Back Seat Driving


AUTO CLUB 400
The princess versus the pauper

BACK SEAT DRIVING— Danica Patrick’s Cup career now stretches past 50 races with one top ten to show for itself. Sam Hornish, by contrast, has competed in 99 Nationwide races with 53 top tens, 28 top fives, and two wins. He has nine top-ten Cup finishes, three top fives, and no wins in 131 races. So you tell me whose numbers look better. That’s why it’s tantalizing to compare them when they turn up in the same race, especially when they get there through such different paths—both the success (Hornish) versus little success, and the preparation and resources (Patrick) versus last-minute deal routes.

GONE IN 60 SECONDS
Forever

BACK SEAT DRIVING—Another racing tragedy. Fortunately no one was killed or injured, but it is a tragedy nonetheless. Another racing trailer has been stolen and, this time, a true one-of-a-kind race car is most likely gone forever. Forget the damn trailer. The little car that was in the trailer was the true treasure. This particular one, a wonderful example of Formula 500 racing ingenuity from the late 50s that had been carefully preserved and was at a well-known shop (in said trailer) awaiting restoration. I’m pretty sure that we’ve lost the little machine forever.

BATTLE ROYALE IN FONTANA
The MAVTV 500 arrives

BACK SEAT DRIVING— There’s a lot at stake this weekend in Fontana. For Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, there’s the chance to pocket an extra quarter-millions bucks if they can win. That’s because each driver has won one of the series’ Triple Crown Long Distance races. Those are the Indy 500, taken by Kanaan, and the Pocono Indy 400, taken by Dixon. The race at Auto Club Speedway, properly called the MAVTV 500, is the third in the trio of long distance races. Brian Kennedy reports.

TO THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUMMER
Nissan 360 degrees

BACK SEAT DRIVING—If you think Nissan marches to the beat of a different drummer, you’ve got good reason. But the company’s journey off the beaten path goes way back to its founder, Yoshisuke Aikawa, who took on the establishment in order to do—what he felt was—the right thing. For Nissan, it’s a challenge that the company has often had to face throughout its 80 years.

SURF CITY SCENERY
Scenes from Huntington Beach’s Classics and Exotics Car Show

GALLERY—Ever since Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean fame moved into Huntington Beach and convinced city officials to nickname it “Surf City”, the name has stuck. But Surf City is not just about surfing. On almost any given weekend, there’s a car show. On this day, there’s not one, but three. It’s the opening day of Kustom Kulture II at the Huntington Beach Art Center. Then there’s the Donut Derelicts car show on Magnolia and Adams that happens every Saturday morning. And lastly, it’s the Classics and Exotics show, hosted by Coldwell Banker-Campbell Realtors. LA Car was there to snap a few in Surf City USA.

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