Saturday, April 05, 2008

Maybe I'm A Redneck

Uncle Mikey (my Dad's brother) and his buddy used to race stock cars in the early 60's on Long Island; at the Islip Speedway if I recall correctly. This was really heady stuff for young teens in the person of my brother Bob and I. Perhaps because of that experience my brother became an accomplished professional mechanic (automotive restorations and Harleys) who is now building his own airplane.

And me? The mechanic that I have used for well over twenty years already warned me to keep my grubby hands off any vehicle that I bring to him for repair else face a "who's the idjut that messed this up" tax. My talents are with wood, not metal.

But I still like the races. I rediscovered racing because of my son-in-law who is an avid NASCAR fan. And all my grandkids are now likewise infected.

BC, the Imperial Torturer, and I were IM'ing earlier today and he supplied me with these racing urls that are a) eye popping and b) crazy redneck fun.

The first is a video of yesterday's crash of a race car driven by Michael McDowell. From the Sporting News website:

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The thunderous cheering that erupted Friday at Texas Motor Speedway when Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted his pole-winning qualifying lap stood in sharp contrast to the stunned silence that followed rookie Michael McDowell's frightening crash earlier in the session.

Earnhardt will start from the top spot for Sunday's Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas after touring the 1.5-mile track in 28.286 seconds (190.907 mph), a lap that second-place qualifier Carl Edwards described as "screaming fast."

McDowell can thank recent safety innovations -- soft walls and NASCAR's new racecar, in particular -- for being able to start at all, after slamming nose-first into the outside wall when his car spun out of control in Turn 1 on his second qualifying lap. McDowell will take the green flag in 40th position, on an owner-points provisional.

Amen to the safety innovations. This is a spectular crash and it is an amazing testament to NASCAR engineering skills that McDowell walks away from this one.

The second is a video of a racing event that I never heard of - Figure 8 School Bus Racing.

Who else but a bunch of crazy rednecks would outfit a clapped out school bus and race these brutes on a Figure 8 track, virtually guaranteeing collisions? Forty-foot long buses doing 50 mph, missing each other by mere inches, dodging and careening, roaring through the grass and around the turns, slamming on brakes, red "Do Not Pass" lights flashing, kids sliding around in the seats trying to do their homework...

It was insane. I loved it.

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