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LAST LAP OF THE 2020 DAYTONA 500 ENDS IN A FIERY CRASH

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Newman was involved in a ghastly crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Monday night, sending him to a nearby hospital and leaving fellow NASCAR drivers and fans across the sport in an excruciating wait to learn how seriously he was hurt.

Safety crews rushed to Newman’s No. 6 Ford and worked to extricate the 42-year-old driver from his seat. The car was on fire as it skidded to a stop and had to be turned onto its tires before they could get him out.

Fox opted not to broadcast Newman’s removal, which was shielded by large black screens put up by track crews.

Ryan Blaney, who locked bumpers with Newman and turned him sideways, sounded crestfallen. Corey LaJoie, who slammed into Newman’s sideways car at full speed, watched a replay and insisted he had no way to avoid the contact. Fox Sports analyst and four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon may have summed it up best.

”Safety’s come a long way in this sport, but sometimes we are reminded that it is a very dangerous sport,” Gordon said quietly as the broadcast came to a close with Newman’s condition still unknown.

Breathtaking crashes are common at Daytona International Speedway, where drivers racing for position at 200 mph and in tight quarters often make contact.

Austin Dillon memorably crashed into the catch fence on the final lap of the 2015 July race at Daytona and remarkably walked away unscathed. Dillon’s car went airborne and tore down part of the fence and injured several fans. Dillon’s torn car, with its engine already resting on another part of the track, ended up on its roof and then was smashed into by Brad Keselowski‘s car.

Newman’s wreck looked just as awful.

Blaney turned him hard right and into the outside wall. His car immediately flipped and was sliding on its side when LaJoie rammed into it.

”Dang I hope Newman is ok,” LaJoie tweeted. ”That is worst case scenerio and I had nowhere to go but smoke.”

Denny Hamlin won the race for Joe Gibbs Racing, his second straight victory in the season opener and third in the last five years. The team celebrated near the start-finish line and again when confetti flew in victory lane, prompting Gibbs to later apologize.

”Some people may have saw us and said, ‘Those guys are celebrating when there’s a serious issue going on,”’ Gibbs said. ”I apologize to everybody. We really didn’t know. We got in the winner’s circle and then that’s when people told us. I wanted to explain that to everyone.

”That’s what makes it so hard. Such a close-knit community, you know everybody. … If you think about all the wrecks that we’ve had over the last how many number of years, some of them have been real serious. We’ve been real fortunate.”

It wasn’t the first flipping crash for Newman at Daytona or at another superspeedway, Talladega. His car went airborne and flipped repeatedly in the 2003 Daytona 500. He landed on his roof in that one and did again at Talladega in 2009.

He’s been a harsh critic of NASCAR’s struggles to keep cars on the ground, even getting fined for public comments the sanctioning body considered negative. In 2010, he said fans shouldn’t even go to the track to see races at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Indiana native, who graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue, said earlier during Speedweeks that he felt renewed in his second year at Roush Fenway Racing.

”It’s all about competitiveness and fun,” he said. ”I want to have fun with my life. If I can have fun in this garage doing it and get paid what I feel like I deserve to get paid, then I’m all for it. It’s got to be fun and it’s got be rewarding in more ways than one.

”I’m doing it past when I said I was going to do it 10 years ago. I don’t know how to give the answer anymore, I really don’t. I always said 40 and I’m 42 now.”

Newman also announced last week he and his wife had split after 16 years of marriage. They have two daughters together and both girls were at his side in the moments before Sunday’s race began, only to be delayed a day by rain.

”I feel just renewed in general, the team, the people, the opportunities, the sponsors,” he said. ”All that makes a big difference to me. We’ve got to perform better. Just because we performed better than they had done in the past doesn’t mean it’s up to my standards and my goals.

”I feel like we need to step it up and that’s a big part of me wanting to continue doing what I’m doing.”

Edelbrock Owners Acquire COMP Performance Group

February 4, 2020 Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Illinois, and owner of Edelbrock LLC, announced the acquisition of the COMP Performance Group.

Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Illinois, and owner of Edelbrock LLC, announced the acquisition of the COMP Performance Group.

Edelbrock and the COMP Performance Group, along with their respective management teams, will operate as independent organizations.

