Old Elephants Still Rule

The 426 HEMI is one of the best engines around.  It’s made already-good cars spectacular.  It also sounds splendid.  The level of aural trauma one receives just listening to this car is incredible, but it’s well worth ear surgery!  It also is one of the best-looking engines out there.

One can argue that the best Dodge to come with the 426 HEMI (or the Elephant Motor) was the 1969 Dodge Daytona.  It was built to rule NASCAR.  It did.  In fact, it did so well that NASCAR banned aero cars after the Daytona and it’s sister car, the Plymouth Superbird, dominated NASCAR in the 1969 and 1970 seasons.

However, I think that a second-best Dodge is the Challenger R/T with the 426 Street HEMI.  Yes, they had to have a street tune for this engine!  That should give you an idea of how good this motor is.  The Challenger R/T is relatively rare, powerful, and really represents the muscle car craze of the 1960s and early 1970s.

The new Challenger is a throwback to the original.  Dodge made the original Challenger to be something that you could pack the family into and drive on a daily basis, yet take to the drag strip and dominate.  It’s still that way today.

All of the hype surrounding the new Challenger Hellcat has me thinking how the old Challenger stacks up against the new Challenger.   Here goes.

The most astute Mopar fans among us will likely call the Hellcat a cheater against the 1970 Challenger R/T.  Yes, Dodge is using a big supercharger to squeeze 707 yowling ponies out of the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V-8, while they used natural aspiration in the 1970 R/T.  I think for a fair comparison, the Challenger SRT8 is a good car to compare it to.  It’s got a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter V-8 (392 cubic inches), the option of an 8-speed automatic or a standard six-speed manual, and lots of performance goodies.

Why include the Hellcat?  Because right now, it represents the pinnacle of the Challenger line.

Let’s go back 44 years to when the Challenger was new.  In 1970, you could walk into any Dodge dealership, and special-order a Challenger R/T with the 426 c.i. HEMI  V-8 engine.  To do so, you had to start with a Challenger R/T.  This set you back $3,266.  The E74 426 HEMI was an additional $778.75.  However, checking the option box for the Elephant Motor meant you had to get the A34 Super Track Pak (4.10:1 rear end ratio, a 9-3/4 Dana rear end, a Sure-Grip differential, a seven-blade Torque Drive fan [essentially a serpentine belt-driven fan], a high performance radiator with a fan shroud, and power four-wheel disc brakes) for $236.65, a four-speed manual transmission (the A727 Torqueflite transmission was available for a higher cost) for $194.85, and a collapsible spare tire for $12.95.  And that’s before add-ons.  This bare-bones Challenger would have set you back $4,488.20, about the same price as a Corvette with the L-88 Tri-Power (427 cubic-inch solid-lifter V-8).  That’s the equivalent of $27,559.63 in today’s money.

The car would have weighed 3,402 pounds as optioned above.  Add on air conditioning, an automatic transmission, and other such luxuries, and you’d be looking at about 3,600 pounds.

Performance-wise, you were hard-pressed to find something faster than the Challenger R/T.  It could get up to 60 mph in under 6 seconds (the Subaru WRX does it in 5.5), and rumble through the quarter mile in about 14 seconds at 104 mph.  And that was before you slapped a pair of drag slicks on.  I wasn’t able to find any information on how well it gripped, but quite frankly, those interested in going around corners in a Challenger would have picked up a Challenger T/A.  Fuel economy?  Let’s be honest here – if you don’t have a heavy right foot, are good at short shifting, you would be lucky to eke out double digits.  This isn’t made for beating a Prius in fuel economy.

Warranty-wise, the Challenger R/T came with a 12-month, 12,000 mile powertrain warranty good for the original owner only, instead of the standard five-year, 50,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Let’s go back to the present.  $40,485 is the minimum price of admission for any Challenger carrying the SRT badge.  The weight has ballooned 800 pounds (mostly safety equipment and electronics) to 4,231 pounds.  Horsepower has gone up to 470, but torque has dropped from 490 lb-ft to 470 lb-ft.

