The Andretti Experience Part 1

By David G. Firestone

The name Andretti is to racing what the names Gretzky, Jordan, Unitas, and Ruth are to hockey, basketball,football, and baseball respectively. It is a name associated with the sport. Mario Andretti is considered to be one of, if not the greatest race car drivers in the world. He has to his record, 33 USAC Champ Car wins, 19 Cart/CCWS wins, 12 Formula One wins, 3 IROC wins, and has also won the 1966 Fuji 500, and won the 1967 Daytona 500.

After his career ended, he opened up his own racing experience, The Mario Andretti Racing Experience, where you can pay to ride in, or even drive an IndyCar. He gives fans a chance to live their dreams. The helmets that he uses there are based on his distinctive silver and red helmet, such as this one.This Bell helmet has a lot of scuffs and scratches on it. On the left side, there is a large scratch, and someone has written “2426” on the sides.The front of the helmet has ventilation tabs, a helmet stripe with 1-877-ANDRETTI printed, some wear on the interior material, and some scratches. The right side features a large scratch, and several small scuff marks present.The huge red stripe that extends up the back has a lot of scratches and scuff marks.The top of the helmet features more scuff marks and scratches on the red stripe.The inside of the helmet is heavy damaged, with material loss, and other damage.In racing, you need a helmet and a suit if you are going to ride in a race car. I discussed the helmet, next week I’ll discuss the suit.

Tailgating Time!

Racing fans love good food, and mac and cheese is a great choice. Adding bacon makes it much better. So I present:

Baked Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

6 Servings

1 package macaroni

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons butter

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound Cheddar cheese diced or grated (2 cups)

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

2 packages real bacon bits

Instructions:

1-Cook macaroni as directed and drain.

2-Melt butter in heavy saucepan; blend in flour.

3-Stir in milk slowly and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

4-Add seasonings, bacon bits, and cheese, stir until cheese is melted.

5-Add macaroni and transfer to a buttered 1 quart casserole.

6-Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over macaroni.

7-Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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Throwback Thursday-1970 #4 Lola T70 Mk. IIIB

Teddy Pilette and Gustave Gosselin 1970 #4 Lola T70 Mk. IIIB

The Lola T70 Mk. IIIB is a nice looking automobile, with really nice dimensions. This is a nice shade of red. The blue and white stripe which is across the whole center of the car works well. The only issue is the door numbers. If you have a white circle for the numbers, why is the number on a white square in front of the circle? It adds nothing, and makes the car look odd. The car would be a solid A, but with the door, it’s down to an A-

Paint Scheme Tracker-April 11, 2018

By David G Firestone

STAR COM RACING #00

Jeffery Earnhardt #00 VRX Racing Simulators Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white with silver and blue cutting edge designs. C

Landon Cassill #00 USFRA.ORG/Starcom Fiber Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, blue with red and silver designs, and red roof. B+

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with green stripes and roof. A

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue waves on sides. A

Jamie McMurray #1 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, dark blue and white with diagonal stripes. B-

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s/Cessna Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red and black replaces blue. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red with yellow and black stripe, and yellow design on rear quarter panel bottom. A-

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, same as McDonald’s, but with black, white, and gray. A

Jamie McMurray #1 Clover Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white front, blue fade with circuit designs across sides. C-

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, white and red Penske template. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black outline. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Bruce Halle Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, same as discount tire but with Bruce Halle tribute on hood. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Reese/Drawtite Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, Penske Template with blue and black. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Genuine Draft Throwback Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, based on Rusty Wallace’s 1990 MGD Pontiac Grand Prix. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford FusionNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon#3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black fade to red to black across whole car. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, all red, with white stripe pattern on sides. A

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, green front, black rear, white and black waves on sides. C-

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Silastic Silicone Elastomers Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white with liquid motif on front, and yellow field motif on rear. A

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Killz Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as Dow but with Killz logo on sides. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Symbicort Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white with blue and yellow designs across car. C-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black and white reversed. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Plaid Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, dark blue plaid all over car, gold rear. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1/Busch Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, Mobil 1 front, Busch rear quarter panel. B+

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black with grey, silver and blue stripes. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford FusionNo change. B-

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare 25th Anniversary Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, same as regular, but with 25th Anniversary logo on hood. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black replaces red, more toned down, with white rear. B+

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #7

Danica Patrick #7 GoDaddy/Warriors By Danica Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2018, green with white stripes and black rear. A-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #8

Daniel Hemric #8 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green with black stripes and black hood. C+

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, orange back and white front, with Y design across sides. B-

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. F

Chase Elliott #9 Kelly Blue Book Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white diagonal side and cutting edge design. C

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy SSNew scheme for 2018, green with small black stripes on bottom. A