Both teams will continue to provide the same designs, products, and service as they explore opportunities to drive increased products and customer offerings.

Edelbrock designs, manufactures, and distributes automotive aftermarket performance parts and is based in Torrance, California.

The COMP Performance Group, with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, is a family of aftermarket performance companies that includes brands such as COMP Cams, TCI, FAST, RHS, ZEX, Inglese, and more.

John Andretti Lost His Battle With Cancer Today At The Age Of 56

It’s with the heaviest of hearts we share that John Andretti has today lost his battle with cancer. John was a loving husband and father, a devoted son and a trusted cousin. He was a philanthropist, an advocate for the sport, a dedicated teammate, a driven competitor and most importantly a dear friend.

Through Race4Riley, John spent decades dedicating his time and fundraising attention to Riley Hospital for Children. When first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017, John vowed to fight back and use his voice to help spread the word of prevention and early detection. He fought hard and stole back days the disease vowed to take away. He helped countless others undergo proper screening, and in doing so, saved lives.

We will forever carry with us John’s genuine spirit of helping others first and himself second. Our prayers today are with Nancy, Jarett, Olivia and Amelia, with our entire family, and with fans worldwide. We urge all our followers to, please, #CheckIt4Andretti.

The Andretti Autosport team confirmed his passing after a long battle with colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2017. He died at the age of only 56.

“We will forever carry with us John’s genuine spirit of helping others first and himself second,” a statement from the Andretti team read in part.

Andretti won twice in 393 starts in NASCAR’s top division from 1993-2010, both victories coming with NASCAR Hall of Famers as his team owners. He prevailed in July 1997 at Daytona International Speedway for Cale Yarborough Motorsports, then won again two years later in car owner Richard Petty’s No. 43 at Martinsville Speedway.

John Andrew Andretti was born into one of the nation’s most accomplished racing families. He was the son of Aldo Andretti, the twin brother of Mario Andretti, who is the only driver to win the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One driver’s championship. His cousins — Michael, Jeff and Marco — also have significant racing pedigrees.

John Andretti made 12 Indianapolis 500 starts (1988-94, 2007-11) recording a best finish of fifth in 1991. His IndyCar career overlapped with his time in NASCAR, most memorably in 1994 when he became the first to run the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day.

Andretti started and finished 10th at Indianapolis, then flew to Charlotte to start the Billy Hagan-owned No. 14 in NASCAR’s longest race. He finished 36th after a broken crankshaft sidelined him 180 laps short of the 400-lap distance. Only three other drivers have attempted the double since: Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch.

Andretti made his final NASCAR start with Front Row Motorsports in 2010. In addition to his Cup Series tenure, he also made 43 combined starts in Xfinity and Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks Series competition.

Andretti ended his career with a bevy of highlights from different motorsports disciplines. He was part of the winning Porsche team in the 1989 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and also secured a CART Series victory in 1991 at Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Andretti revealed a diagnosis with Stage 4 colon cancer in April 2017. He described the peaks and valleys of treatment as a “chemocoaster” and disclosed that the disease had returned and spread last May. Even in the face of adversity, Andretti made a point to raise awareness for routine check-ups during his updates, using the hashtag #CheckIt4Andretti to spread the message.

“I‘m an Andretti. I already beat the age I should have lived to,” Andretti said last May in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. “Growing up when you‘re a little bit wild in a race car, I think everybody in our family‘s always heard this: ‘You’re not going to live to see 20.’ Then it was, ‘You’re not going to live see 25, then 30.’ But here I am. Still going. Our family’s already been through plenty of trials, and we’re still here. To get taken down by this, well, I’m going to go out giving it the strongest fight I can give it.”

BETTER THAN NEW. WILL DELOREAN MAKE A COME BACK?

Now that SEMA’s lawsuit has prompted the feds to finally issue regulations stemming from the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, it’s back to the future for DeLorean… again. James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor Company, confirmed to Hagerty that plans are underway to prepare for limited production of a new, much-upgraded version of the classic stainless steel, gullwing coupe.

