Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Real Stock Car Racing Still Exists (Sort Of)

Over on ESPN's website today, there's an article about the disillusionment that some long-time NASCAR fans have for the current version of the product. In particular, I was struck by this quote from Hershel McGriff, one of NASCAR's first star drivers:

'I kinda wish we could get back to where cars looked more like they do in the showroom,' McGriff said. 'But I doubt we'll ever see that.'
Ah, but Hershel, we do see that all the time, if you look outside of the NASCAR machine. In fact, the US sports two top level "showroom stock" racing series where actual production cars (modified slightly) duke it out on some of the country's great road courses. The Speed World Challenge serves mainly as a support series for the American LeMans Series, with each of its two divisions (GT for the Vipers, Vettes, and Porsches and Touring for the BMWs, Mazdas, and Acuras) fighting it out in a separate sprint race at each track. On the other hand, the Grand Am Cup series, which supports the Rolex Sports Car Series, puts both of its classes (Grand Sport and Street Touring) on the track at once in endurance races, complete with driver changes. And that doesn't even include the countless SCCA, NASA, and other amateur showroom stock series that race every weekend all over the country.

In other words, if you want to see racing "where cars looked more like they do in the showroom," you've got lots of choices.

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