The 1990s was the time when performance cars really started to get that oomph back. The supercars of that era still have jaw-dropping performance, and their designs are some of the most beautiful to ever howl and thunder their way down our roads.
They had no environmental restrictions, and they were the pure intent of the designer and engineers. These are the ones I view as the best.
1993 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport: The predecessor to the legendary Bugatti Veyron, the EB110 Super Sport was capable of 216 mph, which is still a blistering speed. Yet, it had a comfortable and luxurious interior. Oh, and it had a quad-turbo V12.
1998 Dodge Viper: Dodge’s Viper was a formidable car to begin with. However, it didn’t really compete with any of the European supercars. That changed pretty quickly when Dodge shoehorned a massive 8.0-liter V10 under the hood. It made 450 horsepower and topped out at 180 mph. It wasn’t as fast as the EB110 Super Sport, but it was much faster on a race track or winding road.
1995 Ferrari F50: The F50 was slower than the legendary F40. It was the successor to the F40 and the predecessor to the Enzo. However, it was still incredibly fast and rare, with only 349 built.
1990 Jaguar XJR-15: This was the world’s first completely carbon-fiber car. Jaguar only built 53 examples of this car. It had a 450 horsepower V12.
1992 Jaguar XJ220: This Jaguar was one wild child. It had a 540 horsepower twin-turbo V6. It was the fastest car in the world in 1992, topping out at 212 mph. The McLaren F1 beat it in 1993.
1993 Lamborghini Diablo VT: The Diablo VT could reach speeds over 200 mph. It was the first AWD halo Lamborghini. It’s also a car that many people have as their screen savers!
1996 Lotus Esprit V8: The Esprit V8 was in that weird space between high-end sports car and supercar. It had a twin-turbo V8 that made 350 horsepower. It put the power to the ground via a five-speed manual. It was also the first all-aluminum Lotus design. Oh, and you can look like James Bond (providing the car runs)!
1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR: This was more race car than street car. It made 604 horsepower out of a V12. Does it look expensive to you? It should. The Guinness Book of World Records pegged it as the most expensive car in the world in 1999, at a cool $1,547,620.
1993 McLaren F1: The world’s only three seat supercar, the McLaren F1. It made 627 horsepower out of a BMW V12. It was the fastest car in the world from 1993-2005. It’s top speed is a crazy 240.1 mph. The car that beat it was the Bugatti Veyron, which just so happened to beat it’s own record a few years ago.
1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion: “Strassenversion” means “street version” in German. This Porsche made 537 horsepower from a 3.2-liter twin turbo flat six cylinder engine. There are about 25 that exist worldwide. Do the math. You’ll likely never see one. You’ve also probably never heard of it.
Well, those are what I think are the best supercars of the 1990s. Tell me what you think!
I’m having technical difficulties with WordPress and photos. I will resolve the problem as soon as I can, but you are going to be without pictures until then.
Racing is inherently dangerous. It always has been. Deaths happen. The racing community is sad for a while, but they move on after a year or so.
The tragic death of Justin Wilson, a driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, shook the racing community. Justin used social media religiously, and many of his fans felt like family.
Social media creates an artifice of closeness. People feel like they are part of the lives of that particular driver. This makes it harder for some people to process the death of someone they felt close to. Fatalities are still very common in the racing world. It’s sad, but it’s true.
Justin Wilson was an incredibly kind, good-hearted person who deserved only the best things in life. However, every race car driver makes a deal with the devil. That deal is that you can get killed, but you’ll die doing what you love. Racing might be safer now than it was five years ago, but it’s still incredibly risky.
The recent deaths of Jules Bianchi, a young French Formula 1 driver, and Justin Wilson, the caring, charismatic British IndyCar driver, have left me wondering if the danger that served as motorsports’ earliest appeal has run its course. Do we, as an automotive enthusiast community, have the gall to handle even more deaths?
Race car drivers in the 1950s through 1970s were modern day gladiators. Part of the reason that people flocked to the races was because of the danger element. The living legends of that era are the ones that survived. Surviving might be a greater accomplishment than any of the wins or championships that they hold. People don’t seem to accept the risks of their sport like they used to. A football player in the 1950s knew that he was going to have a traumatic injury because of the lack of safety equipment.
When Dan Wheldon died in 2011, people walked around the paddock like zombies. People seem to forget that these cars are 200-plus mph death traps that can kill you at any time. People just don’t seem to comprehend it. These cars have become so safe that people have become desensitized to death, and for older race fans (baby boomer age), it’s just part of the racing routine.
