years of living in n.america, that I cannot abide the commentators and tend to turn the sound either off or way down.

Modern motorcycle racing has got to be the best spectator sport there is! I swear they are defying the laws of physics most of the time. :eek:

As regards the 'nationalistic' feelings which I think is what Don is referring to, they come from all sides. Since Atlasf1 moved it's base to the UK it is more UK oriented but then it is up to the n.americans to have a stronger presence :wave:

#39 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,088 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 03 January 2007 - 16:53

To many outside of the US NASCAR seems a distant, TV show with a train of cars.
I was impressed by a one car demonstration of Arie Luijendijk (Luyendyk) at Zandvoort some years ago. Brute force in metal.
Personally have enjoyed many races on TV. In-board cameras improved that enjoyment for many I guess.

Advertisement

#40 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,168 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 03 January 2007 - 17:32

Having lived in the USA (albeit many years ago now) and attended countless Winston Cup races, I would have to say that I felt bias against motor racing in general and NASCAR in particular was home (US) grown. In not so "classless" North East US society, being a racecar driver of any sort was looked down upon in the manner a baseball player would be (but not college-orientated football). Equally, a large number of oval drivers in the US at the time seemed ready to dismiss US road (circuit) racing as the province of rich amateur players.
This was something of a culture shock to me. Racing in the UK was always associated with many "born with a silver spoon in their mouths", too often in more senses than one, we are now learning! (and yes I have heard the Mario Andretti quote: "I never seen that - the baby coming out with....")
Rallying in the UK never seemed to suffer from the playboy image that racing had - maybe partly because so much of it was "road " rallies until as late as the 1988 changes. In Europe, however, UK amateur rally competitors did encounter disbelief that they had built their cars themselves. Rallying there, not just racing, was more the province of the rich.
I have never experienced in Europe the "shock and awe" I felt seeing NASCAR. Standing against the fence out of turn 4 at Daytona (stricly, not allowed...) during single car qualifying was unique. At 200mph the sound reaches you only as the car passes inches away. A 40 car field rumbling round a superspeedway under the pace car, short track races at Martinsville (where brakes matter) - all of it impressed me. Even back in UK, with no TV coverage then, I only lost interest as the big names of "my" era (Petty etc) retired. Now I think there is also a wider perception of it being "manipulated" for the show. Just like F1 then...
So this one European will always hold the Winston Cup of my era right at the top of the table and will never put it down. Any of those outside the USA that do (and I don't believe there are many) never saw it live then.

#41 ray b

ray b
  • Member

  • 2,564 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 03 January 2007 - 19:46

I liked nastycars back when they ran real cars
the "W" mystery chevys or the hemi or the trick fords
that were sold on monday to be legal on sunday

current fake cars are a joke

and anti teck rules suck
as do the no body's but american cars can race
maybe opening to toyota will help get more cars in the race
but the rules need to get out of the 50's teck BS
and let the 4v dohc motors in
along with BMW M-B Audi the japs and Jag ect
in real RWD cars we can BUY ONLY
no fake cars ie FWD BS with old teck motors no longer sold

#42 stevewf1

stevewf1
  • Member

  • 3,259 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 03 January 2007 - 21:13

NASCAR in 2007 should be "interesting".

Juan Pablo Montoya himself will run which NASCAR hopes to fuel a massive Hispanic interest.

And Toyota will enter the series (the Japanese company about to overtake home-grown GM in sales).

It should be uh, entertaining to see how this "regional" fan base reacts to these "foreigners"...

#43 rl1856

rl1856
  • Member

  • 158 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 03 January 2007 - 21:44

The bias seems to come from several areas:

Latent prejudice in the US against things considered to be "Red Neck" and southern. In the US, Nascar is perceived as appealing to the uneducated. In fact during the runup to the last US Presidential election, a new voting block was identified: "NASCAR Dads". Members of this group are predominantly blue collar, of limited education and low to medium income levels.

A belief among purists that a series featuring crude stock cars running almost exclusively on oval tracks could not possibly require the level of skill needed in other formulas such as sports cars or F-1. It will be interesting to see how well Montoya does this year. His performance (or lack of) may raise a few eyebrows...

Nascar has also inadvertantly contributed to the prejudice by continueing to promote and adminster the series as something siimilar to pro wrestling on wheels. Driver fueds, percieved bias, random caution flags, belief that the final outcome of a race and a season have been scripted more entertainment.

As a racing fan, I follow several different forms of racing, yet only my interest in Nascar elicits any comment. Usually people are surprised that I follow Nascar, and I reside in the South Eastern US !

