Opinionated: My 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Picks

In years past I’ve had a pretty strong opinion about who I thought should be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, this year however, I’ve really got to dig deep and do my research to come up with five people. Not because there aren’t five that are worthy, there are at least ten that deserve to go in now, that’s just the problem, its getting harder and harder to narrow it down to five. But after lots of thought I’ve gotten my list down to five. But first off, here are my top five that didn’t get in on my list. 6-10 I guess you could say.

10. Raymond Parks- While his time at the top level of NASCAR was short lived, he did pioneer the multicar team idea that is so popular and effective today. He is a piece of early NASCAR history that needs to be preserved in the Hall Of Fame.

9. Les Ritcher- College Football Hall Of Fame, NFL Hall Of Fame, why not add NASCAR Hall Of Fame to that. His roll behind the scenes of NASCAR in the 80’s was great and he played a big roll in getting the sport to where it is today.

8.Curtis Turner– A colorful character on the NASCAR circuit, Turner was very successful while only running a limited schedule.  Turned missed several years on the circuit while being banner for standing up to NASCAR and starting a driver’s union. I say Turner goes in for the history, but who knows if NASCAR will ever allow it because of the union.

7.Ralph Segraves- A key player at bringing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to NASCAR and making this sport what it is today, he deserves a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame for all his work.

6. Jack Ingram- A legend in the Busch Series and across the short tracks of the nation. His time will come in the haul of fame. But I think while it is the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, we need to keep a tight limit on the number of “non-cup” drivers on the list. But in 2015 I think there might just be a spot for another one.

And now my five picks for the 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

5. Benny Parsons 

Benny ParsonsBenny Parson’s character and personality behind the microphone is enough to earn him a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, not to mention his 21 wins and 1973 championship. Benny was well liked by all and is a character that both the older generation who watched him on track and the newer generation who listened to him on the television can relate to. It’s time to put him in the Hall of Fame.

4. Bobby Issac

Bobby IsaacIt could be said that Bobby Issac is one of the fastest race car drivers of all time. In 1969 he captured 19 poles, a record that still stands today. He also won 17 races that year. His 49 career poles has him tied for 9th all time. In September of 1971 he sat 28 world records in his Dodge at the Bonneville Salt Flats. But his most impressive year would come in 1970. 11 wins and 13 poles would be enough to carry him to the 1970 Championship and in my opinion earn him a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

3.Anne B France

france_anne_nhof_headshotThe old saying goes behind every good man, there is a great woman. Never has that been more true than with Anne France. She played an important role in the financial side of both NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation. Without her handling the money and the books, Big Bill might not have had the clear head to bring NASCAR to where it is today. She has defiantly earned her spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame beside her husband and son.

2. Joe Weatherly

Joe Weatherly

A two time NASCAR Champion and a 25 race winner. Hall of fame statistics in their own. Not to mention his 1962 and 1963 titles were the only two years that he competed full time, making him 100% in championship tries. But more impressive than that may be Joe’s 101 NASCAR Modified race wins along with one championship in 1953. He also won twelve races in the short lived convertible series. Not only was Weatherly a winner, but he was one of the sports early personality’s, often called “The Clown Prince Of Stock Car Racing”. In my opinion Weatherly has all the credentials to sit in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

1. Fireball Robertsroberts_fireball_nhof_headshot

Nascar’s first superstar and often called the greatest driver to never win a championship, Fireball Roberts did however win his share of races. Including one Daytona 500 and two Southern 500’s along with 30 other races during his career. Roberts was killed in a fiery crash at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the 1964 World 600, cutting his career short. I feel that with the on track record and off track personality, Roberts has earned his spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

There time will come….

11. Red Byron- The first winner, the first champion, he deserves a place in the Hall Of Fame

12. Dale Jarrett- While defiantly worthy of being a first ballot inductee, I believe Jarrett is still making his mark on the sport as a broadcaster, but as a Champion and multiple time Daytona 500 winner, his time will come in the Hall Of Fame.

