Archive for Videos
With all the recent hilarity surrounding the tasered Phillies fan at Citizens Bank Park, I couldn't help but think about how racing has its share of crazy fans too.
Like this guy.
What ensues when a drunk in the heart of Alabama stumbles upon an unlocked Pontiac Firebird pace car? A police chase right out of the Dukes of Hazzard. Old school NASCAR, man... old school.
Check out that police brutality!
Some of the best NASCAR racing of the season happens in the two qualifying races for the Daytona 500. To whet the appetite a bit for Thursday's Gatorade Duels at Daytona, I figured it'd be fun to look back at some of the older races.
Here's the second 125-Mile Qualifier for the 1981 Daytona 500. The race sports a who's-who of old-school NASCAR: Darrel Waltrip, Buddy Baker, Richard Petty, AJ Foyt and Benny Parsons. The new body styles and restrictor plateless motors make for some awesome side-by-side racing and slingshot passes. They really mix it up hard, but stay professional down to the end.
Part 1 has the start. NASCAR coverage, like the sport in general, was a lot less refined back then... but I think some of the new broadcast teams could learn a lot from Ken Squier and David Hobbs.
Part 2 features the finish. After a late-race caution, the race is restarted with one lap to go. Today that would be a recipe for a definite crash -- but not back in the day.
The 1980 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway restarted with five laps to go with Benny Parsons leading David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt and Pearson traded the lead until a blown motor in front of the lead pack set "The Iceman" up for his first career Winston Cup win.
Jim Lampley and Sam Posey give the call for ABC.
I love watching the old Winston Cup cars being slung around the road courses as the drivers work the gears. Here's the final restart of the 1988 Budweiser at the Glen at super-fast Watkins Glen International. Darrell Waltrip is leading Ricky Rudd, Mike Alexander and Bill Elliott. But the man on the move is Rusty Wallace!
I also have to give a shout out to that super-hot Ford Thunderbird pace car.
Near the end is a look at Rick Wilson's stock car career in a nutshell.
Calling the race for ESPN are Bob Jenkins -- who has a propensity for getting worked up it seems -- and Ned Jarrett.
The 1988 Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona Int'l Speedway had Bill Elliott starting all the way back in 38th place. But on the last lap he held off a hard charge from Rick Wilson to take the win by just a couple of feet as Phil Parsons, Dale Earnhardt and pole-winner Darrell Waltrip battled for third place.
This video is from the live satellite feed. ABC was scheduled to broadcast the race on a tape delay. After the race finish there is an interim period where Paul Page and his fellow commentator (sorry, don't know who it is) attempt to record the replay coverage. That is followed by post-race interviews with Elliott and Wilson. Elliott earned $63,500 for the win.
The 1988 running was the first time that the Firecracker 400 was not run on July 4. Beginning this year it was moved to the first Saturday in July -- July 2 in this case. Since then, the race has only run on July 4 one other time -- in 1992. It was scheduled to run on July 4 in 1998 (the first night race), but that event was postponed to October due to wildfires. The race will be run this year on July 4, the first time since 1992.
Incidentally, 1988 was the last time the "Firecracker" name appeared in the race title. Beginning in 1989 the race became known as the Pepsi 400.
Here's a look back at a portion of the 1983 Winston 500 from Talladega Superspeedway. Watching this video impresses a few things upon me.
First... the TV coverage was radically different than today. The commentary was substantially more dramatic -- and serious -- than what we see today. It's as if they were trying to convey that the speeds incur a certain amount of danger, and that danger feeds into the excitement of the event. (Very politically incorrect these days.) Certainly the camera work and technology wasn't what it is today... but listening to the call of the race... don't you get the impression that something exciting is occurring? Today's coverage is a combination of jokery and doldrums.
Second... it's amazing how crude things were back then, i.e., regarding safety. I mean those guys must have really had some guts to race under those conditions.
Third... restarts were just plain badass without restrictor plates.
So here's the setup to the clip. All day the talk was about the high speeds (pole speed was over 202 mph), but the race had been without incident. Pole sitter Cale Yarborough had led much of the race with Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett and Dale Earnhardt among those up front. We pick up with Ron Bouchard leading the field to a restart on lap 70.
Paul Page, Gary Gerould and Johnny Rutherford call the race for NBC.
BTW Richard Petty went on to win the race (his 197th win), which featured 26 lead changes among 13 drivers. And... Dale Earnhardt was driving a Ford Thunderbird... heh.