Many race car drivers in the 1950s through 1970s didn’t start a family because they didn’t want to leave behind a widow or young children. If you made it to 30 as an IndyCar driver back then, it’s the equivalent of being a front-line soldier who’s been there for 20 years. It doesn’t make what happened to Justin or Jules any less painful, but I think what has happened is that the sport has become so safe that people forget how far the sport has come.
It boils down to this: the marriage of speed, humans, physics, and competition will always produce tragedies. It doesn’t matter what motorsport you compete in. It happens in every sport. Some are just very well publicized. The percentages of deaths in various motorsports may have decreased dramatically since the 1950s through 1970s, but we can’t ignore the fact that death is a foreboding cloud that follows each and every driver. It’s never accepted nor welcomed, but it’s never outside the realm of possibilities.
It’s quite possible that the worst cliche in the world is that a driver died doing something they loved. Duh. If they didn’t love it, they would be doing something else. Nobody holds a gun to their head and tells them to go drive a race car. It doesn’t work that way. They’d much rather die in bed with the spouse of their dreams, not hit a wall at 200 mph or get hit by a flying piece of debris. These drivers don’t have desk jobs.
Being a race car driver is one of the most dangerous jobs one can ask for. Yet, these drivers are at peace with the danger. If they are comfortable with it, then we should too. There’s a racer’s mentality: Racers race, then they mourn.
Yes, we all mourn the losses of Justin and Jules, and I especially mourn the tremendous losses to their families. Jules was just 25, and Justin was 37. Justin left behind a young family. That’s the thing every married racer fears: leaving behind a family.
We would be kidding ourselves if we think that motorsports will ever be 100 percent safe. It has the capability to, but it’s just like being a soldier: you willingly accept the risks associated with your job. You don’t need to fear the reaper if you become a race car driver. Just keep it in the back of your mind.
They have a great engine note. They have a lot of power. They come in sizes ranging from relatively small to large. Here are some of the best you can buy.
2009 Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro: The V8 version of the R8 came out in 2008. It was stunningly beautiful, and offered great performance at a reasonable price. The 5.2 FSI Quattro version added two more cylinders, 105 more horsepower, and even better looks. The 5.2-liter V10 was a slightly-detuned version of the Lamborghini Gallardo’s V10.
2005 BMW M5: The early 2000s were an era when manufacturers could shoehorn massive engines into big sedans without complaint. The 2005 BMW M5 is a relic of that era, and boy is it a good one! It bellowed and roared up to a redline of 8,250 RPM. This 5.0-liter V10 was derived from Formula 1, which is why it sounds so damn magnificent.
2006 Audi S8 5.2 FSI Quattro: This might be one of the ultimate sleepers. This big sedan is a beauty, but it’s a fast one. It got to 60 mph in a scant 4.8 seconds. The magnificent trim inside and out, plus the everyday utility of a large sedan made this quite possibly the best balance between work and play.
2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10: Need I say more than it was a truck that put down 500 horsepower stock? No, I don’t. Oh, and it’s engine came straight out of the Viper.
2003 Lamborghini Gallardo: The first baby Lamborghini was an absolute sweetheart. It was also the car that really saved the brand. It was an Italian beauty with a German heart. The engine started out as a 5.0-liter V10, but ended up as a 5.2-liter V10. It also spanned 10 years. It birthed countless iterations and special editions, while becoming a tuner favorite.
1999 Dodge Viper ACR: It had one of the biggest engines available when it came out, and that engine is still one of the largest around. It sounded more primal than mechanical. It sounds like a dinosaur fighting Slash. Yes, I know, I love to bash Slash.
2011 Lexus LFA: It doesn’t matter that this was a terrible supercar. It sounded like nothing else. Lexus teamed up with Yamaha’s musical instrument division, who tuned the engine note like a guitar. That would explain why it sounds godly. It was described by Lexus engineers as “the roar of an angel.” I think it sounds more like the roar of Satan.
2011 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI: It must be a good life to be a diesel V10. Good enough for U.S. emissions regulations to cancel sales on our shores twice. Yeah, twice. Thanks Uncle Sam. That being said, it had twin turbochargers force-feeding air into those 10 hungry cylinders.
2004 Porsche Carrera GT: Where do I start with the “Widow-Maker?” I don’t know. Yes, it has killed people, notably Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, but that was more user error than anything. This car can trace it’s heritage back to Le Mans and Formula 1 cars. That engine note is out of this world. It reminds me of the Bad Company song “I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” Except this is I Can’t Get Enough of Your Engine Note.