13. Maurice Petty- Legendary engine builder, he was a key part in many wins, while not a first or second ballot inductee in my opinion, he does deserve a spot in the hall.

14. T. Wayne Robertson- Like Ralph Seagraves his work was very crucial in bringing in the Winston money and growing the sport to where it is today. He deserves a spot at some point in the Hall Of Fame.

15. Bruton Smith- While part of me feels like his legacy is still being written, he is deep into his 80’s and at some point it would be nice to see Bruton go in while he is still alive to really enjoy the honor. There is no doubt he deserves the spot, in fact I’m surprised it took him this long to find his way to the ballot.

NASCAR Sprint Cup 2013 Season Preview

Daytona is so close now you can taste it! Here are my thought’s on the upcoming 2013 season, who will make the Chase, who won’t, and who will win it all!

Who’s In? Who’s Out? Here’s My Top 10

Every year the chase get’s harder and harder to make, that trend will defiantly continue this year. None of the 12 Chase drivers from 2012 are looking to give up their spot in 2013 but several drivers are locked and loaded to put themselves in the Chase this year. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch lead the charge of the top drivers looking for a spot in that elite 12.  Here is my Chase picks for 2013.

Daytona 500 - Practice

(Photo Credit Nascar.com)

Jeff Gordon: Despite a world of controversy surrounding him Jeff Gordon finished off the 2012 season on a high note with a win at Homestead. I look for Gordon to continue his late season momentum over in to 2013. With the Gen 6 race car’s driving style comparing itself more to the “twisted sister” over the C.O.T. I look for that to give Gordon a little bit of an advantage as well.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Awards - Portraits(Photo Credit Nascar.com)

Brad Keselowski: I look for Bad Brad to continue in his dominate ways in 2013. With the new car I don’t look for the switch to Ford to slow him down taht much.

Tums Fast Relief 500 - Practice

Kasey Kahne: Even though Kahne got off to a really bad start in 2012 he came back to finish 4th overall in the standings. Look for him to be a serious force to be dealt with in 2012.

Ford EcoBoost 400 - Qualifying

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Clint Bowyer: Bowyer had is best points finish of 2nd in 2012 and arguably his best year all together. It was also his first year in his new ride with Micheal Waltrip Racing. I look for 2013 to be a big year for Bowyer. MWR should be able to build on their 2012 success and provide some fast race cars for Bowyer and team. Clint’s confidence level should be at an all time high as well, look for him to be a serious Championship contender in 2013.

Ford EcoBoost 400 - Practice

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Dale Earnhardt Jr: The buzz of the 2012 off season was Dale Jr.’s comments about how he felt really comfortable in the new Gen 6 race car. That it reminded him of the “twisted sister” race car where he had most all of his success in.  Only time will tell if Junior can turn that comfort into a Championship but what it will give him is confidence going into the season. Junior was strong in 2012 and all the cards are in the deck for him to repeat that performance in 2013.

jimmyjohnson_espn

(Photo Credit: ESPN.com)

Jimmy Johnson: Is it even possible for “five-time” to miss the Chase?

AAA Texas 500 - Practice

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Tony Stewart: Like Johnson, its hard to imagine a Chase without Tony Stewart in it. Stewart is always a threat to win it all, even when you don’t expect it, as he proved in 2011.

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Martinsville

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Greg Biffle: The biff flew under the radar last year but for the first half of the season he was pretty dang consistent.  Now in 2013 with Kenseth gone from Roush-Fenway Racing and Carl Edwards on a rebound season the spot for top driver is open. I believe Biffle is up to the challenge of filling that spot.

AdvoCare 500 - Qualifying

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Matt Kenseth: If Matt can pilot a lame duck #17 into the Chase there is no reason why he won’t put his new Joe Gibbs Toyota deep into the Chase.

