While there was a curious lack of rally cars on the show floor of the 2019 New York International Auto Show, there were still a few race cars to drool over.
For the first time at the New York International Auto Show, a NASCAR Cup Series team has set up a booth. StarCom Racing [SCR] is based in Salisbury, North Carolina with driver Landon Cassill. At the age of 18, Cassill was signed to Hendrick Motorsports as a test driver for Jimmie Johnson for five years, and has driven for other teams since in the Xfinity (Rookie of the Year 2008), K&N Pro Series, and Arco Re/Max Series since. The team’s parent company, StarCom Fiber, is a New Jersey based regional telecommunications that runs fiber throughout the region, so setting up a presence at NYIAS made sense not just to build a fan base and get their name out there, but to network and attract more sponsor partnerships. “We feel like this is a tremendous platform being that there’s going to be a million people walking through this building,” said Cassill in the Thursday press conference. “We feel like we have to stand out in a little bit different way than other race teams… NASCAR teams don’t really come to the NY Auto Show, and for the place where we’re at and the size that we have, there’s no reason not to be here.”
Led by team manager and 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrick Cope, the chartered team will race the full 2019 season with Cassill driving the number 00 Camaro. “…our northeast race fans are some of the most passionate and well educated race fans about NASCAR that we see all over the country. Tracks in Pocono, Dover, New Hampshire, Watkins Glen are the racetracks where I sign the most hero cards, the most letters and trading cards, these are fans that really pay attention to what we have going on.”
Cassill will be in the booth signing autographs Tuesday, April 23, 4-6 pm and Wednesday, April 24, 11 am-1 pm, and Derrike Cope will also sign autographs Saturday, April 20, 2-4 pm.
Regular readers know that BBQ plays a big part in the other side of my business. Whenever we cater an automotive themed event, we do our best to incorporate an appropriate tow vehicle for the event trailer that we borrow from the good folks at DCS Appliances. On Labour Day weekend we were cooking up some BBQ for up and coming NASCAR driver Gary Klutt from the hit TV show Legendary Motorcar. Gary drives a Dodge in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, so it only made sense that we should arrive with the event grill attached to the back of a RAM pickup.
For this event, the folks at RAM Trucks Canada set up up with a bright green RAM 1500 Sport. This truck was basically the same truck as we towed with back in the Spring, so we really shouldn’t have anything additional to report. There was however one really big difference: the colour.
With the red truck, people either didn’t notice the truck or if they were truck people they commented on it being a nice truck. The bright green with matte black hood striping caused people literally to stop what they were doing and stare. I watched a little kid ride off the sidewalk because he was craning his neck to watch the big green truck drive by!
Even while driving, the sporty element of the RAM 1500 Sport seemed more enthusiastic. It felt like a truck that you wanted to have more fun with, instead of just cruising on down the road.
That sporty influence behind the wheel was also somewhat evident at the pump, as our observed fuel economy was a bit more hefty than it was with the red truck. Last time we towed almost daily and the truck consumed 14 L/100 KM for the full week. This time, we only towed one day and we saw 14.7 L/100 KM for the week. I will attribute that to my right foot being a bit more sporty!
Whether or not you would choose a safe colour on a pickup or something that screams “hey, look at me” is totally a matter of personal preference. At the end of the day however, colour choice can totally affect the way you appreciate a vehicle and the way it is perceived by others. Personally, given the choice, I would be driving the screaming green!
New York International Auto Show has once again rolled into town with automakers bringing their shiniest, most innovative cars to to dramatically pull cover from and show off. Scattered amongst the concept, halo, and current production vehicles are the unattainable to many of us – the race cars.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum has a display of some classic and curious cars, and brought a few classic race cars from their collection. Included in their display are a Midget Racer from the 50’s, a 1909 Alco-6 Racer, 1950 Allard, and the 2009 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch.
Fresh from winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship BUBBA Burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach, the Cadillac V-Performance racing team Konica Minolta DPi-V.R drew admiration on the show floor, still with grit from the race on the wheels.
The Ford GT was the NYIAS poster car, and is front and center in the Ford booth on a rotating palette.
Formula e will race in Brooklyn this summer and there are two Formula e cars at the show. Jaguar now has an electric vehicle in the series, and Formula e also has a booth with champion Nelson Piquet’s car. Not to be outdone, BMW recently announced entry into the series with Andretti Formula e in 2018.