When accelerating, the big Challenger will thunder to 60 mph in about 4.9 seconds, on its way to a very-respectable 13-second quarter mile on it’s sticky Pirelli P Zero tires.  Despite all of these impressive numbers, the Challenger will return 23 mpg on the highway.

In terms of the powertrain warranty, it’s a five-year/100,000 mile deal, but Dodge can and gladly will void the warranty if it is deemed that the car was used for “competition purposes.”

What about the Hellcat?  By January or February, you can walk into any SRT-approved Dodge dealer, plunk down $60,500, and say, “I’d like a Challenger Hellcat, please.”  Just remember, that’s before price gouging and options.

The Hellcat is heavier than the naturally-aspirated Challenger, tipping the scales at a monstrous 4,488 pounds.  But, it does come equipped with a 707-horsepower Hemi V-8.  It will sound like nothing else on the road for 3.6 seconds as you get to 60 mph, and then obliterate the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 126 mph on street tires.  Slap on a pair of drag slicks, and you’ll see 10.80 seconds at about 137-14o mph.

The massive supercharger requires 80 horsepower to keep it spinning, but it gives about 70 back when driving air into the engine.

To keep things semi-sane on the street, the car is limited to just 500 horsepower (you can even drive it with 300 horsepower), unless a special “red key” is put into the ignition.

To sum it all up, this may very well be the golden age of muscle car performance.  It just depends on how you view it.

Should I happen to be blindfolded and have to point at either a 1970 Challenger R/T, an SRT8 Challenger, or the Hellcat, I’d hope that I pointed at the Challenger R/T.  That’s not to say I’d be unhappy with the Hellcat or the SRT8 – I’d rather just have the 1970 Challenger R/T.  It’s not stupendously quick, safe, or conspicuous.  But, that’s why people buy them.  It’s just something that you will get thumbs up in everywhere.

If I had all three of said Challengers, I would use them as follows:

  • Challenger SRT8 for daily driving
  • Challenger Hellcat for scaring the life out of everybody on the road and road trips
  • Challenger R/T for weekends and road trips

THIS is HEMI Orange.  This is the car that I dream about.  This is the car that I will own before I die.  This is a legend.

This is the new HEMI Orange.  I’m still waiting for that matte black speed stripe on the hood.  Hmmmm…I see some slight modification work to do…

What’s that modification work?  The chrome bumper around the grille and headlights, a black roof, and some mag wheels.

This is under the radar…until you hear it!  I heard one at speed recently, and there’s no real way to describe it.  It’s just the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.  If you want it to be louder, get a set of Cherry Bomb mufflers – they’re smog-legal, and they make more noise than anything this side of a Bonneville landspeed racer.

Which Modern Ponycar is the Best?

Modern ponycars have progressed a lot in the past 50 years.  While the Ford Mustang started the ponycar craze, the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger have caught up (and surpassed it) in many ways.  If you are looking for a new ponycar, I hope that this post will help you.

2015 Ford Mustang:  The 2015 Ford Mustang is pretty groundbreaking.  It’s the first Mustang to come from the factory with fully independent front AND rear suspension.  Most Mustangs that had IRS (independent rear suspension) were factory hot-rod specials (Mustang Cobra, SVO, etc.).  Not any more.  The 2015 Mustang comes right off of the assembly line with IRS in any iteration.  Previous generations of Mustang used an antiqued live rear axle circa 1964.  Going over a bump or around a curve was not for the faint of heart.  Axle hop is scary, especially if you happen to be going at a high rate of speed.  Motor Trend recently tested a 2015 Mustang GT, and found that it weighed a whopping 196 pounds heavier than the previous generation.  While this certainly isn’t Ford’s first foray into IRS with the Mustang, the rear end bobbling around while on the gas is not fun, and neither is massive understeer when the gas is let off.

However, that’s NOT how most Mustang drivers are going to drive their car.  IRS pays off big time when you’re cruising in any car.  The IRS is worlds better than a live axle when you’re cruising.  In previous generations of Mustang, one small bump was enough to make you think that the semi in the lane next to you would be the last thing that you’d see.  Think about how much you drive on the freeway.  It’s a lot, right?  Heavier is often better on the freeway.  Not for fuel economy, mind you, but for cruising.  You just feel more planted to the ground.