AdvoCare 500(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Kevin Harvick: Even though Harvick is in a lame duck situation in 2013 don’t look for that to slow him down. Harvick and Childress are both too proud to write this season off. Look for multiple wins and an easy chase spot out of the #29 gang.

On The Outside Looking In

Before I go into my two wild card driver’s I want to talk about who I don’t think will make the Chase. Some of these are a surprise, some not so much.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin was oh, so close to winning a race last year. Although the second’s were nice, I think not being able to tie up a W has hurt his confidence going into 2013.  I expect him to be a player going into Richmond for 10 place in points, but a non-factor in the wild card due to his proven inability to put up wins.

Carl Edwards: I don’t think Carl did enough toward the end of 2012 to prove that anything will be different in 2013. I think he will find his way back to victory lane but will still be on the outside of the Chase looking in when all is said and done.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has been up and down over the past few years. With the added pressure of Matt Kenseth driving for Joe Gibbs I think Hamlin will be the odd man out in 2013.

Other notable names not making the Chase: Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard, Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Juan Paublo Montoya, Kurt Busch.

Wild Card Baby

You’ve probably done the math by now. But here are my two wild card drivers.

AdvoCare 500

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Kyle Busch: Rowdy had the strongest car at several of the final races in 2012, he just couldn’t finish. But look for him to have it together in 2013. I still don’t think he will be consistent enough to make the Chase on points but I could see him easily winning three or four races in 2013.

Sylvania 300 - Qualifying (Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

Joey Logano: Joey was on a verge of having a break out season in 2012. He won a ton of races in Nationwide proving once again he knows how to get it done. Now that he is a strong number 2 driver with Penske instead of a distant 3rd driver at Gibbs I look for Lagano to finally live up to expectations. I think first year jitters with the team will keep him out of the Chase on points but look for him to win at least twice in 2013 if not more.

Victory Lane Here We Come

While its obvious that any of the above mentioned drivers have a illegitimate shot and going to victory lane in 2013 I wanted to mention a few not so obvious drivers who I think will make their way to victory lane in 2013.

Danica Patrick: While I don’t look for her to make the chase, or possible even the top 20 in points, it would not surprise me if she went to victory lane this year. She will be a strong contender at Daytona and Talladega. If she can stay around until the end you know the boss will be close by and I’m sure there is nothing more Tony would like to do that push Danica to her first Cup win in his car. She could also be a surprise dark horse at Sonoma or Watkins Glen.

Kurt Busch: He almost got the job done last year at Sonoma for James Finch. Look for him to finish the deal with a little better ride this year. The #78 has also proven strong before at Daytona and Talladega so look for him to have a solid shot there as well.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: The back to back Nationwide champion may be the replacement in the #6 that Jack Roush has been searching for ever since Mark Martin left. I expect at least one mile and a half victory to come his way. Possibly as soon as Las Vegas.

The Final Five

So I picked my Chase drivers earlier. Now its time for me to pick who I think will bring home the Sprint Cup in 2013. I’m not going to rank the top ten or twelve, but I will pick my top five finished.

1. Matt Kenseth

2. Clint Bowyer

3. Kasey Kahne

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

5. Jeff Gordon

I had a scenario written in which I had each of these five driver’s winning the title. But I finally decided on this one. But officially I’m “picking” all five of them! Here are my reason’s why I think each one has a legitimate shot at winning the title.

Matt Kenseth

With the Gen6 race car coming in this year I think it all but eliminates the transition period for Matt between the Jack Roush Ford’s and the Joe Gibbs Toyota’s. The Gibbs cars are strong, probably stronger last year than the Roush cars, Matt Kenseth has something that neither Hamlin or Busch have, a Championship and the mental sharpness to win one.

Clint Bowyer

I was worried about the move from RCR to MWR in 2012 for Clint. I mean lets face it, on paper it looked like a step down. But with the improvements of MWR last year it quickly proved to be a smart move for Clint Bowyer. Clint shocked most with a second place finish last season. Bowyer now has the confidence he needs with the Micheal Waltrip Toyota’s to run strong from the start. He also has just small taste of that number one spot, the two could make him dangerous this year.

