The world of NASCAR as we know it was changed when Toyota entered the ranks of racing in 2007 with the Toyota Camry. This got the blood boiling for many fans who took it as a personal affront that a foreign car manufacturer was allowed to race with their beloved Fords, Dodges, and Chevys. The most common argument made was that NASCAR rules state that vehicles competing on the racing circuit must be based on American vehicles. I think we can clear this little misunderstanding up right away.
The Toyota Camry, the nameplate on the 2007 race car, is manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky. This same Camry has been the best-selling car in the United Stated for years and Toyota employs some 152,000 American workers. It is obvious that Toyota can now be considered as much an American manufacturer as GM and Ford, who still build a significant number of their vehicles in Mexico and Canada.
Plus, Toyota developed their race cars for NASCAR in North Carolina. These facts make Toyota more than qualified to race according to the NASCAR rulebook. And race they have. [keep reading]
After intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday during a Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday, Kyle Busch has solidified himself as Nascar’s most hated driver. Please refer to yesterday’s Monday Grind blog post for video of the wreck. Even before this incident, “Shrub” was already one of the most hated drivers, but why? Is it the sunglasses? Is it because he brings shame to M&M’s candy? Perhaps, but these three reasons are much more likely:
1. He drives a Toyota.
2. Fans think he is arrogant and cocky.
3. His aggression and willingness to wreck fellow drivers.
Except for the first reason, both number 2 and 3 were traits reflected by the great Dale Earnhardt Sr. who was notorious for aggressive driving and performing the “bump-and-run” on other drivers. This has sparked comparisons, but what separates the two, however, is temperament and self-control. Earnhardt never used his car as a weapon, especially during a caution lap like Bush did last week. Moreover, Busch has been caught up in a number of squabbles since joining Nascar at the age of 16 in 2001. There was the fight with Richard Childress that led to exchanging blows. Then there was the fight with Kevin Harvick that nearly led to exchanging blows at Darlington. There was also the time he called Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans “crazy.” And then there was last weekend.