Powering the Mustang is Ford’s fabulous (and famous) 302 cubic inch V-8 (5.0 liters).  It’s lightweight, aluminum, and it’s got a lot of power.  It’s got 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, thank in no small part to the previous-generation Boss 302’s valves, springs, connecting rods, and crankshaft.  Part of what makes this engine so fun is the fact that it loves to rev.  It doesn’t rev high, but it revs better than a pushrod V-8 has any right to.  A big part of a muscle car is driving around with the windows down and listening to that sweet thundering bellow that these engines make.  Ford’s 302 sounds good…once you put an aftermarket exhaust system on it.  I’m going to hedge a safe bet that 2015 Mustang owners will go straight to the muffler shop right after the warranty runs out.  Putting that power to the ground is either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.  Go for the manual.  It automatically makes a car more fun to drive.  Trust me.  I drive a stick.

The base engine is a high-revving 3.7-liter V6 borrowed from the Interceptor Utility.  It’s a good engine, but my first choice is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine.  It’s small, but it’s got a turbocharger on it.  I know that a turbocharger does not a car make, but it does in this case.  Here’s why you should get the Mustang EcoBoost:  Lower weight, better fuel economy, and 320 lb-ft of torque.  Getting the EcoBoost Mustang also shaves a massive 96 pounds off of the front of the car.  Listening to the EcoBoost Mustang is fun, thanks to an amplified exhaust note.  It’s got a series of growls and pops, and when you pop the hood, you hear whooshes and whistles from the twin-scroll turbocharger.

Stopping the porky Mustang is a set of big Brembo slotted disc brakes.  Brembo makes probably the best brakes in the world.  They never overheat or lose stopping distance.  The brakes on the Mustang are almost 15 inches tall, and they work great, stopping the overweight pony in just 107 feet.  By no means is the EcoBoost Mustang meant to be a replacement for the Mustang GT – the Mustang GT is a completely different car.  It’s just meant to be a fun alternative to it.  

2015 Chevrolet Camaro:  Ever since it made a big splash in the ponycar segment in 2010, the Camaro has been an entertaining car.  In SS form, it comes with a free-revving LS3 6.2-liter V-8 making 426 horsepower.  It’s got visibility akin to a ski mask, but the burbling, rumbling engine note is almost enough to forgive the visibility.  However, an engine does not a car make.  The SS without the 1LE package understeered my dear friend at Motor Trend, Jonny Lieberman, right off of the track at Willow Springs International Raceway.  That would be traumatizing for anybody.  Not Jonny!  He’s driven just about every current-generation Camaro, and the best he’s driven is the fire-breathing Z/28.  I’m still jealous.  For us mere mortals that don’t have $75,000 to spend on a Chevrolet Camaro, the SS 1LE is almost as good a driver’s car.  It’s simply unflappable.  You’re going to make a mistake before the car does, let’s put it that way.  Why is that?  Well, it’s got specatcular magneothermal shocks borrowed from the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1.  This is the Camaro to (almost) end all Camaros.  Jonny’s fallen in love with this car – for good reason.  It’s just one of those cars that begs you to go faster around the next corner.  I would kill for a Z/28 Camaro, but until then, my faithful readers will have to get me a SS 1LE.  