While you could say that just about any Porsche 959 is a stunning car, this one is just an absolute neck-turner. It’s black over carmel brown, and it’s one of only three made in this color combination. Talk about rare.
Porsche only made 337 959’s from 1986-1989. Each and every single one of them is still a technological tour-de-force, but when they came out, there was truly nothing else like it on the road.
The car that I’m talking about is a 1988 model, and it could be yours, should you be going to the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction in August. It’s sale price is estimated to be between $1.6-1.8 million, which, if proved accurate, will only reflect the voracious appetite for collectible Porsches like this.
The Porsche 959 remains one of the most technologically-advanced and interesting supercars ever built. Up until recently, they were a rare, astonishing sight in the US, due to the idiotic, bureaucratic import laws that the US has. Why? Because only 50 out of the 329-337 (production numbers vary, depending on who you ask at Porsche) built between 1986-1989 came to the US. However, since the bulk of 959’s were built before 1988, the import laws are completely open on them, meaning that you can drive them legally on US roads without fear of the car getting crushed and you getting massive fines. This is very good news for American car enthusiasts and collectors.
Gooding & Company is calling this car a “Komfort” model, which means that it’s the road-going version of the 959. Komfort was Porsche’s way of differentiating the road-going 959 from the “Sport” version of the 959, which raced in everything from rally to endurance racing. The Komfort cars were powered by a 444-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 2.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine that was connected to a six-speed manual (most cars at the time still had four-speed manuals – a six-speed was simply out of this world). It was completely ahead of its time in terms of speed, technology and handling.
“Car & Driver” recorded a smoking 3.6-second 0-60 run, and somehow had the cojones to get it all the way up to 190 mph. Porsche says that the car has the potential to hit 205 mph, so it seems obvious that “Car & Driver” just didn’t have the nerve…That being said, the 190 mph that they recorded held their top speed record until 1997 and the McLaren F1.
What made the car so revolutionary was the fact that it had electronically-controlled AWD. The only other production car to use electronically-controlled AWD was the Audi Quattro, which started using the system back in the mid-1980s. This system could distribute torque depending on the dynamic load on each wheel. It could also be locked at a fixed torque split.
I’ve never quite seen such a beautiful Porsche, and while I’ve never seen a 959 in person, this is an absolute stunner. The 959 is high up on my automotive bucket list, and this one only elevates it to be alongside other legendary cars like the Pagani Huayra, Dodge Daytona, Ford GT40, and Shelby Cobra, among others.
I’ve attached the link to the car from Gooding & Company for you to look at. There are very few details on it, but they will be available closer to the auction date (think late July). http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1988-porsche-959-komfort-2/
If you can’t afford that much, there is a beautiful 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Lightweight at the same auction that is estimated to go for $1.0-1.2 million. I’ve attached the link for it also. If you have the means, I highly recommend buying both and driving the wheels off of them. Cars like these are meant to be driven. http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1973-porsche-911-carrera-2-7-rs-lightweight-3/#tab1
I recently attended what may be the best car show I’ve been to yet. It was called Concorso Ferrari, and it was held in sunny Pasadena, California. My uncle’s friend is a judge for Concorso Ferrari, and was kind enough to let me shadow him as he judged the Ferrari 360 Modena class.
There were 160 cars in attendance, and my uncle’s friend and two other incredibly nice judges were there to judge eight cars.
Some of the cars that I was able to watch being judged were beyond flawless, while two were daily drivers. The owners of the daily drivers were fine to tell the judges that. Their theory is that a Ferrari is meant to be driven, and it would be a waste of money to let it sit in the garage to only come out for shows.
While 160 cars doesn’t sound like a lot, you have to remember that they took up three blocks, with cars parked at the curb and in the lanes. I’m not sure exactly how many people were in attendance, but it was well over three thousand. To say that it was crowded would be an understatement.
If you told me to pick just one highlight from the show, I couldn’t. It was a truly amazing experience, and I urge you to come down to Pasadena next year to experience it for yourself. You probably won’t be invited to shadow a judge, but you’ll be able to see truly beautiful cars, meet nice people, and get expensive merchandise (the hat and mug I got cost around $80).
Enjoy the pictures I took.
I have more pictures, but they’re basically all of the cars shown above. I have attached the album link on Facebook for you all to drool over. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.917013121670207.1073741830.692811890756999&type=3
Also, if you are on Facebook and haven’t already liked my blog, please do so! I’m really pushing to get more likes on the page(I will post pictures, you can comment, etc.). You can be part of a movement!
