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Tag: NASCAR

November 6, 1988 – The first Polish Victory Lap
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November 6, 1988 – The first Polish Victory Lap

The car Alan Kulwicki drove to victory at the 1988 Checker 500 and performed the first Polish Victory Lap. NASCAR racer Alan Kulwicki, who is of Polish decent, introduced the world to the Polish victory lap on this day in 1988 after winning the Checker 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, his first NASCAR Winston Cup win. The victory lap, now a tradition in many forms of auto racing, usually involves the winning driver turning their car around and driving it the opposite way of the race around the track. They often will take the checkered flag and wave it to the fans.  Alan Kulwicki Kulwicki, nicknamed the “Polish Prince,” died in a light aircraft accident in 1993. Following his passing the the victory lap name was solidified. Kulwicki had won the Rookie of the Year title in 198...
The Family Racer – 1953 Hudson Hornet
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The Family Racer – 1953 Hudson Hornet

In October of 1951 Hudson introduced an all new car that would become an instant hit on the young NASCAR circuit. The Hudson Hornet, powered by a beastly inline six, would dominate the track and many credit its success with the birth of the saying, "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." Well, it may be Friday when this post goes up, but this 1953 Hudson Hornet for sale is still selling. This four-door model presents well in its original form, but is ready for restoration (and then racing!). Although it's not currently running, what's impressive about this family race car is its price. This Craigslist classic car is currently listed for just $4,500 just northwest of Milwaukee. Find the link below. Is it worth it? Yeah. Oh, yeah. 1953 Hudson Hornet Exterior First impression: stance! Tha...
October 16, 1950 – The Hudson Hornet debuts
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October 16, 1950 – The Hudson Hornet debuts

1951 Hudson Hornet convertible. By Herranderssvensson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 The old adage "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" is linked to the early days of NASCAR when American automakers found success on the racetrack equated to sales on the showroom. Among the first large car companies to build a car almost specifically to dominate NASCAR was Hudson. It's entry to the field was the 1951 Hudson Hornet, which debuted on this day in 1950. The cars soon dominated the league, all starting with a win in its first entry, the 1951 season opener at Daytona. Marshall Teague drove his Fabulous Hudson Hornet to victory over 54 other cars. The Hornet soon began capturing checkered flags and championships over and over again. Several engineering feats helped the Hornet conquer the track. Among...
October 10, 1974 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is born
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October 10, 1974 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is born

Retired NASCAR racer and team owner Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was born on this day in 1974 to parents Brenda and Dale Sr. Growing up in North Carolina, the youngster didn't have the easiest childhood. His parents divorced shortly after he was born and he lived with his mom until her house burned down around his sixth birthday. With nowhere to go, Dale's mom gave up custody to his father, who spent the race season on the road with his new wife. During this time Dale Jr. received care from an elder sister, but by age 12 he was too much to handle and his father sent him to military school. Above: Dale Jr at Daytona in the #88. By Freewheeling Daredevil - Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Top: Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 83 NAVY Chevrolet in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series. After God knows how ma...
August 13, 1955 – Hideo Fukuyama, first Japanese NASCAR driver, is born
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August 13, 1955 – Hideo Fukuyama, first Japanese NASCAR driver, is born

Hideo Fukuyama, born on this day in 1955, became the first Japanese driver to compete in the top tier of NASCAR, after receiving encouragement from Dale Earnhardt Sr. His road to NASCAR began many years earlier in open wheel racing. His first major road racing career came at the 1979 Formula Libre 500 Japanese championship. In 1988 he would make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, earning a second-place class finish. Other highlights from the era include wins at the 1992 Japanese Touring Car Championship and 1997 Super GT GT300 class championship. In 2000 Fukuyama would earn a LMGT class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Porsche 911 GT3. At Dover International Speedway in September 2002, riding on words of wisdom from Earnhardt, Fukuyama became the first Japanese driver to qu...
August 3, 1960 – Lee Petty races sons Richard Petty & Maurice Petty for first and only time
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August 3, 1960 – Lee Petty races sons Richard Petty & Maurice Petty for first and only time