Subaru Rally Team USA has two new drivers in Red Bull Global Rallycross this year, having poached the Patrik Sandell from Ford and bringing on Chris Atkinson after he raced a limited schedule in the series last year. Atkinson’s GRC car is shown in the booth.
Alexander Rossi was the first rookie winner of the Indy 500 in 16 years, winning the 100th running of the race in 2016 in this Honda-powered Indycar.
Probably the dirtiest race car on the show floor is, of course, a rally car. This 1990 Audi 80 Quattro, 5 in line 10v 2.3 turbo has been raced in rallies in the US and Canada such as Tall Pines and Snow Drift since the 90’s, and is currently being restored to rally shape.
There are a lot of racing as well as classic gems on the show floor – here’s a full gallery of some of my favorites.
As the second last event of the year for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, the Barrie Speedway round is always exciting and there is always a lot of bumping and banging. There is usually some off track excitement following the race as well as tempers run hot. Occasionally, competitors who are eager to find someone to blame end up running off at the mouth, only to end up with egg on their face when they are proven wrong later.
In the closing stages of the Wahta Springs 300, the #95 of Anthony Simone appeared to be holding up the #25 of Joey McColm, as the pair battled for lap after lap. Simone experienced a drivetrain failure, which left oil on the track, causing McColm into the back of the 95, spinning him into the wall. Simone didn’t see it that way, and blamed the failure to be a result of the hit.
As expected, the restart following the clean up of that incident proved to be hard fought. Moments later, as the pack continued to battle, the #18 of Indycar and NASCAR regular Alex Tagliani got very loose and bounced around between the #25 and the wall, before spinning backwards down the front straight. If I recall correctly, there were 6 laps left at this point.
That mess was cleaned up and the green, white, checkers dash to the finish took place, with Jason Hathaway taking the win following a clean and fast race.
After I posted the above image the other day, someone suggested that this sequence was just waiting to be turned into an animated gif. A bit of poking about and it would seem that I have taught myself how to create one. So, here you have it: DJ Kennington getting into the back of Stefan Rzadzinksi in the closing stages of the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race of 2014.
Earlier this week, I told you about our man Russ Bond’s adventure in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. While Russ made it out more or less unscathed, others were not so lucky.
In the first third of the race, the track went full course yellow when the #22 of Scott Steckly got into the tires, ending his race. I was shooting from the top of turn 4 and could see the clean up efforts taking place in 3, when suddenly the #59 of Ryan Klutt appeared with its back end caved in. When Steckly’s car came by on a flatbed, the front end was all messed up. Coincidence? I haven’t spoken to either driver, so I’m not sure.
Not long after the race went to green flag again, Ryan’s Dad Peter’s #42 lost its hood somewhere. This is not the first time I have shot photos of Peter without his hood.
Regular readers will recognize Russ Bond from our World’s Fastest Car Review series. He is also the host of the Two Minute Test Drive at the wildly successful Motoring TV. What you might not know is that Bond has been part of The Garage Blog family since before TGB was even thought of. Russ and I were guest hosts on a radio show called Guy’s Garage, a show which steered me towards a second career in automotive media. It’s hard to believe that was 13 years ago!
Collectively, we’ve done some pretty cool stuff over those years, but I’ve gotta say that Rustye entering his first ever NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race might be the coolest.
I’ve been so busy over at Wheels.ca that I didn’t get around to posting this here. Of course I actually loaded the pics, I just didn’t get around to adding any words.
So, a couple of weeks ago, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series folks and a gaggle of media types invaded the brand spanking new events centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Fresh off his boot to the nuts incident, Nelson Piquet Jr. was on hand as an “impartial” test driver to lay down some baselines for the teams when they arrive on Labour Day weekend.
Few sports are as hotly contested as auto racing, which means that when things don’t go someone’s way, there is always a chance for fisticuffs to break out. Of course the roundy round racers have more of a history of “takin’ it outside” than most other series. The NASCAR circus kept true to that history yesterday when Jeff Gordon got into Clint Bowyer on the last lap of the 3 to last race of the season at Phoenix.
For those of you, who like me, didn’t get to see the race, I’ve got the action for you below.
What do you think: with the absence of the NHL, should the NASCAR boys keep fighting like hockey players?