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Baja Bast Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, same as Mountain Dew, but silver replaces gold. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2018, black and white with slash patterns on sides. A

Aric Almirola #10 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, silver replaces green. A

Aric Almirola #10 Go Bowling Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, similar to 2017 Stenhouse scheme, wood has replaced red on sides, and design has been toned down. A-

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamryNo change. B-

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 Duracel/Menard’s Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, yellow with narrow stripes. A

Ryan Blaney #12 Dex Imaging Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, Penske template, white front, red rear. A

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, blue front, white rear, horizontal paint drip motif across car. A

Ryan Blaney #12 Peak/Menard’s Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, new Menard’s template with Peak on hood. A

Ryan Blaney #12 Menard’s/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, yellow with silver and white wave design on sides. B-

Ryan Blaney #12 Carlisle Tools Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, Penske template with gold and white. A

Ryan Blaney #12 Body Armor Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018. white roof and hood, red sides with sublimated triangles with a black stripe near front wheel. B+

Ryan Blaney #12 Menard’s/Libman Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, new Menard’s template with Libman on hood. A

Ryan Blaney #12 Menard’s/Richmond Water Heaters Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, new Menard’s template, with Richmond Water Heaters on hood. A

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme to 2017, but some cutting edge designs replace stripe on sides. C

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Millitary Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme t0 2017, but with some changes to the front. F

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, yellow front, red stripe, black rear. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas CNC Ford FusionNo change. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNo change. A

Clint Boyer #14 CSU One Cure Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, side stripes are cleaner. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas Demo Days Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, same as Hass, but with Haas Demo Days on hood. A

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #15

Ross Chastain #15 Low T Center Chevy CamaroNo change. F

Ross Chastain #15 Championship Machinery Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue, white, and yellow brush stroke motif across car. C-

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and black diagonal stripes across sides. A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford FusionNo change. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black front, with red and black stripes across sides. F

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford FusionNo change. F

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change. A

Kyle Busch #18 Snickers Almond Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2018, red, white and blue with large stripes on sides. F

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota CamryNo change. A

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Sweet Heat Toyota CamryNo change. A

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota CamryNo change. F

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, yellow with a series of gray and black cutting edge designs on sides. D-

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, orange replaces silver on quarter panel. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Peak Toyota CamryNo change. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Ruckus Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2018, solid orange with white and black numbers and letters. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Coca Cola Toyota CamryNew sponsor for 2018, red with white Coca Cola stripe across sides. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Tools Racing For Miracles Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2018, black and yellow cow motif with tape measure on sides. B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo change. A

Erik Jones #20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2018, black with red bottom. A

Erik Jones #20 Circle K Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, slightly different design, with shorter stripes, and logo adjustments. A

Erik Jones #20 SportClips Toyota CamryNew sponsor for 2018, same as 2017 #11. C-

Erik Jones #20 Sirius/XM Toyota CamryNo change. B+

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Paul Menard #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo change. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as #12. A

Paul Menard #21 OmniCraft Auto Parts Ford FusionNo change. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, new Menard’s template with Dutch Boy on the hood. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/FVP Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, new Menard’s template with FVP. A

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Quick Lane Ford FusionNo change. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo change. D

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. A

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. D

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. A

BK RACING #23

Gray Gaulding #23 EarthWater Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, white replaces black, complex gray, orange, and blue designs on sides. F

Gray Gaulding #23 Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2018, white with red and black numbers. A

Gray Gaulding #23 Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2018, black sides, white hood and roof. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with flame motif across whole car. A

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, blue with red flames on front. A

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, white letters replace red ones. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNo change. B-

Ryan Newman #31 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green front, rear and roof, blue sides. F

Ryan Newman #31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, red top, yellow stripes, black bottom. C-

Ryan Newman #31 Chevy Accessories Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, white with metal designs on sides. A

Ryan Newman #31 eBay Motors Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white front, fade to blue, wave designs on sides. A

Ryan Newman #31 Liberty National Patriotic Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, American flag motif with green numbers. A-

GO FAS RACING #32

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red, with slight wave formation across sides. A

Matt DiBenedetto #32 The Hurricane Heist Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, dark blue thunderstorm motif. A

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Can Am/Wholey Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, slight design change, with Wholey logo on quarter panel. F

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Crowdfunded Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, white with a series on logos on the sides. A

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

Michael McDowell #34 Love’s Truck Stops/Speedco Ford FusionNo change. A

Michael McDowell #34 K-Love Ford FusionNo change. A

Michael McDowell #34 Love’s Truck Stops Ford FusionNo change. A

Michael McDoewll #34 K-Love Ford FusionNo change. A

Michael McDowell #34 A&W Ford FusionNo change. A

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #37

Chris Buescher #37 Kleenex Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with silver and white cutting edge designs. C

Chris Buescher #37 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, black with red and yellow fire design on sides. A