Maurice Petty, Richard Petty and Lee Petty On this day in 1960 Maurice Petty made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Dixieland Speedway in Birmingham, Alabama. At this event Maurice would compete against his older brother Richard and his dad Lee, marking the only time the trio would share the track. When the checkers flew Richard Petty sat in second and father Lee Petty placed third. Maurice crossed the line in eighth place. Maurice would make a total of 26 starts between 1960 and and 1964. He had ten top finishes, including a career best third place finish at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartan.burg, South Carolina in 1961. While he didn't accomplish much in the driver's seat, his father, brother and other drivers credit his mechanical skills for their own success. (Maurice ...
June 7, 1992 – NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. died
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June 7, 1992 – NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. died

Bill France at Daytona Beach America’s prohibition era surely fueled the rise of NASCAR, but it took one man to make it official. Drivers who delivered illegal alcohol needed fast cars to outrun police, so they regularly tuned their vehicles for more power and better handling. Following prohibition, these drives still possessed a need for speed. They began to organize races, pitting their hopped up cars against each other, often in hopes of bringing home a cash prize. Daytona mechanic Bill France Sr., loved what the racing scene, but believed it could use more structure. With the assistance of a few partners, he developed a points system and race schedule for stock car racing. France soon began working with influential racers and race promoters to create a governing body for these r...
April 13, 1931 – American racing great Dan Gurney is born
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April 13, 1931 – American racing great Dan Gurney is born

On this day in 1931 American race car driver Daniel Sexton Gurney was born in Port Jefferson, New York. Gurney would move to California as a teenager, quickly getting caught up in the hot rod culture that had taken the state by storm. By 1958 he would be on the fast track to the racing hall of fame. Gurney competed quite successfully in multiple disciplines of auto racing. He took home first place trophies in Sports Cars in 1958, Formula One in 1962, NASCAR in 1963, and Indy Car in 1967. He was the first of only three drivers to accomplish such a feat. Gurney is also credited with a few other important racing traditions and inventing some critical components. After taking home the gold at the 1967 24 hours of Le Mans with A.J. Foyt, he sprayed champagne from the podium, starting a...
March 25, 1982 – Danica Patrick is born
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March 25, 1982 – Danica Patrick is born

By Zach Catanzareti. Danica Patrick, one of the most successful woman in automotive racing, was born on this day in 1982. Patrick got her start in racing at age 10 after getting behind the wheel of a competition go-kart. She has since raced in numerous circuits, including Indy, starting in 2005, and top tier NASCAR beginning in 2013. A prominent highlight of her career is a win at the 2008 Indy Japan 300. This represents the only female win in the IndyCar Series. Patrick is also the only woman to win the pole position for a NASCAR race, which she did for the 2013 Daytona 500. Check out the video below featuring a selection of highlights from her racing career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixEu3c02x5A
March 24, 1970 – Buddy Baker breaks 200 MPH barrier on closed circuit
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March 24, 1970 – Buddy Baker breaks 200 MPH barrier on closed circuit

Buddy Baker arrived at Alabama International Motor Speedway on this day in 1970 after a morning of skeet shooting. He wasn't there to race, however. Chrysler tapped him for testing as part of the ongoing Daytona program from Dodge. However, engineers knew that Baker would likely break the 200 mph closed circuit speed barrier during his runs that day, as it had been nearly snapped in recent attempts. To ensure any records went down in the official history books, chief NASCAR timer and scorer Joe Epton brought his timing equipment to Talladega to track Baker. Despite heavy rains the night before, the track dried up by mid afternoon, allowing the testing to move forward. Baker was glad, as he was ready to head to the fishing hole after waiting around all day. With Epton's tools ready...

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