The legendary Hollywood actor, Robert De Niro, star of several blockbuster films, is going to play Enzo Ferrari in an upcoming biopic of one of the most legendary people in the automotive industry.
De Niro announced that this film will take top priority. Production is expected to begin soon. De Niro said, “It is an honor and a joy to tell the life of an extraordinary man who revolutionized the automotive world.”
De Niro will play the legendary Italian, whose team has been actively competing since 1929 as Scuderia Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari started off running Alfa Romeos, then started building their own cars in 1947. They have gone on to win an incredible 16 Formula 1 Constructor’s titles since 1950. They have also won 15 Driver’s titles, 222 races, and you get the point. They know their stuff.
The film is going to be produced by former photographer Gianni Bozzacchi, owner of Triworld Cinema, and will work with De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises company.
According to Bozzacchi in an interview with the Italian newspaper, Il Messaggero, “The film will be titled Ferrari and will be based on an epic story. It will have a high budget and will cover a wide span – from 1945 to the eighties in a twisted game of eras and episodes.”
Robert De Niro isn’t the only big name working on this film, as Clint Eastwood has been approached to direct the film. Bozzacchi claims that Eastwood was “very interested” but wanted to read the script. It is unclear as to whether Eastwood read the script or not.
The writers of Oliver Stone’s Nixon, Steven Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, also have links to the movie.
The film is expected to hit theaters in 2016. I can’t wait to see it! Look for a review of it as soon as it hits the big screen!
This crash is the definition of insane. It happened fairly recently too.
The Derek Bell Cup at the 73rd Goodwood Member’s Meeting, which is essentially a place where really rich car guys get together and race their vintage race cars for a trophy. It sounds like a whole lot of fun. There was one moment that I still can’t get over. It was one of those “Oh my G-d HOW the hell did that happen?” moments.
For the record, the Derek Bell Cup is for Formula 3 cars. It is not for every other class of car!
This bonkers crash happened on the second flat-out lap of the qualifying session. Paul Waine’s beautiful red De Sanctis-Ford hit Michael Scott’s equally beautiful 1969 Brabham-Ford BT28 at the legendary Madwick corner.
Waine’s airborne #10 Ford was credited with a still-impressive 17th place for qualifying, but had to retire from the rest of the event. Scott’s Ford somehow got through another six laps before qualifying in 20th place. Scott then went on to finish 13th in the actual race.
The De Sanctis-Ford was an Italian effort that took much inspiration from the Brabham cars of the late 1960s, and was powered by a Ford engine. What seems illogical to me is the fact that the De Sanctis family ran a Fiat dealership. Nonetheless, 1969 was a disappointing year for them.
The Brabham-Ford cars were extremely successful F3 (Formula 3) cars throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Here’s a link to the video of the crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWVPL8oEFJs
Another saddening crash was Jochen Mass, who slammed a priceless Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS into a Lister. Both cars were racing in the Salvadori Cup, and from footage I’ve seen, it looked like the Lister wanted to enter the pits when Mass tried to help. It looks like Mass locked up the brakes in the 300 SLS, and by the time he let up on the brakes, it was simply too late. Cars of that era aren’t known for their braking prowess (they were in the day), so it is a sad surprise. Like any race car worth it’s racing slicks, I’m sure that both cars will be repaired and racing again in no time at all.
Supercars are constantly redefining how crazy cars can be. Think about the 1990s. The McLaren F1 was the fastest car in the world until the Bugatti Veyron. The Lamborghini Diablo wasn’t nearly as fast, but it was just as raw and pure of a driver’s car. However, the car that one can argue defined the 1990s supercar wars was the Ferrari Testarossa. It wasn’t the fastest, the most terrifying, or most exhilarating. What it did do, however, was pave the way for supercars as we know them now. Yes, that means being completely unaffordable to the general population and outrageous repair costs.
This blog post is by no means meant to make supercars from the 1990s and first decade of the 2000s seem like horrible messes of cars that are best left to be stared at in museums. Drive these cars. It’s what they’re meant for. Grab they keys and floor it if you get the chance. Just remember to set aside a LOT of money to repair them. Oh, and find a really good mechanic. Just because they say that they service European cars does NOT mean that they will service your Lamborghini Diablo. They will, but they will likely do it badly and cause further damage to something that is expensive. Ask them if they service your supercar. They can usually point you to somebody who will if they can’t.
