No. 988
March 20, 2019

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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June 10, 2010


Bring back "run what you brung" to NASCAR.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 6/9, 11:15AM) Detroit. Last week, I reiterated my proposal to reinvent the Indianapolis 500 and get the sport of racing back to its rightful place as a developer of advanced vehicle technology, the kind that eventually ends up as real world innovations in the production cars we drive (see last week's "Fumes" by clicking on "Next Entry" below - WG). Dave Despain, SPEED TV's resident "Wind Tunnel" talk show guru and longtime observer of racing and motorsports took up the idea and put a stamp on it of his own, which is a very good thing because somehow and some way the powers that be in racing are eventually going to get the message and make bold moves to affect real change, ahem, for a change.

From the very first "Fumes" back in 1999 I pushed racing to get back out in front of the advanced technology wave and lead the development of new technologies instead of following behind after the fact, and as I said last week, I'm still waiting. But even though IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 will have a new engine formula debuting in 2011, they're still making tentative and incremental steps when decisive, fundamentally game-changing action is required. To get different looking and sounding cars back at The Speedway you have to radically alter the rules package and restore creativity back to the whole equation.

But at least the powers that be at Indy are somewhat open to the discussion and are receptive to at least considering other opinions, while NASCAR goes about holding town hall meetings accomplishing exactly nothing, as we all expected.

I've documented NASCAR's slide for a long time in this column, and I'm not going to regurgitate those myriad details again. Suffice to say that no one at NASCAR has much of a penchant for listening, and no one down in Daytona Beach can be accused of being a visionary by any stretch of the imagination, unless it involves marketing, of course.

I've stated previously that if NASCAR was looking for a (relatively) short-term fix to their long list of ills, they should declare that only pony cars will be eligible for the Sprint Cup - or whatever it's called - by 2011. But not just racing Camaro, Mustang, Challenger and a T.B.D. Toyota-named versions of the "CoT," but to race the new machines with stock dimension bodywork and all the required safety systems. Now I'm thinking that doesn't go nearly far enough.

Let's make the stock dimension bodywork ingredient just the starting point. From there we allow a manufacturer to run any model it sells in the U.S. market. To that let's add stock engines (with dry sump lube systems required) and drivetrains. As long as you can order it from your dealer and the manufacturer builds at least 5,000 verifiable units in one calendar year, it's eligible for that year and the next two years. You want to run? Then you better figure out how to make those drivetrains last, right?

And the final rule? Teams would get a set amount of renewable fuel for each race, depending on the track and race distance. No more than 50 gallons for the Daytona 500, let's say, and then on from there.

With NASCAR losing corporate benefactors and teams left and right, while losing in-person race fans and TV viewers every week, it's time for a new idea.

I implore NASCAR to throw out the rule book and start over.

Bring an element of "run what you brung" back again that takes us back to the very beginnings of the sport. Race fans old and new would not only love to see that old adage "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" brought back to life, they'd really like it if it actually meant something again.


See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and auto industry PR veteran Jason Vines this Thursday evening, June 11, at 7:00PM EDT at .

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Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Le Mans, France, June 11, 1967. A great day in American motorsport lore as A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney celebrate after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their Ford Mk IV. It was the second win for Ford in the French endurance classic and a memorable triumph for Gurney and Foyt. The tough Texan had just come off his third win at Indianapolis a few weeks before and he and Gurney would lead from 90 minutes on in the race, defying skeptics who did not believe that the volatile driving combination would succeed. Instead, Gurney and Foyt's magnificent, disciplined effort spanked the factory Ferrari 330 P4 driven by Italian Lodovico Scarfiotti and Briton Michael Parkes by almost four laps. Afterwards Gurney, ever the pioneer, began the tradition of spraying champagne after a racing victory when he shook a bottle of France's finest (Moet) and sprayed everyone within range including Henry Ford II and some of the media who openly spoke negatively about he and A.J. (according to Gurney, he then autographed the champagne bottle and gave it to Life magazine's Flip Schulke, who turned it in to a table lamp. Schulke eventually returned the bottle to Gurney many years later, and Gurney now keeps it at his home in California.) One week later Gurney would win the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa at a record 143 mph in his All American Racers Eagle Gurney-Weslake V12, finishing a minute ahead of Jackie Stewart (BRM) and Chris Amon (Ferrari). It was the first Formula 1 victory by an American driver in an American car since 1921 and the only one in modern Grand Prix history. An achievement that's likely never to be equaled given the realities of modern day F1 racing.

The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 13 to 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 14. SPEED will provide live television coverage. Flag-to-flag coverage of the race, qualifying and practice will be available at