Kasey Kahne 

As bad as Kahne started off in 2012 its a miracle he even made the chase, let alone finish Top 5. With the season one jitters out of the way its time for Kahne to shine in that 5 car. With my prediction of teammate Jimmy Johnson not being a major player for the title going down the stretch it makes room for Kahne to shine even brighter.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Junior was good all last year, he was up front and consistent for most of the regular season. But he slipped in the Chase and was finished off by an injury which resulted in him missing two races.  Junior said he really likes the new car and it feels more like the “Twisted Sister” in which he had most of his Sprint Cup Series success. That could be the on track and mental boost he needs.

Jeff Gordon

Like his teammate Dale Jr., Gordon could also benefit from the new car. He finished last year strong and baring the broken part early in the chase and the Clint Bowyer saga and he would have been a contender for the title. The time is now for Jeff Gordon.

Ebay Find Of The Week: Tony Stewart #20 NASCAR Race Car

Since the site is covered and will be covered with NASCAR coverage the next few weeks with the Dayton 500 fast approaching I figured this week would be a good time for a NASCAR related Ebay Find Of The Week.

 

This is a 1999 NASCAR Cup(Winston at that time) Car. Its the #20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix driven by NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart. The car was built at Joe Gibbs Racing. It comes with certificates and the proof. It’s even got Tony’s autograph on it! Check out the ad by CLICKING HERE!

 

$(KGrHqJHJFUFDK7i2t7kBQ6bGy8-bg~~60_3 $T2eC16hHJFoE9nh6qS4YBQ6MLZhe3w~~60_3 $T2eC16ZHJF0E9nmFStU!BQ6ML!Pg,w~~60_3

Restrictor Plates Are Off: NASCAR International Part Two: “Today, Tomorrow, Next Year”

(This is part two of a three part series)

In part one of our NASCAR International series we took a look at NASCAR’s past in foreign countries, if you missed that article CLICK HERE to check it out! In part two we will look at where NASCAR is today with its international racing and where it may be going in the near future along with what NASCAR can do to help develop its international presence and get the home crowd involved with it.

Today

NASCAR currently has three international series’.

The Canadian Tire Series

canadiantire_wiki

(Photo Credit: wikipedia.org)

Since 2007 NASCAR has had the Canadian Tire Series(formally CASCAR). The series usually fields a full field of around 40 cars at each event but the talent range varies from serious championship contenders to  part-time weekend warriors. The series races on a mix of ovals and road courses.  Along with one street course. Its a nice mix of international road courses and good old fashion NASCAR short track racing.

NASCAR Toyota Series

mexico_wikipedia

(Photo Credit: wikipedia.org)

Formally the NASCAR Corona Series, this is NASCAR’s Mexico series.  The series races on a similar track mixture as the Canadian series but with a few more road course and a shorter schedule.

NASCAR Euro Race Car Series

euro_wiki

(Photo Credit: wikipedia.org)

Racecar Series was created in 2008. In 2011 it became an official FIA international series. In early 2012 the series made a deal to make NASCAR the official sanctioning body. The series features a unique event weekend schedule that actually features 4 races and two divisions, the Elite Championship and the Open Championship. Letting professionals and amateurs alike take part in the fun.

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

whelenweekly_nascar

(Photo Credit: Nascar.com)

The Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s weekly regional racing series. On the international front the regions include Alberta and Ontario.