Many jobs require special tools for that car and that car only. Your Craftsman toolset will do irreversible damage to your car. Doing a simple task such as changing the oil, which might take an afternoon in your mom’s Toyota Camry, can turn into a five-day knuckle-bashing fest on a McLaren F1. Let’s not even start on the Ferrari Enzo.
Yes, that’s a stock McLaren F1 engine bay! The gold throughout the engine bay is actual gold leaf. The exhaust is titanium, and no, the blue connectors are not for nitrous. They are for fuel delivery. That engine bay looks like a lot of fun to access! No wonder it takes five days to change the oil…
McLaren estimates annual repair costs to be about $30,000, which doesn’t seem too bad until you find out that an oil change is $8,000. You can even ship your F1 to McLaren’s factory in Woking, UK for repairs, where McLaren employs two full-time F1 technicians for F1 repairs alone! That’s what Ralph Lauren does for his THREE F1’s. Yeah, that blazer you bought is going to good use. McLaren suggests replacing the tires in pairs ($3,000 per tire!). McLaren scrubs in every set sold, for free. That means that they custom-make the tires for free! Service can take up to 6 weeks – not including transit to the UK. It’s ten days door-to-door by air, seven weeks by boat. The bright side? The car is appreciating so quickly that repair costs will never catch up to their now-astronomical price. Chumps.
This is the floor of the customer service department of McLaren’s Woking factory. It might not be so bad to come here after all…
That being said, the McLaren F1 is one of the most amazing cars to ever come out of a factory. It was the fastest car in the world for almost 20 years, and the driving experience is supposedly second to none. It’s also going up in price really quickly. Get one now if you want. Yeah, your kids only need a semester at Stanford anyways!
This is a Ferrari Enzo engine bay. Not exactly pretty, but it gets the job done! I’m a fan of the massive intake manifold and massive shocks. Those two gold tanks are gas reservoirs. An astute commenter corrected me – they are not fuel pumps, as I originally thought! They are gas-filled reservoirs that keep the fluid in the shocks, called damping fluid, under constant pressure. Given the massive speeds the Enzo can easily hit, a single small bump in the road could prove catastrophic, so these reservoirs are necessary.
When you buy an Enzo, you’d better have every single piece of paper detailing EVERYTHING that was done to it! If you don’t, be sure to spend far more than the service cost off of the asking price! When something goes wrong, it goes from a relatively inexpensive fix to a SNAFU in seconds.
Oil or shop fluids will irreversibly damage at least one $6,000 carbon-ceramic brake rotor, so a set of factory covers protects them during service. I’m not joking!
Each authorized dealer must buy a $10,000 special tool kit and this scissor lift to work on an Enzo. The massive V12 takes 12 quarts of oil. That’s a lot. Most cars take around 7.
Oh, and a word for the wise – warm up the Enzo’s big V12 with the $60,000 carbon fiber engine lid open, and the carbon fiber intake body will expand enough that the lid won’t close until the engine cools off.
This is a Porsche Carrera GT engine bay. This car has long been the source of heated controversy, which only heated up after the tragic deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas almost a year ago (they died on November 30. I will do a one-year memorium post on that day).
Like every other Porsche, the Carrera GT gets an oil change every 15,000 miles. No, it’s not based off of a semi truck engine, but good guess! The entire car was a shelved endurance racing project from the 1990s, so it was built to be reliable.
An oil change is $3,000 because:
A set of four ramps ($1,100) is required to get the car over the hoist arms on the lift. Yes, it’s that low.
The rear-heavy car has to be attached to the lift so it doesn’t tip or fall off of the lift. A $550 set of 3/4 inch aluminum plates bolt onto the car for that purpose. Most owners leave them installed.
Two engine-oil filters – one replaceable and one reusable screen. Strip the drain plug in the aluminum cover, and you’re down $6,800.
Replacing the ceramic clutch is $25,000, including labor. By comparison, a $30,000 full brake job is a steal by comparison. You can see how these mechanics live well. When the Carrera GT was new, dealers had to buy a special $10,000 table and $8,000 jig to hold the car’s engine during service.
Overall, maintaining a supercar isn’t easy or cheap. Should you buy one of these cars, make sure that there is a piece of paper detailing everything done to the car. You’ll thank me later.
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.
McLaren’s Formula 1 team recently put this fun little driver’s quiz up on Facebook. It’s got a 10-question questionnaire that you fill out, and then are told which “driver” you are. It’s quite clever. My “driver” is Bruce McLaren. As I said, it’s fun, and answer the questions truthfully – you might be surprised at who your “driver” is! Have fun with this questionnaire – don’t JUST be truthful – experiment and have a nice weekend!