2015 Dodge Challenger:  The big news about the Challenger is the Hellcat.  For about $60,000, you can have THE most powerful factory muscle car ever.  It’s not as powerful as the current bunch of hypercars, nor is it as fast.  But, it’s far, far cheaper.  I mean, who doesn’t want 707 horsepower?  If you can’t afford the Hellcat, it’s all good.  You can get the Challenger Scat Pack.  You can get a car with 485 horsepower for under $40,000!  The problem with the Challenger is weight.  It’s simply not a small car.  It’s big, wide, loud, powerful, and it soaks up anything the road can throw at it with ease.  It’s also 400 pounds heavier than the Camaro 1LE.  You won’t notice the weight in a straight line because it’s got more horsepower than it’s rivals.  The Challenger isn’t something you want to take in tight, windy roads.  It’s just too big.  It is, however, the car that you would want to tour the country in.  The Hellcat is insanely loud – I’ve heard one at speed, and it sounds about as loud as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.  It’s that loud.  Dialing the Challenger back into the realm of sanity is the Challenger Scat Pack.  It’s got the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 from the Challenger SRT8, and it just howls and revs to the heavens.  It sounds like a mini Hellcat, minus the blower whine.  Speaking of blower whine, the Hellcat got it just right.  The engine was so loud that they had to put an amplifying cooling chamber in the supercharger itself to make it be heard.  A job well done, Dodge.  The Challenger is the car you want to take on a road trip.  It’s big, comfortable, it can take two large coolers and luggage in the trunk, and it can take the kids, or two buddies easily in the back.  Driving this with the windows down is the only way to drive it.  You can just sit back and listen the the burbling, howling, crackling exhaust note that sounds right out of a vintage Trans Am race.  Want to know what the Hellcat sounds like?  It sounds like NASCAR, a Ferrari V8, a plane, and a Top Fuel dragster, with blower whine mixed in.  It’s a haunting, addictive melody.  It’s the car that you just want to cruise around in, revving the engine and doing burnouts and donuts in empty parking lots.

Overall, which car would I take?  That’s hard to say.  The Mustang EcoBoost is certainly a good choice, but you just can’t hear the engine itself very well.  The Camaro Z/28 is an excellent choice, too, but it’s a stripped-down track toy that’s not meant for daily driving (case in point:  air conditioning is an option).  The Camaro 1LE is good, too,  so I’d probably get the 1LE Camaro.  The Challenger?  Hellcat, Hellcat, Hellcat!  It’s just the very definition of muscle car.  It’s so powerful that when you’re going straight with ALL of the nannies on, it will still go completely sideways.  Think of another modern car that can do that.  I certainly can’t.

If I had to go with just one of these cars, I’d get the Hellcat.  It’s the very definition of affordable performance, and even a tuner car Mustang with 800 horsepower won’t be the same.  The most powerful Camaro offered is the 580-horsepower ZL1, which handily beats the 435-horse Mustang.  Just go with the Hellcat and let me know when you get it!  I’ll feature you, sing praises about the Hellcat (it shouldn’t be too hard), and never stop saying thank you.

P.S.  Ford made the Mustang Cobra Jet (a factory drag-strip only special) until August, but there are some to be found at various racing dealerships or classifieds.  I’ve even seen a few in Hemmings Motor News.

P.P.S.  Chevrolet makes the COPO Camaro (also a factory drag-strip special).  It’s got more engine choices than the Cobra Jet, and it looks pretty darn cool.

Wish the Chevrolet El Camino a Happy 56th Birthday!

Most of the time, there are truck folks and car folks.  I’m guessing these are truck people’s feelings towards the environmentally-concerned…But, this is how car people feel towards truck people…


While they may share some interests (big engines, burnouts, disturbing the peace), their vehicular interests rarely coincide.  The Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero changed that here in America.

The Chevrolet El Camino went on sale as a 1959 model, and was based off of the Impala/Bel Air platform.  The body style truly popularized the term, “business in the front, party in the back.”  During the 1960s and 1970s, the El Camino was little more than a Chevelle with a pickup bed.  Thus, it was offered with the legendary SS performance package, which gave it a big-block Chevrolet V-8 (396-454 cubic inches), an optional four-speed Muncie M-22 overdrive transmission, heavy-duty suspension, and for some odd reason, a vinyl roof (I have no idea why, plus it looks absolutely TERRIBLE!).  A few El Camino’s were actually optioned with the rare LS6 performance package normally found in the Chevelle.

My favorite story about the El Camino is an owner of a 1970 LS6 El Camino saying that he would have to drive around with 300 pounds of concrete in the bed to prevent the tires from being shredded by simply putting the transmission in first gear!  He got kicked out of quite a few drag strips because of that!

From 1978-1987, the El Camino was based on GM’s G-Body architecture, which it shared with the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo, Buick Regal, and Oldsmobile Cutlass.  GMC sold a rare companion version of the El Camino, first called the GMC Sprint, and then the GMC Caballero.