 

Tomorrow

As I mentioned in part one the announcement last week that former Nationwide Series director Joe Balash would become the new NASCAR International Competition Liaison NASCAR has made it clear that they will continue to market and race their cars and trucks outside of the United States. In fact 2013 is already set to be the biggest year ever. In my opinion the one biggest road block to the success of the international series’ is to get the home fans on board. NASCAR fans are supportive to the end of the things they love. From drivers to car makes to what brand of washing powder they use. So NASCAR needs to get its fans on board and following their international efforts. But how do they do it? They already have some things in place that will help get the word out this year. Starting off in Daytona in fact. The series champions from the three international series’ will be invited to the UNOH Battle At The Beach which is an all star race for the lower level divisions of NASCAR. Beyond that the Toyota Series(NASCAR Mexico) will introduce a Chase format similar to the one that the Sprint Cup Series uses. There will also be several companion races this year. The Toyota Series will start the year off racing on the same weekend as the Cup Series in Phoenix. The Canadian Tire Series will race a companion event at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Hopefully a few drivers in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series will use these events to get some extra seat time at the tracks.

Next Year And Beyond

I personally have no idea how far NASCAR plans to go with their international expansion but I do have a few basic idea’s that would help grow the sport on international levels.

More Companion Events

The Phoenix and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park companion races are great, but we need more. Get the Nationwide Series back to Mexico and run a companion race there. Mend fences with Montreal and get a Nationwide series race and Canadian Tire companion event there. How about taking the trucks to one of the short tracks in Canada or Mexico? Give the fans there a taste of our style race cars or trucks and give our fans a taste of their style tracks.

More Coverage

I’ve searched for hours on the internet to find enough info to write this three part series. There has to be more coverage ESPECIALLY on the internet. NASCAR needs to work with their major internet news providers to start putting out some news on these races.  Also TV coverage is a must, even if its not live lets get it up on SPEED on a tape delay. I know TSN covers the Canadian Series but how many people get that or even watch it if they do? As many weekly live NASCAR shows as there are today they could at least squeeze in ten minutes a week of coverage when there was an international race the weekend before.

Crossover Stars

Schedule allowing NASCAR needs to get some of its Cup stars over racing in a few of these races a year. I haven’t compared schedules to see how many races there are on cup off weekends or if there are races when the Cup series is close by say in Michigan or Texas but imagine the story and the draw power if you could get a Dale Jr. to go run a short track race in Canada. Or even a couple of middle of the road guys. The publicity would be worth whatever the ride cost.

Those are just a few of my ideas, I’m sure NASCAR and Joe Balash have many more in store for the international scene. I guess we will just have to wait and see what they have in store for us!

With testing getting under way this weekend in Daytona I’m going to take next week off of this three part series to cover some of the highlights of the Pre-Season Test. But I will be back with part three in two weeks in which I will lay out a “fantasy” scenario for an International NASCAR series.

“Restrictor Plates Are Off” is simply a weekly opinion column shared each week with the viewers of JDSMotorsports.com, a word press blog. We are not a professional media outlet nor do we pretend to be one. Just a NASCAR fan who enjoys sharing opinions with our readers. This article is written by Jeff Southard. For questions or comments pleas either respond through the website or email jeff@jdsmotorsports.com

Restrictor Plates Are Off: NASCAR International Part One “History Lesson”

(This is part one of a three part series)
With the announcement last week that former Nationwide Series director Joe Balash would become the new NASCAR International Competition Liaison NASCAR has made it clear that they will continue to market and race their cars and trucks outside of the United States. Further growing the sport we all love. I want to take a look at where NASCAR is and could be headed in the future with their international affairs but before I get into that I want to take a look back at where NASCAR has already been outside of the USA.

The Land Down Under

If you ask most casual fans when the first international NASCAR races were they would probably direct you to the three years of races in Japan, first at the Suzuki Circuit, then at the Twin Ring Motegi. But in fact NASCAR’s first international racing was done in the late 80’s in the land down under. The Goodyear Nascar 500 at the Thunderdome. The Thunderdome is a 1.1 mile race track on the grounds of the Cadler Park Raceway. The first race held there on February 28th 1988 and was won by Neil Bonnett. The field was a mix of NASCAR regulars and local stars. The NASCAR regulars included Bonnett, Bobby Allison, Dave Marcus, Hershel McGriff, Kyle Petty, and Micheal Waltrip. To see the complete finishing order CLICK HERE The race was a hit with those who ran it, in fact many of them came back that December to run in the Christmas 500. Morgan Shepard won that race with Sterling Marlin running second and Harry Gant 3rd. For the complete finishing order of that race CLICK HERE A third race was ran the following December, the NASCAR 400, it was won by Terry Labonte. CLICK HERE for the finishing order of that race.