Best,

Ross

#44 WDH74

WDH74
  • Member

  • 1,128 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 04 January 2007 - 01:15

Originally posted by rl1856


As a racing fan, I follow several different forms of racing, yet only my interest in Nascar elicits any comment. Usually people are surprised that I follow Nascar, and I reside in the South Eastern US !


I get the same thing. Non-auto enthusiasts always look at me and go "Really?", as if I've just told them I'm really from the planet Zarg or something. Other car enthusiasts usually make fun of me or start speaking reallllllly slowly (because if I enjoy NASCAR racing I must be slow, geddit?).

Whatever. It's fun, and ain't that what motor racin's all about?

-William

#45 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 January 2007 - 03:40

Originally posted by rl1856
Nascar has also inadvertantly contributed to the prejudice by continueing to promote and adminster the series as something siimilar to pro wrestling on wheels. Driver fueds, percieved bias, random caution flags, belief that the final outcome of a race and a season have been scripted more entertainment.

Hey, that wraps it up in a nutshell! As I said on another thread, stage managed, show biz hippodrome. You got it Ross!

Also take a look at what Autoweek said about Nascar a couple issues ago; don't want to quote it here as it will upset some people, but they seem to have gotten it right also!

#46 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 January 2007 - 03:53

Originally posted by ray b
I liked nastycars back when they ran real cars
the "W" mystery chevys or the hemi or the trick fords
that were sold on monday to be legal on sunday

current fake cars are a joke

and anti teck rules suck
as do the no body's but american cars can race
maybe opening to toyota will help get more cars in the race
but the rules need to get out of the 50's teck BS
and let the 4v dohc motors in
along with BMW M-B Audi the japs and Jag ect
in real RWD cars we can BUY ONLY
no fake cars ie FWD BS with old teck motors no longer sold

Gosh; what can you say about that?

#47 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,001 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:44

The United States is in a very isolationist mood----I wouldn't bet on them allowing Japs, Limeys, Krauts or any other nationality in to disturb the pool.... :(

#48 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,670 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:52

Originally posted by ray b
I liked nastycars back when they ran real cars
the "W" mystery chevys or the hemi or the trick fords
that were sold on monday to be legal on sunday

current fake cars are a joke

and anti teck rules suck
as do the no body's but american cars can race
maybe opening to toyota will help get more cars in the race
but the rules need to get out of the 50's teck BS
and let the 4v dohc motors in
along with BMW M-B Audi the japs and Jag ect
in real RWD cars we can BUY ONLY
no fake cars ie FWD BS with old teck motors no longer sold


Over head cam engine tech, is as old as the push-rod engines in NASCAR.
If you think that the tech, involved in those is 1950, go build one and see if you can get within two hundred horse power of them.

What is limiting tech. in NASCAR has nothing to do with the technology involved, it is rather liike the ACO where you are only allowed to use X, Y or Z, and it has to be sanction OKed first. I.e. it is just another spec. series among the rest that incluceds sports car racing, open wheel forumla cars, etc.

Now the fake cars, that sets them apart, and it sucks, but when the series is based on hero worship, the cars become secondary.
The cars would be spec. right down to the engine, but Detroit, without whom they would be in a world of hurt, said NO.
Bob

#49 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,189 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:25

Originally posted by RA Historian
Hey, that wraps it up in a nutshell! As I said on another thread, stage managed, show biz hippodrome. You got it Ross!

Yeah, totally unlike Prost v Senna, or Ferrari v fairness.

#50 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,330 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 04 January 2007 - 13:08

I don't know if this is still true but I understand that for a period during the 1980s/90s many NASCAR engines incorporated a number of Cosworth-made components. Cosworth's representative attended NASCAR events virtually incognito and the need for painstaking discretion regarding his British specialist company's connection with this 'all-American' form of motor car competition was heavily impressed upon him before each trip.

Innes Ireland once told me that he couldn't really understand the supposed 'challenge' of high-speed close-quarters running around the superspeedways. "There's hardly any relative speed difference between the cars so it's merely a matter of maintaining or adjusting formation, and managing the slipstream, like an aerobatic team of fighter planes...except those gormless great things, laddie, handle more like flying boats...".

But I wonder if much has changed? What I saw at Daytona in the 1970s struck me as very nice, good fun if you like that sort of thing, decent circus act, what's the point of all this left-turn only, I'd like to see a tree or two, or some gradient changes, now where can I see some really skilled road racing?

But I will grant you, NASCAR at Watkins Glen should be challenging, and it could be fun. I bet Innes would have gone well there, flying boat or otherwise... :cool:

DCN