Prior to GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, plans were made to import GM of Australia’s Holden Maloo ute as the Pontiac G8 ST, essentially a modern-day El Camino.  But, Pontiac was killed during GM’s restructuring, and the would-be El Camino revival never came to fruition.  That’s not to say that people haven’t been building custom El Camino’s over the past few years, basing them on the Chevrolet Camaro platform or the GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado platform.  GM’s announcements that it is permanently ceasing operations in Australia starting in 2017 essentially means that we will likely never see a factory El Camino again.

Wish one of my favorite vehicles a very happy birthday.  I promise that I will do a blog post honoring the El Camino soon – I love it that much!

Until then, enjoy the pictures of the El Camino over the years!

Tell me which generation is your personal favorite.  The final El Camino picture is completely ’80s, which is somewhat awesome!  If I owned it, I would put in a modern LS3 crate engine and wreak havoc…

Why the NASCAR Fight Syndrome Needs to Be Treated

NASCAR is just about the highest form of motor sports in the U.S.  I know that some of you will disagree with this but hear me out or forever hold your peace.  Think about it this way – Formula 1 has only had a few Americans compete in it over the past 60-some-odd years.  NASCAR is the American version of Formula 1.

There have been some gigantic fights in NASCAR over the years, but the one that really kicked it off was Bobby and Donnie Allison getting into a fistfight with Cale Yarborough in 1979 at Daytona.  There have been some other big fights, notably the Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin pit crew fight a few years back.  The most recent just happened to be a series of fights between Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Matt Kenseth.

Is NASCAR still NASCAR or is it WWE?  Look at the picture and decide for yourself.  Here’s the lowdown on what happened.

A restart with 63 laps to go sent Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth bashing eachother for the lead.  Keselowski thought Kenseth was pushing him and didn’t leave a line toward the wall for Kenseth, who was, in fact, trying to pass him.  Kenseth was forced into the wall and bounced into Keselowski, damaging both cars.  While that’s not uncommon in NASCAR, what happened next was.

A restart with six laps to go gave Kenseth, who was a lap down due to his damage, a free pass, which means that he was no longer a lap down.  You’re thinking score for Kenseth, right?  Not exactly.  On his way around the track, he somehow managed to “accidentally” drive around Keselowski’s nose (not his facial nose – his car’s!), damaging the car.

On the restart with two laps to go, Keselowski bashed Denny Hamlin in turn 1.  Hamlin felt Keselowski’s push, and was enraged when he fell to 11th because of this.  Keselowski lost his momentum (and his Top 10 spot), and fell to 16th place due to the now-extensive damage to his car.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, that’s normal.”  What happened next was more than abnormal.

After the race, Hamlin jammed on his brakes directly in front of Keselowski to show his immense displeasure.  As a result of this, Keselowski floored the gas and tried to spin Hamlin.  It didn’t work.  He simply went right around Hamlin, clipping Hamlin’s rear bumper in the process.

Keselowski then proceeded to drive into pit row as he chased down Kenseth, who was unbuckling his safety belts (a common practice among drivers after a race as they come near their pit box).  He T-boned Kenseth, and then inadvertently hit the rear bumper of Tony Stewart.  Stewart, who wasn’t going that fast, stopped his car, jammed it in reverse, and rammed into the front end of Keselowski’s car, destroying the front end.  Keselowski, who was frantically trying to get away from Stewart, backed into Danica Patrick’s car.

Keselowski then untangled his car from the small pileup and drove past everybody and went into his garage.   Hamlin followed him, making contact as Keselowski made his way into the garage, and stuck both cars together.  Keselowski floored the gas in reverse so he could get away, leaving a massive, smoky burnout mark in the garage.  He then drove across some equipment of the team’s that was laying on the ground to get to his car hauler.

The now-furious Hamlin climbed out of his now-stopped car first, and started storming towards Keselowski’s baby-blue Ford, which just so happened to be parked right in front of his black Toyota.  A Hamlin crew member led him away from the cars and handed him a towel to dry his face off.  However, as Keselowski climbed out of his car, Hamlin walked over to Keselowski’s car and threw the sweaty towel at Keselowski, hitting him in the helmet.  Hamlin then ran over to the stunned Keselowski and put him in a bear hug and started to wildly shake him.  After a few moments of scuffling among drivers and crews, Keselowski walked to his hauler.

