Traveling the world without going anywhere. On a weekend on the edge of “Earth Day”, this seems largely appropriate.

It is racing across state, cultural and international lines through the convenience of a wide screen HDTV in the living room. The variety of the countryside and the racing is incredible.

Sports cars rattled the streets of Long Beach, CA., with American Le Mans. On the eastern side of the U.S., Grand-Am was at Road Atlanta. Formula 1 was racing near the Persian Gulf in Bahrain. NASCAR was in the open spaces of Kansas. The NHRA was chasing speed in Charlotte. IndyCar followed up back at Long beach.

That is just a highlight of some of the major series. Racing in the streets. Racing across the ocean. Racing in the wide, open spaces. The diversity of scenery and personalities presented in a blur of the background.

However, as we turn towards what is regarded as “Earth Day”, too many people still look at auto racing with prejudice and scorn. They only see burnt fuel and beer-topped fans. (more…)

Auto Racing, in general, is having a bit of an identity crisis. It is not so much that the fans, or even the general public, do not recognize it. It is more a general feeling that there is no real connection to racing anymore.

Practically everybody can look at the #14 Office Depot Chevy driven by Tony Stewart in NASCAR and recognize it as a “NASCAR” race car. However, present the general public with the #10 Target / Ganassi Racing Honda of Dario Franchitti and the #4 Vodafone McLaren of Lewis Hamilton you will find that few outside of the paddock recognize the difference from IndyCar to Formula 1. Both of those cars, to the “non-racing” public, are likely identified as one or the other.

The “prototypes” of Grand-Am and American Le Mans are beautiful bits of shell and engineering but to the casual observer they are simply “race cars”.

Generally, if you throw a number and a logo on any given car it becomes recognizable as a “race car”. (more…)

“Headline: GM offers repairs to Volt owners for structural modifications”  This is not an actual “recall” as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not directly involved. However, if you own one of these things you should consider it as such. There are reports of some kind of battery fires which have forced GM’s hand in offering these fixes as well as creating some policy changes on making mechanical repairs. Newer models apparently have these structural issues dealt with.

“Headline: GM announces the possibility of cutting production” It seems these things are not flying off the lots. Or production hasn’t matched demand. It kind of depends on who you talk to. Sales analysts and automotive watchdogs may say it is priced too high and that other electric / hybrids offer a better history of performance. There is also the buying public being confused as to how the thing works. You have to plug it in and put gas in it…? The gasoline engine doesn’t recharge it but runs the electric motor when the battery dies…? It costs how much…? How fast is it…? What…? (more…)

ARCA Racing under way February 7 before NASCAR Bud Shootout
ARCA Racing under way February 7 before NASCAR Bud Shootout

Speed Week begins today. The NASCAR Budweiser Shootout is tonight. Will you watch? How about the “Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200” ARCA Series race that runs earlier in the afternoon? Maybe – Maybe not…? Yes, but only because it is on and part of the day of racing tied to the Shootout…? No…? 

Here’s the thing and I think it is important right now. It is no longer OK to just be a NASCAR fan or an INDY fan or a Grand-Am fan. It is time to embrace auto racing as a “whole package”. That means tuning into a race you might have skipped over in the past. That means packing up the car and heading out to some of those Saturday night races at the local oval. It also means showing support for these small teams and drivers that work the 40 during the week so they can run 100 laps on the weekend. It is time to become a RACING fan. Why…..?

Well, look around and get an eyeful of what is going on around you. Those folks in Washington, DC are about to sign off on what they are calling a “stimulus” package. Jimmy Dean has sold less pork in 40 years than the Democrats have packed in this thing in just two weeks. It is not just the bloated cost of wasteful Government expansion that we, as motor-sports fans, should be concerned with. There is a lot of pay-off money going to the so-called “green initiative” special interests for backing these nutjobs that have the nerve to call themselves “concerned” as leaders of our Country. Billions of dollars are going to “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming”) researchers and you can wager your Pit Pass that the “researchers” getting the cash are more concerned with agenda than fact. There are billions going to “renewable” energy research and development meaning bio-fuels and electrics. On the surface, that is a fine goal. However, look behind the curtain and you see the cost to convert crops to fuel is hardly easy or cost-effective and is not likely to be without huge subsidies. Not to mention the inflation of other by-products as more growers turn to selling for fuel rather than food. Hybrids and electrics are being developed and being forced onto the marketplace by growing Government mandates on MPG minimums. On the surface, again, a fine idea. However, nobody is talking about what to do with discarded batteries at the end of their run or the environmental impact of creating batteries in the first place. Billions of dollars of “stimulus” are going to wind and solar research. Fine. Billions are going into initiatives to force companies to go “green” or be “green friendly”. OK…  But here is THE question. If the goal is to get us away from dependence on foreign oil, why is there no real investment in this “stimulus” on finding, drilling and developing our own oil? Oil that we know exists. Oil that we can get to. Oil that is available to fuel our economy while also funding much of this “research” they are forcing our deficit dollars to pay for. Where is it in this bill, Mr. President? The answer is that it is not there because it upsets the very people they are paying off with our money.