I found some pretty cool video footage on youtube of the first race, check it out!

Here are the other parts to the race.
Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Eegj1wdyA
Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKPci-HBYts
Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJk_Hcv9V8o
Part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kLrwAMmXxw
Part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvT6-8QMNes
Part 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ykQxIHhhnA
This video is from youtube user wildbeemer’s page. CLICK HERE to see more of his cool, rare NASCAR footage!

Although according to Wikipedia NASCAR racing continued in Australia until around 2000 under the authority of AUSCAR(Australian Stock Car Auto Racing) information on it is hard to find. A problem I will address in the second part of this three part series.

The House Of The Rising Sun

In 1996 NASCAR announced that it would bead to the Suzuka Circuit for a 100 mile non-points race that November. The first race featured NASCAR’s biggest names including eventual race winner Rusty Wallace, along with Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, and more. For a complete run down from that race CLICK HERE. Nascar went back in 1998 but with less star power. Mike Skinner would win that race. CLICK HERE for the complete run down.
Here is some video footage from the two race.
1996


1997, this is the complete race

In 1998 NASCAR gave up the Japanese road course for a more familiar oval. The Twin Ring Motegi, a 1.549 mile oval, would play host to the third race in Japan, the Coca-Cola 500. The oval would again bring the star power to Japan. Race winner Mike Skinner, along with Jeff Gordon, Jeremy Mayfield, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton, Bill Elliot, Sterling Marlin, Micheal Waltrip, Kenny Wallace, Darrell Waltrip all took place in the race. The race would also be the first time that Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt. Jr. raced on the same track. CLICK HERE for a complete field rundown.

Here is some video footage of the last four laps of the race, more footage can easily be found on youtube.

NASCAR would return in 1999 under the “Winston West” banner. The race was without any Cup regulars and would be the last trip to Japan. CLICK HERE for the results of that race.

Canada, Mexico, and More…

After Japan NASCAR was pretty quiet on the foreign front. In 2006 the purchased the long running CASCAR series which runs in Canada renaming it the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. In 2006 they also started the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico. In early 2012 they announced they would sanction the Racecar Euro Series as a official “NASCAR Touring Series”. We will cover more on these three divisions and where NASCAR may be going in part two of this three part series next week! Stay tuned!

“Restrictor Plates Are Off” is simply a weekly opinion column shared each week with the viewers of JDSMotorsports.com, a word press blog. We are not a professional media outlet nor do we pretend to be one. Just a NASCAR fan who enjoys sharing opinions with our readers. This article is written by Jeff Southard. For questions or comments pleas either respond through the website or email jeff@jdsmotorsports.com

Road Trip: Race Shops & Foxbodies Oct. 11th-13th 2012

(This blog entry is a couple of weeks late, just now got around to finishing it up)

This is the first entry in a new section on the site. The category is “Driving Blogs” with the subcategory of “Road Trip!”. Most of my trips to the various events I travel to are some what boring and uneventful but from time to time when I do take a trip that I think someone might have some interest in hearing about I am going to put it in here. After all I feel like I should “blog” about something every now and again since most of my posts are “less filler, more thriller!” So anyway on to the blog entry.

Race Shops & Foxbodies

After weeks of planning, double checking, and last minute modifications I was finally on my way Thursday afternoon by about 5 pm to my first overnight stop of Hickory, NC. The original(more on that later) trip plan was to head to Hickory on Thursday night, get up Friday morning and go to Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville for Fan Fest 2012, then head to Albermarle, NC that afternoon and stay over night until Foxtoberfest the next morning in Locust, NC. Then head to Stewart-Haas Racing in Kanapolis, NC on Sunday morning. But like all good road trip plans things change from time to time along route.