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, it’s because the new DeLoreans were originally planned for 2016, a year after the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act was signed into law. Obviously, that did not happen according to the expected timeframe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was charged with implementing the Act, but any work toward implementing the regulations stalled after the 2016 presidential election. DeLorean’s plans, and those of other low-volume makers, screeched to a halt. One problem, Espey explains, was that NHTSA hasn’t had a permanent administrator since the previous presidential election, and the acting administrator would not sign off on the regulations. In addition, old cars became a low priority for an agency dealing with the rise of autonomous driving tech and the Takata airbag recall.

Espey credits the SEMA lawsuit with prodding NHTSA to release the Low Volume Manufacturer regulations. He suggests that the 120-page document had probably been close to release for some time. 

The waiting is the hardest part 

side-view
DeLorean Motor Company

The new DeLoreans should be worth the wait. Built from a mix of new-old-stock (NOS) and brand-new parts, the cars could get a 350-horsepower engine and an upgraded interior with modern audio and connectivity. Espey says the bodies will conform closely to the 1981–83 originals, albeit with modern headlights.

Although the Low Volume Manufacturer law allows a company to make 325 cars per year, Espey says that this upcoming run of DeLoreans will be lower-volume than that—perhaps one or two per week. However, DMC is not taking orders yet, and production will ultimately depend on several factors.

“There will be no cars produced under this legislation for at least a year, and that’s presuming the feds do their job this time and don’t drag it out for four more years,” says Espey.

He has reviewed the NHTSA documentation and says he does not see any “big surprises.” A 30-day public comment period comes next. Following that, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will need to review the document and calculate the time and effort needed for applicants to complete it. That, Espey says, could take six months.

“SEMA is not asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit until NHTSA carries through,” Espey says.

There are still some question marks, he adds, such as whether NHTSA will get an administrator before the next election, whether that person will keep this project moving, and what will happen after the 2020 election.

In addition to DeLorean, low-volume companies including Superformance, Revology, and Icon could benefit from a positive outcome. 

Better than new

front three-quarter lights on
DeLorean Motor Company

DMC, based in Humble, Texas, was started by Stephen Wynne in 1995 to service and restore DeLoreans. Born in Liverpool, England and a mechanic by trade, Wynne eventually acquired the DeLorean trademarks and vast stocks of parts left over from the factory and dealers. Using those parts, DMC offers refurbished and upgraded DeLoreans from its four locations in Texas, Florida, California, and Illinois.

“It’s crazy how many DeLoreans are used as daily drivers in California,” says Espey, who has been with DMC for 20 years.

The company has about 3.5 million parts in stock and Espey says an inventory survey shows 96.7-percent parts availability. That means DMC already has 96.7 percent of what’s needed to build complete cars. The missing parts don’t much affect DMC’s restoration business but would need to be procured to build whole cars.

Cars produced under the new regulations must use an engine already certified for the EPA and CARB. The engine that DMC had lined up in 2015 is due to go out of production within a couple of years. A different one will be sourced, though Espey did not identify it. The manufacturer of the previously-planned engine is still in the picture, however.

exterior and parking lot cars
DeLorean Motor Company

“They’re working on some other things that will fill in some gaps for us,” he says.

Along with a modern powertrain, the new DeLorean could offer modern tech like ABS and traction control. Though the original DeLorean did not have power steering and cruise control, the new one will. Other luxuries could extend to heated and cooled seats, Bluetooth, navigation, and smartphone integration. Espey expects that customers for the upcoming DeLoreans will use the cars as daily drivers, not just weekend toys, and will want modern amenities.

“You’ll have a lot more performance, plus reliability, and it will pass emissions everywhere,” he says.

The original DeLorean’s Peugeot-Renault-Volvo 2.9-liter V-6 made a meager 130 horsepower. With a projected 350 horsepower, the newly built DeLorean would need major wheel and brake upgrades over the original car. The good news? Those parts are readily available from suppliers. 

Time machine

front two doors up
DeLorean Motor Company

Espey anticipates strong demand for these newly built, more powerful DeLoreans. The original company built around 9000 cars, and almost all came to the U.S. He believes there are still 6000–6500 on the road.

The enormous popularity of the “Back to the Future” movie franchise turned what would otherwise have been another cult car into a pop-culture icon instead.

“The DeLorean appeals to ages eight to 80, thanks to those movies,” Espey says. “Someplace in the world right now, one of those movies is on. Somebody’s seeing it for the first time. They’ll go to the internet and look up DeLorean and see it’s a real car they can buy, not a movie prop.”