Chris Buescher #37 Natural Light Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red cutting edge designs have been added. B-

Chris Buescher #37 Scott Towels Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red sides with stripes, white front and rear. B+

Chris Buescher #37 Healthy Choice Power Bowls Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, black with sublimated leaf designs across car. A

Chris Buescher #37 Bush’s Best Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, red with white designs on sides. A

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Children’s Hospital Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with black and white stripe, and red bottom. A

David Ragan #38 FR8 Auctions Ford FusionNo change. F

David Ragan#38 MDS Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018 all white with MDS logos on sides and hood. A

David Ragan #38 1000 Bulbs Ford FusionNo change. D+

David Ragan #38 MDS Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, white roof, blue and orange stripe across bottom. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #41

Kurt Busch #41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion-No change. B+

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas/Monster Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, red fade to black. A

Kurt Busch #41 Mobil 1/Haas CNC Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, same as Mobil 1, with silver, and Haas CNC on sides. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Throwback Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, based on Kurt’s sharpie scheme from 2003. A

CHIP GANASSI RACING #42

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and lighter blue stripes. A

Kyle Larson #42 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, same design as #1, but with colors reversed. B-

Kyle Larson #42 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, blue and white with sunburst motif on sides. D-

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Click N Close Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, dark blue with Click N Close. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as 2017, but with black stripe across bottom. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 STP Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red sides, blue hood and roof, with some silver designs on borders. A-

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 NASCAR Racing Experience Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, blue sides, white hood and roof. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white front, blue rear. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Farmer John Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018 red front and hood, dark blue rear. A

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, white with blue and red stripes on sides. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with gray outlines. A

RICK WARE RACING #51

Justin Marks #51 Keens Buildings Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, black with orange, gray, and white designs on sides. D+

Justin Marks #51 Harry’s Razors Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, blue, orange, and white sunbeam design. C+

Cole Custer #51 Haas CNC Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as #14, but white replaces black. A

Harrison Rhodes #51 Davis Roofing Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white with red and black vertical stripes. A

Timmy Hill #51 Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, red with stripes on hood and roof. A

Timmy Hill #51 Bubba Burger Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with fire motif on sides. A

Harrison Rhodes #51 Custom Aircraft Cabinets Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, orange with white designs on sides. D+

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #55

Joey Gase #55 Nevada Donor Network Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, black with orange and blue designs on sides. A-

Reed Sorenson #55 Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, same as Nevada Donor Network, but without logos. A-

JJ Yeley #55 Adirondack Tree Surgeons/Overdose Awareness Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green with forest motif on sides, black hood. D-

BEARD MOTORSPORTS #62

Brendan Gaughan #62 Beard Oil/South Point Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white front, yellow curve, black rear. A

MBM MOTORSPORTS #66

Mark Thompson #66 Phoenix Air Ford FusionNo change. A

TRI STAR MOTORSPORTS #72

Corey LaJoie #72 Schluter Systems Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black replaces all white designs. C-

Mark Smith #72 Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, black with red and white stripe across bottom. A

Cole Whitt #72 So Cal Chevy Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as last year, but with gold stripe across bottom. A

Mark Smith #72 Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, black with white stripe across bottom. A

Cole Whitt #72 Rinnai Chevy SSNo change. B+

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with orange designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with red designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota CamryNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue,red,white,and yellow cutting edge designs across sides. F

Alex Bowman #88 Llumar Window Film Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white with red and green designs on sides. B+

RICKY BENTON RACING #92

David Gilliland #92 Carquest/Black’s Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black and blue wave on sides, black roof. C-

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black, white, and orange with cutting edge designs across whole car. F

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2018, same as earlier scheme, white and black reversed. F

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore/Habitat for Humanity Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, same as Procore, but with Habitat for Humanity on sides and hood. F

Kasey Kahne #95 WRL Contractors Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue is the primary color, with lighter blue patches on sides. B+

GAUNT BROS RACING #96

DJ Kennington #96 Lordco Toyota CamryNo change. C-

DJ Kennington #96 Northern Provincial Pipelines LTD Toyota CamryNo change. A

DJ Kennington #96 Gordon Brothers Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, blue wave pattern on sides, and blue roof, white on sides. B-

My Thoughts on 4-Wide Racing and Drag Racing Purists

By David G. Firestone

To the anonymous keyboard warriors who were whining about the NHRA using 4-wide racing for Las Vegas last weekend…do me a huge favor and get a life. One of the most idiotic things in the world is a sports purist. I can’t stand sports purists. Purists are the kind of people who love tradition, they hate change, and they can’t accept the fact that things change in life. Change in sports is going to happen, and if you can’t handle that, then go cry in the corner, take your ball, and go home. We won’t miss you.