My first pull over was around 7 pm or so to top the ‘Vert off with some fresh 93 Octane.

After a quick check of the fuel mileage I was excited to see I had gotten 23.68 mpg on the first leg. Not too bad!
Back on the road with about 45 minutes left, with my bad eye site and night time driving skills these new one piece headlights with super bright 9007 bulbs sure are nice after dark. Well what little bit of the road I can see between the giant window tint strip and massive cowl hood!

Finally arrived about 8 pm in Hickory, NC. For 44 dollars a night the Motel 6 was pretty inviting. Aside from the fact that my first room hadn’t been cleaned and I had to go back downstairs for another one I didn’t have any complaints for the money. Plus there was a Hooters right next door to grab a bite to eat at and to catch a few minutes of Thursday Night Football. Also a room with a view of the car was nice to make me sleep a little easier.

After a quick nights rest I was up at 6:30 for an early morning roll out to Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville, NC.

After an uneventful drive which was refreshingly mostly back roads and quick rendezvous with some fellow Southeasternfoxbody club members at the Walgreens in Huntersville we were off to the show!


And what a great event it was, tons of door prizes, got to take a race shop tour, rub elbows with Coach Gibbs himself, it was a ton of fun! For all the pictures and the blog post from this event CLICK HERE

I departed Joe Gibbs Racing around 1 pm and headed for my final destination for the day of Albemarle. I ignored the navigation and just took to the back roads and road signs. It worked out pretty good, took me a little bit longer than planned but it was a nice afternoon drive.

The Quality Inn wasn’t as nice as it looked on the internet and defiantly not worth the price I was paying but I’ve stayed in worse.

On the way in to the motel I had to make a quick stop at Wal-mart to pick up some double sided tape to fix the only casualty thus far in the trip. I lost a piece of side trim going down the interstate, lucky for me I saw it about to fly off and got the window down just in time!

AFter that was buttoned up it was time to clean the car up a little and after four hours on the road she needed it! Luckily when you are using Croftgate waterless products there is no need to ride around town to hunt a car wash! I had everything I needed in just a few bottles to get the car 100% show worthy again in just about 20 minutes!


The finished product!

I was a little more nervous this night about the view of the car than the night before. Especially after I learned that the projects were just a few hundred yards away behind that fence!

So I was off to the room for a quick shower and then out to dinner at the local Sagebrush for food and drinks with some of my Southeastern Foxbody brothers.

The next morning I have to admit I was pretty revealed my car was still in the parking lot with all four tires and the windows intact!

After a quick warm up I was off on my 20 minute ride back up the road to Locust, North Carolina and Fox Mustang Resto for Foxtoberfest 2012.





If you missed the event coverage from Foxtoberfest CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE for the video.

I had planned on staying the night again in Albemarle and going the next day to Kanapolis, North Carolina to Stewart-Haas Racing for their show but between the cold morning at Foxtoberfest and the draft of the convertible I was feeling a little under the weather so I decided to pack up and head for home. Now under normal circumstances this would have been an easy 3 and 1/2 hour ride but with the Nascar race just up the road in Concord I had to alter plans a bit. So after a quick look at the map I decided heading north to I-40 would be my best bet. Didn’t look that far on the map? So I drove, and drove, and drove. Finally I gave up looking for the interstate and stopped for a bite to eat, no time for anything fancy, I wanted to get home.

After about an hour on the road I had about decided I was going the wrong way, now keep in mind my GPS was useless because all it wanted to do was send me straight into race traffic. Finally after about an hour and twenty minutes I found a sign for I-40! Boy was I glad!

Finally the GPS was set for home!

I rolled into the house about five minutes till 10 Saturday night. The Mustang preformed perfectly and didn’t give a minutes trouble. From the time I left work on Thursday I logged just shy of 600 miles on the old girl! Here is a rough idea of what the trip looked like on the map.