Espey hinted that DeLorean is also open to working with other manufacturers to license the brand for different kinds of vehicles and that an electric powertrain is something DMC would consider.

“If the right technology partner knocked on our door, we’d be interested in speaking,” he says.

Anyone with plans for a flux capacitor should get in touch.

Want to see inside DMC? Thanks to Google Places, you can. 1 / 9

front three-quarter door up
front three-quarter

DeLorean Motor Company

CLASSICS ON THE WATER

As we headed to the Denver boat show looking to purchase a new money pit for the newspaper something caught our eye. It was a display of finely crafted and restored vintage wooden boats and water craft. Growing up in Colorado we always had a boat of some sort. My father always had a small boat to go fishing. I still remember the days of the boat ride at Lakeside amusement park. There was something about the boats at Lakeside. They were not the fishing boats that I was accustomed too. They had a lot more power and a lot more elegance than dads old fishing boat. It wasn’t until my later adult years did I grow to appreciate what those were. Now I wish I still had the ones I got rid of in my younger days

As we walked around the boat show and was blown away by the $150,000 ski boats I looked off in the distance and then I saw this wooden boat and of course I made a beeline straight to it. Don’t get me wrong I like new boats but there is nothing like a restored vintage wooden boat. While we were not officially covering the boat show for the newspaper I just couldn’t resist taking a few pics of some rare boats. We decided that we will do a full story in February’s issue on these hidden gems so in the meantime enjoy a few of the pictures until February.

2020 VETT VIN 001 SELLS FOR A COOL 3 MILL

GM CEO Mary Barra rode onto the auction block at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in a Torch Red 2020 Corvette Stingray that represents the first retail VIN 001 mid-engined Corvette to be produced. Mary headed up to the auction stage where she gave due credit to the team at Chevrolet for taking the Corvette to the next level. After a few brief remarks, she introduced a representative from the Detroit Children’s Fund, the charity that is the beneficiary of the VIN 001 Corvette auction.

Once the bidding started on the Stingray, it was fast and furious as the bidding quickly broke the $1 million mark, and within seconds it would hit $2m million. As the figure kept climbing, Steve Jackson would take the opportunity to remind those that this was the very first retail mid-engine Corvette Stingray that was being offered. Finally, the bidding topped out and the Corvette was hammered sold for an amazing $3 million.

[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson

Photo Credit: GM


Purchasing the Corvette Stingray was Chevrolet dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick who was in attendance to make the purchase. The Corvette will be right at home in his collection of VIN 001 Corvettes that includes the first C7 Corvette Stingray, Z06 and ZR1. The purchase represents the highest price paid at auction for a new Corvette and the money paid goes directly to the Detroit Children’s Fund charity. 

Barrett-Jackson@Barrett_Jackson

What an incredible moment! With the help of @GM CEO Mary Barra, the hammer dropped on a $3 MILLION bid for the VIN 001 2020 @Chevrolet Corvette Stingray! The entire amount will help benefit the Detroit Children’s Fund. #ChevyTop10

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


“Reaction to the mid-engine Corvette has been extraordinary,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO. “It’s both humbling and exciting to harness that success and provide the proceeds to the Detroit Children’s Fund.”

“I am the number one Corvette junkie in the world,” said Hendrick. “Thanks to Chevrolet and Barrett-Jackson, because they always pick charities that are so good and help so many people.”

“All children deserve great schools,” said Jack Elsey, Detroit Children’s Fund executive director. “The proceeds from this auction will help improve public education in Detroit and, as a result, give thousands of young Detroiters a brighter future. We cannot thank General Motors enough for their commitment to DCF and the children of Detroit.”

[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 Sells for $3 Million at Barrett-Jackson


At the very end when one of the commentators mentions that the Corvette Stingray goes on sale for $60,000 he seemed surprised and lets out some NSFW language. The moment illustrates just how much Corvette is now available for the money.

