The fastest NASCAR in the world is heading to New Zealand where it will star in the third annual Speedshow and aims to smash some records
The NASCAR-spec Dodge Charger was driven by American multiple land and water speed record-holder Russ Wicks, who set a world land speed record for the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) class of 244.9mph (397kmh) in 2007 on the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
Now, the Dodge NASCAR is on its way to New Zealand where new owner Ken Vincent will use the car in an attempt to break the current New Zealand land speed record of 216.39mph (348.24kmh) held by Aucklander Owen Evans.
Vincent was a world champion and held his own world record in NHRA drag racing at just 17 years of age when living in the USA, and has enjoyed a long and varied competitive motorsport career in New Zealand after returning from the US with his family in the early 1970s.
“We’re just delighted to have the opportunity to show such a unique and famous car to the many thousands of Kiwi NASCAR fans,” says Speedshow organiser Keith Sharp.
Vincent says: “I've been fortunate to race all kinds of cars, including dragsters, rally cars, and various circuit racers, but sprint cars and speedway are probably my all-time favourite," says Vincent, who was the 1973 New Zealand sprint car champion.
“I have always liked the idea of trying to set a new land speed record for New Zealand; in fact, the idea dates back to the ‘70s. Then Ray Williams, who I know well, set the record in 1996 and I’ve kept thinking about it ever since. I decided that if I was going to do it, I’d like something like a NASCAR around me.
This car is a genuine NASCAR, built for racing at Daytona and Talladega, and modified by Russ Wicks and his American Challenge team to run the straight line course across the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The world’s fastest NASCAR is just one of several exceptional vehicles fans can see at Speedshow this year, says Sharp.
“We’re very close to confirming a number of other exciting exhibits that will appeal to a wide range of motorsport, car and motorcycle fans. This year, Speedshow is actually several ‘shows-within-a-show’; of course, we have the many great motorsport exhibits that remain as the heart of Speedshow. Added to this will be a motorcycle paradise dubbed ‘Speedshow on 2 Wheels’ and a range of relevant new and performance vehicles we’re calling ‘Speedshow on the Road’.”
Speedshow ’09 takes place at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland over the weekend of 19 and 20 September. For more information see www.speedshow.co.nz.