Let’s not forget about Matt Kenseth.  Kenseth wanted blood.  He followed Keselowski and attacked him from behind as Keselowski was about to enter his hauler trailer.  Crew members of Kenseth intervened after Kenseth put Keselowski in a headlock.  Keselowski’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, put Kenseth in a chokehold and started to drag him away.  Kenseth crew members immediately separated the two brawling drivers.  During this encounter, Keselowski said, “You hit me under yellow.  You hit me under yellow.  You hit me under yellow.”

Here’s what Kenseth had to say about the incident.  “(Keselowski) was doing something with Denny.  The race had ended, and he’s running into cars on the cool-down lap.  I mean, the race is over, and he comes down pit row and drives into the side of me.  That’s inexcusable.  He’s a champion, and he’s supposed to know better.”

After composing himself inside of his hauler for a few minutes, Keselowski gave a few words to USAToday.  “When we restarted fifth with no right front on it, we fell all the way back to 16th and ruined our day.  That gave us a big Chase hurt, which is unfortunate.  Then, for some reason, after the race the 11 (Hamlin) stopped in front of me and tried to pick a fight.  I don’t know what that was all about, and he swung and hit at my car, so I figured if we’re going to play car wars under yellow and after the race, I’ll join too.  Those guys can dish it out, but they can’t take it.  I gave it back to them and now they want to fight, so I don’t know what’s up with that.”

What Keselowski should have done would have been to take the high road and forget about it.  Why give attention to angry people like that?  Just let it roll off and forget about it.

Hamlin called Keselowski “Out of control.  He’s desperate, obviously, and it’s either four or five of us are wrong or he’s wrong because he’s pissed off everyone…that was unfortunate.  Matt was nearly out of his car, and he just plowed into Matt and then ran into Tony and then went into the garage and cleared out transmissions and did burnouts in the garage.  Just acting like a dumb*** instead of a champion.”  Hamlin also added Keselowski “Will probably try to wreck everyone” at Talladega next week.  “He’ll just be out of control like normal.  We’ll do what we’ll have to do to get in, and that’s the big picture.”

NASCAR’s vice president of competition, Robin Pemberton, said the sanctioning body had called Keselowski into the hauler.  “We asked Brad to come in and talk to us a little bit and get his take on what went on in the closing laps of the race and the post-race incidents, so we’ve got that and we’ll talk to some other people,” he said, adding Joe Gibbs Racing mechanic Jesse Sanders was also called to the hauler for his role in the altercation.

Kenseth was angry about what Keselowski did to him on pit row (for good reason).  “I don’t know if he was mad at me,” Kenseth said. “I had my HANS (safety device) off and my seat belts off and everything. He clobbered me at 50 mph. … If you want to talk about it as a man, try to do that, but to try and wreck someone on the racetrack, come down pit road with other cars and people standing around with seat belts off and drive in the side of me.”

Keselowski’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, blamed Hamlin for the entire incident.  “I think Denny started the whole thing after the checkered flag,” he said. “Started pushing Brad around, and at some point we’ve got to stand our ground and not let that happen. From there, I guess some people got frustrated and the fight broke out.” ​

Kevin Harvick, the winner of the hotly-contested race showed that maybe NASCAR’s new Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship format had added pressure to the races, and that every moment matters.  When asked if NASCAR might send hefty penalties to the drivers involved, he replied, “You’re crazy; they love it.”

NASCAR announced today that both Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski were both being penalized for their actions following the race.

Keselowski has been fined $50,000, and been placed on probation from driving for the next four races for violating the following penalties:

Section 12-1:  Actions detrimental to stock car racing.

