THE GREAT STOLEN ENGINE CAPER: Tracking Down Carroll Shelby’s Missing V8

Shelby289-1A good Shelby-built 289 engine was a coveted item in the mid 1960’s. Many were stolen out of the legendary Hertz Shelby “Rent-a-racers.” They left the rental lot on Friday with a High Performance 270-horsepower 289-cubic-inch V8 and returned on Monday with a garden variety 289 that was appeared nearly identical.

Rumors abound of Shelby engines that were ordered for competition only to end up on the black market, or standard 289’s that were sold as Shelby racing engines.

But not all of the stories are true.

INDYCAR: New Markets Require New Thinking

2012 IndyCar Toronto PriorityMore than 90% of American race drivers are oval specialists.

A brief review of active racetracks indicates that in the United States, ovals outnumber road courses by a margin of a little more than nine to one. Of course, racetracks open and close frequently, car counts vary, and a few competitors race on both types of courses. But generally speaking, the numbers don’t lie. By an overwhelming margin of more than 90%, the average American racer is an oval driver.

Dale Jarrett’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Credentials Earned As Late Bloomer

1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Won Three Daytona 500s, Twice At Indy

dale-jarrettDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2014) – Success often comes for those who wait.

That certainly can be said of Dale Jarrett, who didn’t reach the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series until age 30 and waited another four years for his first victory.

The second generation star, who’ll be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 29, is among the sport’s ultimate late bloomers, winning the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at age 42 after 388 career starts. Only NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison was older upon winning his first championship in 1983.

Rolex 24 Gets Daytona SpeedWeeks Off and Running

TV Times, by Lou ModestinoOn Sunday the talking heads in the Fox anchor booth raved that this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 had the biggest crowd in a long time. No doubt sports car fans turned out because this race was the first time the now defunct Grand Am and American Petit LeMans Series’ was combined.

As the cameras panned the track, we could see many campers in the infield. The front stretch grandstands didn’t hold many of them until the last hour of the twice-around-the-clock race.

Maurice Petty Created Horsepower That Powered A NASCAR Dynasty

Known As ‘Chief,’ Petty Crafted Winners From Engines of Humble Origin

maurice-pettyDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2014) – Maurice “Chief” Petty has been proclaimed as the “silent” figure at Petty Enterprises.

Yet his value as the team’s engine builder cannot be overstated. Petty, a self-taught mechanical magician, squeezed horsepower – and longevity – out of engines designed not for high-speed competition but daily use on America’s highways.

His creations supplied the horsepower that propelled his older brother Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR premier series victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories.

Earnhardt-Childress Engines Power Rolex 24 Winners

2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hours DaytonaIn what could called be a rather tame Rolex 24 at Daytona win, Joao Barbosa drove his Action Express Corvette DP to the win powered by an Earnhardt Childress engine.

Barbosa and the 5 team led most of the later stages of the race and were never seriously challenged, even during a late caution with about 20 minutes to go.

Chip Ganassi was looking for another win to get Scott Pruett his record 6th win, but the team had engine woes and the Ganassi cars dropped out in the waning hours of the race. Ford Roush-Yates engines powered Ganassi.