But what does it mean to us as “racing” fans? It means that billions of our tax dollars are being spent, and given to, people that hate and loath the sport of motor racing. They look at it as a big waste of fuel and a stain on the “environment”. They see all of us as un-educated rednecks with bellies full of beer and trailers surrounded by junkers on blocks. They do not see the innovation from the sport that has made every modern car on the road safer and more efficient. They do not see the college degrees, the engineers, the artists and talented from all ways of life in the garage or the stands. All they see is cars going in circles spewing filth in the air.

That is why it is time to support your sport. Go to the local track. Watch a race series you might otherwise skip over. Grow the numbers, grow the support, grow the sport. They will come after the sport of motor racing. It is only a matter of time.  They will legislate it out of existence by making it harder and harder to operate. They have a mission to force everyone to live within the parameters they set. And don’t be fooled into thinking it is “for our own good”. It is for their consolidation of power.

It seems the “greendiot” agenda trumps reality yet again. I can only imagine Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) dancing on a bark covered pole…
What I’m referring to is the direction by President Obama to the EPA to “review” the ruling during the Bush Administration to not allow California and other states to put their own vehicle emission standards in place. The “standards” are so strict it would force auto makers to essentially create two different vehicles to sell in these states and elsewhere. Of course, the “greendiots” are dancing in the streets.

“On Monday, Obama ordered the EPA to review the rejection of the waiver — a move expected to eventually clear the way for states to set their own emissions standards.

“The federal government must work with, not against, the states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Obama said, less than a week after taking office. “The days of Washington dragging its heels are over. My administration will not deny facts; we will be guided by them.”

Obama also directed his administration to accelerate development of new fuel-efficiency guidelines so 2011 model-year cars will be covered. In 2007, Congress required that new cars and trucks achieve a 35-mile-to-the gallon standard by 2020, a 40 percent increase over fuel-economy standards. The Bush administration had not developed regulations and estimated the new standards could cost the auto industry more than $100 billion to implement.” full article here: McClatchy

They want to increase fuel and emission standards which then must be swallowed by the public and the manufacturers. On the surface one may think “what a great idea”. If one is a “greendiot”, it is a great idea. “Greendiots” are uninterested in anything that does not fit within their myopic view of what the world, humanity and the environment should be. Any information that is counter to their “green at all costs” viewpoint is immediately attacked, not on point or fact, but on emotional ploy and deception. It is “junk science” or “faulty methodology” or “right wing propoganda” if the information does not fit the “green” agenda.

Back to the EPA standards… This government can’t issue a toothbrush to a U.S. Army Private without red tape. It is full of people who are beholden to, and profiting from, the “green agenda”. These EPA standards are, at best, arbitrary. They are based on desire and “green” wishes and have little to do with reality of just what may be involved in meeting these “standards”. Take a look at Detroit today. The U.S. auto industry is in tatters. Why? There aren’t enough fingers to point them all out. However, one of them is an industry trying to meet consumer demand with mandated fleets of vehicles with government restrictions adding costs to every vehicle off the line.

Now look at what our government just did… They gave these companies millions of dollars to get out of the hole they are in. Now, the government wants to make it even more difficult to climb out of the hole they just gave them money to get out of. Part of that bailout money better go to stock up on aspirin…

You might as well go bail out a farmer with aid because the dam you built is making his cattle die of thirst. Then, after giving him the money, build another dam further upstream so the water is even further away.

We can’t make progress and keep cowering to the “greendiots”. Should we be aware of the environment? Yes. Should we protect it? Of course. Should we throw our entire civilization out to pasture? No. The “greendiots” would love us all to melt the cars and make garden tools and grow our own food in our own little patch and be content with the 10 square miles around our place of birth. It is frightening to think there are actually people so engrossed in the philosophy that they have removed themselves from rational discussion on the issue. It is even more frightening that there are people making lots of money because of it. The latter group now has their claws in our government and are in it for their pocketbook and the “green” agenda is simply their meal ticket. Don’t believe it? Just look at how they live and listen to how they want you to live. That should be all you need.