A NEW ERA

| July 15, 2009

In addition, racing a car that more closely resembles the production car will speed the Corvette’s development. In recent years, several engine components as well as ceramic brakes and carbon-fiber body panels have helped migrate racecars to the street. Chevrolet also plans to use the racecar to spur work in such areas as weight reduction and fuel efficiency for the next iteration of the street car, expected in 2012.

Kay Bell is an Austin, Texas-based writer. When she’s not yelling at her television during NASCAR races, she blogs about taxes and other financial topics at www.dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com.


LOOSE LUGNUTS
Mustang mania
I’m not forgetting about you Ford fans. This summer, I dropped by the Carroll Shelby manufacturing facility just outside the Las Vegas Speedway grounds. On top of being able to see how my fellow Texan still puts together vehicles, you can amble through the adjacent museum. It’s not large, but some of the cars housed there hold a big spot in automotive and racing history. Click on the “tours” link at www.shelbyautos.com for details. Plus, you’re likely to find the parking lot filled with Shelby’s hallmark creation, the Cobra Mustang.

Pony cars back on track?
Someone is reading my mind. AutoWeek says some manufacturers are fed up with all NASCAR vehicles looking the same. Ford and Dodge reportedly have submitted designs of the Mustang and the Challenger to run in the Nationwide Series. The autos are said to be much more like showroom models. Chevrolet and Toyota, however, apparently are happy with their Car of Tomorrow faux Impalas and Camrys. But putting at least two more stylish models into races would be a great step, taking us back to the fun “run what you brung” days of NASCAR.

Wanted: Kindergarten teacher
That’s not a real job ad, but it’s one NASCAR might consider placing if Kyle Busch doesn’t stop acting like a 5-year-old. The guy just can’t keep his mouth shut, particularly about the driver who took his spot at Hendrick Motorsports. Before the Michigan race, the younger Busch brother was at it again, this time calling out 88 fans for not appreciating his racing or attitude. News flash, Kyle: 88 fans aren’t the only ones. Sure, Kyle adds some color to a sport many say has gotten too corporate, but he often crosses that fine line between being entertainingly outrageous and being a jerk.

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