For the last week, these drag racing purists were whining that “I won’t be watching” and “half the racing for the same cost” and “this isn’t drag racing.” Um…how isn’t this drag racing? You think that 4-wide racing is something that was invented recently as a marketing tool to bring in fans?

First off, 4-wide drag racing isn’t a new marketing tool, examples of 4-wide drag racing go back to the 1960’s. I live in Illinois. One of the older drag strips in Illinois is Byron Dragway, which has wide lanes. This was done to enable 4-wide racing, which was held at Byron for some time, though this has since been discontinued. 4-wide racing has proven popular through the ages, but it’s not been given a proper treatment until now.

Second off, I don’t know if you have been paying attention to television ratings and attendance numbers, but you might want to start. Saturday and Sunday were great days for The Strip at Las Vegas because both days were sold out. For a form of drag racing that “most fans hate,” ticket sales were very high. The stands were full, so people were watching the event. As of this writing, television ratings haven’t been released, but I’m willing to bet that they were good, since the NHRA didn’t have much competition last Sunday.

The NHRA is doing better business than ever. Ticket sales, and television ratings are up. More people are getting turned on to the NHRA. As such, change will come to the sport. In this case, the NHRA and Burton Smith took something that had been done historically in drag racing, and made it work for the 21st Century. If you can’t accept that the sport is going to have to try new things to bring in more people, and in turn, more sponsorship money, then grow up. The NHRA owes you nothing, and they don’t have to lose money and lose television ratings and ticket sales because some anonymous keyboard warriors want things to stay the same.

It should also be noted that both Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have expressed a fondness for 4-wide racing. I guess one of the greatest NASCAR drivers in history, and one of the most popular NASCAR drivers in history shouldn’t have a voice, but a bunch of loser douches that nobody has heard of or care about should have the loudest voice.

Another thing that needs to be noted is that if 4-wide racing isn’t working, and people don’t like it, then the NHRA would stop doing it. Mello Yello, Sunoco, Lucas Oil, Goodyear and FOX Sports have a lot of pull. If they thought that 4-wide racing wasn’t profitable, they would convince the NHRA to stop it. The fact that not one, but two drag strips have been reconfigured for 4-wide racing is quite telling, since the amount of money that is needed to make this change is a lot. If the strips weren’t confident it wouldn’t work, they would not reconfigure the track, and save themselves a lot of time and money.

The bottom line here is that 4-wide racing is working. If you can’t look at the evidence and see that, then you clearly can’t see the forest for the trees. I hate selfish sports purists, and I hate people who can’t handle the fact that the world is changing. Get off Twitter, get off Instagram, and get a real life…for many of you, that would be an improvement.

Generic NASCAR Mechanic Suits…Wait, What?

By David G. Firestone

Every racing fan wears their favorite driver’s merchandise. This has been done in sports since the early days. Teams, drivers and leagues all try to crack down on phony merchandise since it costs everybody money, and benefits the wrong people. There are ways to tell fake from real merchandise. Sometimes, albeit rarely, there are items that are made by the league, with tagging to match.

In the 1980’s, NASCAR allowed The Longley MFG Company to make mechanic jumpsuits with official NASCAR branding and tagging. The reasons for making these suits is unclear. However, they were made and still survive to this day.

The gray and blue suits show some light wear, but are in otherwise good condition. The collars are small and are an open design. The blue suit tag has an OFFICIAL NASCAR LICENSE indication, and a small flag indicating 702 SMALL. The gray suit has a similar tag setup. The right chest on the blue suit features a zippered pocket, and is otherwise unadorned. The gray suit features a CHAMPION patch.The left chest on both suits feature a vintage NASCAR logo patch. The front torso on the blue suit features a tie belt, and is unadorned. On the gray suit, the belt is a snap belt.The legs on both suits are unadorned. On both suits, the shoulders are unadorned. On both suits, the right sleeves are unadorned. The blue suit, the left sleeve is unadorned. On the gray suit, there is a small Unocal 76 patch on the upper sleeve. The back of both suits are completely unadorned. These suits are an interesting piece of merchandise. Why they exist is still a mystery. Who bought them, and what did they use them for? Why do they still exist? They are pretty well made, and they look nice, but I still can’t understand why they were made. Maybe that answer will never be known.

Next week, we go back to a fantasy camp for the first of a two part series.

Throwback Thursday-1970 #3 Porsche 917L

Gérard Larrousse and Willi Kauhsen 1970 #3 Porsche 917L

Ugh! Who thought this was a good idea? Let’s take an amazing looking automobile, the Porsche 917L, give it a great shade of blue, and then paint gaudy red-yellowish flames on the sides and top. Add in one of the worst looking numbers I’ve seen on the side of a race car, and you have an awful look. I can’t give this anything more than a D-, the shade of blue keeping this car from failing.