No. 964
September 19, 2018

About The Autoextremist


Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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March 31, 2010

A soggy weekend, and meaningful change - as excruciatingly slow as it is - comes to NASCAR.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

It was a rare weekend of non racing (except for Formula 1) due to weather delays, with IndyCar, NASCAR and the NHRA having to postpone racing until Monday here in the U.S. IndyCar couldn't race because of standing water on the temporary circuit in St. Petersburg after heavy rains pounded the area. NASCAR waited to call their race in Martinsville on Sunday afternoon, even though they knew they wouldn't be able to get the race in much earlier than that. And the NHRA had to finish some final four-lane rounds on Monday in Charlotte, while F1 at least put on a much more interesting show because of the rain on Sunday. (Go figure, although it has been said by more than a few that Bernie Ecclestone should provide artificially-generated rain at every circuit just to shake things up a bit. Short of massive restructuring of F1 - which is highly unlikely as long as Bernie is involved - I would endorse such a measure.)

The big news for NASCAR - at least if you listened to the endless commentary provided by the FOX Sports broadcast team - was that they finally abandoned the rear wing on the dreaded "CoT" in favor of a return to a more traditional rear spoiler. That and a change - albeit slight - to the lower rear fender profile on the cars and voila!, it was a whole new ballgame for NASCAR, at least according to them. It was also announced earlier in the week that fuel injection - of a type yet to be determined - will be part of the 2011 competition package. Wow. Fuel injection! Nothing like rushing into adopting that new-fangled technology, right?

The next step you're going to hear about is a major revision to the front and rear clips of the current cars. After receiving intense pressure from the Detroit-based manufacturers over the last three months NASCAR has balked at a wholesale restructuring - at least for now - of their cars. So instead of going to the Australian V8 Super Car model - although that's still in-play for a radical new set of specifications for NASCAR's road racing cars - NASCAR is exploring a fairly noteworthy change to the looks of its CoTs, way beyond the addition of a rear spoiler and even much more radical and more detailed than what has already been revealed for the Nationwide series' with its Ford "Mustang" and Dodge "Challenger" entries.

This new look, of course, will revolve around the idea of getting more product identification into the mix, which is priority No. 1 for the Detroit-based manufacturers involved in NASCAR, and which ironically and all of a sudden is NASCAR's first priority too. Imagine that? After all, when you have empty grandstands - NASCAR couldn't conceal their declining fortunes any longer after Bristol wasn't a sellout. Bristol. Imagine that - and declining TV ratings, the need for change has finally hit the powers that be in NASCAR like a 2 x 4 to the forehead.

So change - as reluctant as they are about acquiescing to it - is finally coming to NASCAR. In excruciatingly slow fits and starts, maybe, but it's coming nonetheless.

Thank goodness.


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Riverside, California, Saturday, October 13, 1962. Carroll Shelby debuted his legendary Shelby American Cobra in race trim at the Riverside Times Grand Prix - a three-hour support race for the more famous Los Angeles Times Grand Prix - in 1962, with Bill Krause at the wheel. That race was also the debut of the factory-supported, race-prepared, Corvette Z06 machines driven by stars like Dave MacDonald, Bob Bondurant, Jerry Grant and Doug Hooper. Krause and MacDonald were fairly even early on in the race, but then Krause pulled away to a staggering half-lap lead before having a left rear hub break, putting him out of the race. Even though the Corvette went on to win, the writing was on the wall: The Cobra was several hundred pounds lighter than the Corvette and Corvette guru Zora Arkus-Duntov knew that the new Stingray was no match for the Cobra. It was then and there that Zora decided to investigate a lightweight version of the Corvette, which would result in the famous Grand Sport racers a year later.




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