Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jet Dryers: A Safety Regulator's Dream

Ever seen this before? Me neither. 
Word now has it that NASCAR and other sanctioning bodies may legislate new rules regarding the use of jet dryers that mandates custom-built fuel cells for the dryers and firesuits and helmets for all personnel associated with their use.

Before I continue, let me point out that I've been in the racing industry for 30 years. This not a hobby. It's my living. I am a racecar driver who also has a wife and children, so safety is paramount to me.

But in all my years of auto racing, I've never seen anything like the freak jet dryer accident that occurred at this year's Daytona 500. Never. Zippo. Nada. I've never witnessed anything remotely resembling such an incident.

For crying out loud... are they seriously going to start legislating new safety rules to prevent the repetition of an incident that likely has no precedent in the 100-year history of the sport? Honestly?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Great Racing: It's Really Not That Difficult

One would think that the world's biggest race series with the world's finest drivers would have a clue as to how put on good racing.
The track is so wide... why is the racing groove so narrow?

One would be wrong. 

Indycar, NASCAR and Formula 1 have all struggled to one extent or another with the task. Nothing manifested the desperate situation more than Daytona's Speedweeks, a week-long, tandem-pack parade where racing "three wide" is so common as to become meaningless. After all, you really can't race any other way. Lose the draft for three laps and your race is over. 

Leading the race is equally meaningless. It's actually a disadvantage. You can't find a single driver in NASCAR who wants to lead at Daytona with two laps to go.

The most valuable skill a driver can offer is the ability to avoid accidents. That ability won more races at Speedweeks than driving talent. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Right Now: What Car to Buy, What Race to Watch

What drivable collector car to buy right now?

The collector car market is really not as complex as you might think, especially if you’re going to drive the car you buy.

When a new car is manufactured, it is sold at the highest price the market will bear. As it ages, its value goes down before rising again after 15-25 years. The key is to buy just before a model's value begins to surge.

Here are some of the real bargains available right now for those who want to drive their collector car, get decent mileage, tons of fun, and sell it later for much more than they paid for it:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

LIVE from Kissimmee: Thursday, 11:16 pm

We had a pretty full night at the Mecum Auto Auction with 400 cars crossing the block along with bad sausage and ripped jeans.

The morning started with our usual production meeting, after which we had a catered breakfast. Our meals are usually pretty decent, but today's chicken sausage was questionable at best. When I asked if he thought any actual chicken was in these sausage links, Bill Stephens responded, "I'm sure that no animals were harmed during the production of this meat." We laughed and ate it anyway.