Section 12-4.9:  Behavioral penalty – involved in post-race incidents

Stewart has been fined $25,000, and has been placed on probation from driving for the next four races for violating the same penalties.  I disagree with NASCAR giving a penalty to Tony Stewart.  In my eyes, Stewart did nothing more than what most drivers do – back into their car as a warning.  Yes, he did ruin the front end of Keselowski’s car, which there was no need for at all.  He would have been better off leaving it alone and going on to his pit.  I feel that NASCAR was unfair in their penalty assignment, and should have given a penalty to Matt Kenseth.  Kenseth’s actions, as well as the rest of the drivers involved, were highly unprofessional and childlike.  His actions were foolish and will most certainly hurt him in the future.  I feel that Keselowski’s fine and probation are completely deserved, and he needs to seek treatment for this.  I understand that drivers in NASCAR are highly impulsive, but playing bumper cars with big-boy toys that can kill people is unacceptable and foolhardy.  All of these drivers need to have more than a slap on the wrist and a fight among themselves.  They need to talk it out to each other in a civil manner a couple of days after the incident, and I hope that we will see apologies from all drivers involved in this blemish on NASCAR in the near future.

Here’s the entire video of what happened.



Why You Should Never, Ever Test Drive a Ferrari 458 Italia Like You Stole it

I’ve been talking a lot about Ferraris recently.  However, I don’t quite think this is the kind of publicity Ferrari, or anybody for that matter, would want.  Test-driving a car like you stole it is never a good idea.  Driving a car like you stole it, even if you DID steal it, is also not the smartest thing to do.  Apparently, this German driver thought otherwise.  This 458 was only a month old, but you might have a toilet or toaster oven with a Ferrari logo on it in the near future.

The crash happened in the German city of Hannover.  According to the police, the car was being driven very aggressively, despite wet and slippery conditions.

After merging from the left and initially overtaking a slower vehicle, the driver of the Ferrari then attempted to take a highway exit at speed, at which point the car spun out of control.  Despite the car spinning, ending up on it’s roof, and then flipping back over, the 47-year-old driver and his 69-year-old passenger were miraculously unhurt.

The dealership selling the car had it on display at a stadium in Hannover, which is why it’s got all of the promotional gear.  Talk about oops.  I’ve always wondered what would happen on a test drive if you spun a car.  Now I know.

Speaking of Ferrari 458 Italia’s, there’s been a recent NHTSA recall involving the car because the trunk cannot fully open from the inside.  If you’re a wealthy human trafficker, don’t get this car.  Now your trafficking victims can escape you!

Ferrari 458 Italia that crashed during test drive (Image via Andreas Eickhoff, NW-News)

The One and Only Reason Why You Must Own an XBox One

Well, maybe there are more.  There are plenty of good automotive racing games out there for the XBox.  But, I think that Forza Horizon 2 is the only reason why you need an XBox One.  I’m going to be quiet and let you watch the launch trailer and debate on whether to mail me an XBox One, Forza Horizon 2, Forza Motorsport 5, and pre-order Project CARS while you’re at it.  I’ll probably never do another blog post again.  I’m not OK with that, but I will do a live feed of my progressions through the ranks of Forza on my blog…

Here’s the launch trailer of Forza Horizon 2.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMRQh6wFWHw

Why should you send my Forza Motorsport 5?  Well, everything from pure race cars to trucks to sports cars to luxury cars to economy cars and everything in between is represented in truly stunning details.  Each vehicle is able to go around most of the tracks around the world, again in stunning details.  Each car drives exactly like it would in the real world on the exact same track.  It’s just up to the driver to have fun and beat their friends.  The Rolls-Royce Wraith is now available in a variety of color schemes.  Rolls-Royce offers somewhere between a zillion and infinity paint options, but Forza only offers 12.  The Roller won’t be a slouch anywhere.  It’s got a 624-horsepower twin-turbo V-12, and power goes to the wheels via a satellite-aided transmission.  Yes, the transmission actually sends a GPS signal to a satellite to help make sure that the transmission is always in the right gear at the right time.  One cool part is the interior looks the same as it would in real life.  We’re dealing with a headliner that looks like the night sky, folks.

Send me a copy of Forza Horizon 2 if you’re not kind enough to send an XBox One – that’s what eBay is for!  You can even send me Forza Motorsport 5.  I won’t complain.  If you want to see a Rolls-Royce raising hell on a properly manicured British lawn, watch this video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-pzol0sxro