Showing posts with label car racing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label car racing. Show all posts

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Drag Racer Killed During Qualifying Round

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (AP) - A drag racing driver ran through a net at the end of a track and died of head injuries in a crash during a qualifying round at the NHRA SuperNationals at a New Jersey raceway Friday, state police said.

The driver, whose name has not been released, crashed at Raceway Park in Old Bridge, N.J., Sgt. Stephen Jones said.

According to the organizer's website, Sportsman qualifying was under way at the time of the accident.

The incident comes nearly two years after top racer Scott Kalitta died when his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed at the end of the track in central New Jersey.

Kalitta's Toyota Solara was traveling at about 300 mph when it burst into flames.

New Jersey State Police investigators determined that "catastrophic mechanical failure" caused the fuel-fired explosion.

The 1994 and 1995 Top Fuel season champion had 18 career victories.

In February, a spectator died after being hit by a tire from a crashing dragster at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. The woman was watching a first-round Top Fuel run when Antron Brown's Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster went out of control on the strip and its left rear wheel came off.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baltimore Grand Prix in 2011

From left, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.; Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake; Gov. Martin O'Malley; Jay Davidson, president of the Baltimore Racing Development Corp.; driver Graham Rahal; and Terry Angstadt, president of the Indy Racing League's commercial division, formally announce a deal Wednesday to bring high-speed racing to the streets of Baltimore.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday the long-anticipated deal to transform downtown Baltimore into a high-speed raceway for Indy-style cars.

Flanked by racing stars Al Unser Jr. and Graham Rahal, officials proclaimed the Baltimore Grand Prix a "game-changer" that they said would inject millions of dollars into the city's economy.

"It will bring eyes from all around the world to Baltimore and to Maryland," said O'Malley, who compared the race's impact to the Preakness.

The three-day event, which will include an auto show and races leading up to the Indy Racing League-sanctioned competition, is scheduled for the first weekend in August 2011, and to return to the city each of the next four years.

Rawlings-Blake, who attended the Indianapolis 500 last weekend with Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos and City Councilman William H. Cole IV, said open-wheel racing aficionados are preparing to visit Baltimore.

"We talked to vendors who were trying to figure out how to be a part of it. We talked to race fans who were already planning where they're going to stay and who they're going to bring," said Rawlings-Blake. "It's just an excitement I've never experienced before."

Officials estimate the race will draw more than 100,000 visitors to the city and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales, hotel stays and restaurant meals. O'Malley said the race would support 400 jobs and produce $65 million to $70 million in economic impact.

City transportation director Alfred H. Foxx said the contract to build the 2.4-mile course, which will wind along Pratt, Light, Conway and Russell streets, with a pit stop by Camden Yards, would likely be awarded late this summer.

Surveying and planning will begin in the fall, and construction will start early next year, he said. Some streets will need to be widened, especially to accommodate passing at turns, and the light rail tracks will need to be altered, he said.

The city has dedicated $7.75 million in state and federal money for the roadwork. Baltimore Racing Development LLC, a private company, will pay the Indy Racing League about $2 million each year to host the event and will share the profits from ticket sales.

The group will spend about $14 million to prepare for the race and pay the city a $250,000 annual fee and a percentage of profits.

Martyn Thake, who has been hired to design the race course, said he has drawn up plans for more than 30 racetracks but is most excited about Baltimore's course.

"I think this location has the ability to be an East Coast Long Beach," he said, referring to the 37-year-old California course considered the grandfather of American street racing. "It's going to look so freaking sexy on TV — the water, the ships, the buildings."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Powerboat Racing In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY, Md. - Powerboat racing fans will be able to get a good look at some of the fastest boats on the water on May 30 when the Offshore Powerboat Association kicks off its 2010 season in Ocean City.

The OPA Offshore Grand Prix will kick off Sunday at noon on the beach at 11th Street. Spectators on the Boardwalk will also be able to get a good view of the high-speed action. Eight classes of boats will compete on the 5.8-mile course. Races will range from seven to 12 laps based on class.

For its next races, the OPA will be in Florida June 11-13.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Clunkers Crashed

TURTLE LAKE, Wis. — The spectacle that drew hundreds to a gravel pit down a dirt road might make most city boys blush.

But in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, you'll find no red faces. Just proud rednecks.

"It's a little redneck, but we love it, we accept it, we admit and we enjoy it," said Brett Moravitz, a self-proclaimed redneck.

The event resembled a demolition derby or NASCAR race. But honestly, those events would feel like the opera compared with what's really happened.

"This is pretty much a redneck car launch," said Mark Hubbard. "Don't get no better."

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon last weekend, more than 300 people gathered at Moravitz Excavating to watch old cars race down a runway, launch into the air and crash into a gravel pit. It's the brainchild of Bob Moravitz.

"You don't get to do this kind-of stuff very often," he said. "I mean, destruction of a car that really isn't worth nothing anyway. So let's just wreck it."

Instead of "Cash for Clunkers," you could call it "Crash for Clunkers." While it may not stimulate the economy, it sure stimulated his friends and neighbors.

"It's great family entertainment," said Lisa Halverson. "Cheap family entertainment."

Moravitz didn't charge for admission, but he did collect donations, which covered the $1300 he put down for insurance.

The idea was inspired last year by boredom and a strong desire to drive something off of a cliff. So Bob's son Rick and his buddy Jake figured out a way to turn big cars into remote-controlled toys.

Using a remote and several devices that were installed in each car, they were able to control the throttle and steering. But they can't make the cars stop, so they dug trenches along the runway to stop the cars, in case they veered off course.

After releasing the brake, Rick and Jake followed close behind on a four-wheeler, controlling the speed and direction all the way up to takeoff.

They didn't just launch cars. They also sent a camper that was hauling a boat and a pickup that was pulling a round baler. But the biggest attraction had to be the two airborne school buses, which brought spectators to their feet.

"My class reunion is today and I'm skipping it to come here," Kate Davison said.

After eight hours, the car launch finally comes to a close, prompting organizers to take a redneck bow — they mooned the audience. How else would you end a redneck car launch?