WORLDS FASTES TOW TRUCK RESTORED

The “World’s Fastest Tow Truck” was recently restored in a joint effort by Twin Cities Wrecker Sales of St. Paul, Minn. and Miller Industries. The vintage Chevy wrecker – which set its speed record at Talladega Motor Speedway in 1979 – is currently on exhibit at the International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Miller Industries (the owner of Holmes) had a new Holmes 440 Hi-Power wrecker. To promote the increased power of this unit, someone decided to build a special high-performance tow truck equipped with one and use it to set a tow truck speed record. A standard factory-production model 1979 Chevrolet truck with fancy Silverado trim was ordered with the biggest engine available at the time: Chevy’s 454-cid big-block V-8.

An Accel ignition distributor and special Accel spark plug wires were installed in the truck. A factory four-barrel “spread-bore” carburetor was used on top of a Holley high-performance intake manifold. The factory exhaust manifold was replaced with Hooker tubed headers and straight pipes. Chrome engine accessories were added for looks.

A factory high-speed rear end with 3.21:1 gearing was used in the truck and the six 7.50 x 16 Michelin steel-belted radial tires were computer balanced and trued. A new AeroDynic emergency lighting system from the Signal Division of Federal Signal Corp. was installed. During the actual record run, emission-control parts were removed.

After the truck was completed, the time and place were set for making a record run. It would be attempted on Aug. 1, 1979 at the Alabama International Motor Speedway near Talladega. A veteran stock car driver named Eddie Martin was selected to drive the truck to a world closed-course speed record for wreckers. Martin had won the Stock Car Racing Championship in 1954 and 1955 and was a five-time Alabama Champion.

On Aug. 1, a Holmes team unloaded the tow truck at Talladega. Martin made a trial run. The team added a few gallons of racing fuel. It was blistering hot and the truck’s tires were starting to melt during Martin’s trial run. He would not have many chances and had to exceed 130 mph on the straightaways to get the record. With his custom-painted helmet in place and his safety gear ready, Martin stomped the accelerator and took off.

World’s Fastest Tow Truck

With NASCAR timers using electronic equipment to clock the official lap times, Martin circled the speedway as fast as he could. Speed wasn’t a problem, because the truck felt like it had a lot more in it than Martin could ever use. The real trick was holding the truck – with its wrecker, push bumper, light bar and dual rear wheels – on the scorched asphalt. It wasn’t exactly aerodynamic. NASCAR clockers average lap speed was 109.330 mph. Martin had hit 133 mph on the speedway’s 33-degree banked curves. After the run, Martin got a smooch from Debbie Gurosky, “Miss Holmes Wrecker” for 1979.

After its record run, “The World’s Fastest Tow Truck” spent several years touring automotive trade shows nationwide. Then it was donated to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega. It was dutifully displayed inside the museum for several years and thousands of visitors got to see it. However, the museum then changed exhibits.

The “World’s Fastest Tow Truck” was put outside and it started to deteriorate. Roddy Pellow of Twin Cities Wrecker Sales (a Holmes distributor) heard about the truck. Roddy and his father restore old cars and both men thought it would be worthwhile to restore the historic tow truck, which had only 1,600 original miles on the clock.

The truck’s hood was kinked and the special Holley intake was gone. The fuel lines and gas tank were rusted. Once these things were fixed, the engine fired right up. Since Talladega Motor Speedway belongs to the State of Alabama, it took months of negotiation and lots of paperwork before the truck could be restored. It didn’t need a frame-up restoration; it was basically an almost-new truck that hadn’t been maintained.

The truck was used to help promote the 90th anniversary of the Earnest Holmes Company at several tow shows before taking its place of honor at the International Towing and Recovery Museum, which is not very far from where it set the speed record. As far as the record – it still stands, of course. There’s only one “World’s Fastest Tow Truck.”

KEN BLOCK CONQUERS PIKES PEAK

Toyo Tires presents Ken Block’s Climbkhana: Pikes Peak, the next evolution of Block’s award-winning Gymkhana series. Witness man versus mountain, 14,000ft vs Block’s 1,400-horsepower twin-turbo methanol fueled 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2, equipped with Toyo®Proxes® R888R™ tires. In classic Block-fashion, his all-wheel-drive Mustang hangs along the razor edge of the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb.

BRITTANY FORCE IS THE FASTEST IN NHRA HISTORY @ MAPLE GROVE ON 9-24-19

It has been several months ago but check out this video from Britney force Breaking the all time NHRA record on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.

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