Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

The Loud Pedal Report – Local and National Stock Car Racing Weekly

loud 1

KENTUCKY (1/8/13) - Its eight days in to the New Year… 2013. Are you like racers across the country? Weight loss is your resolution?

For most racing series and divisions that race there is a minimum weight that the car has to race at before and/or after the race. So the cars are built as light as possible and pounds of lead are bolted on to the race car in strategic places to optimize the cars handling.

I tend to remind people ever so often that today’s racing whether it’s at the local short track or the high society cousin called NASCAR that it’s not all that far removed from its historical beginnings when outlaws were running suped up cars on back dirt roads trying to keep out of distance of the law.

So today when teams “cheat” the rules, it’s instinctual.

For years the area most cheated was weight. Technology has gotten far improved and the gray area of rules has grown as to what is and what isn’t allowed as knowledge is gained.

But every year as race cars are prepped in shops… the old weight issue comes up first. It’s the number one goal when the car takes life and each step as it’s prepared for a season of racing, weight loss is the number one focus as each part is added to the car.

But there’s another often unspoken thought that crosses minds. The driver’s weight. Yes folks, secretly your favorite driver’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight… himself.

That little aspect of being able to place the bolt on weight on the race car at the most precise place can make the difference in winning and losing. And yes it makes a difference if the driver sitting in the seat is 5’4” and 100 pounds versus a 7’0 245 pound racer.

So if today’s racing isn’t too far removed from moonshine runners, it’s even closer related to its jockey riding horsemen of old. Yes sir, indeed, racing takes it roots from horse racing.

Jeff Gordon, the wonder boy, as he was referred to when he hit NASCAR didn’t go unnoticed when in the seat of a racecar despite the phone books piled under him to see over the steering wheel as the jokes were told. It had as much to do with the competition advantages he gave the team as much as the competitiveness of his soul. Racing against drivers who were double his size, such as a Buddy Baker or a Jimmy Spencer, Gordon’s team was able to place weight in a better location and it resulted in wins. Maybe it was a small factor, but it helped his performance. Thus it led to an influx of small framed, light-weight drivers. Arrest the current drivers against the old school drivers and you’ll notice the top, winning drivers have become smaller versions of the heroes of old. Tony Stewart excluded, ha ha.

Michael Waltrip complained to NASCAR and a rules change took effect that began to include the driver’s weight in to the equation of minimum weights in NASCAR. Drivers hit the scales at Daytona both in their cars and way before in their tighty-whities.

In 2013 NASCAR with a new bodied car hitting the track with aerodynamic advantages, the weight limit has been adjusted. Cars will weigh 160 pounds lighter than years prior and quietly the driver’s weight issue was adjusted as well.

Car builders will still be required to make sure the driver’s seat area meets a certain weight but it’s less than it was, so look for your next wave of drivers to look even more like horse jockeys than the current crop of racers.

All that said, the local short tracks don’t have the advanced weight rules as NASCAR but minimum weights are enforced. So that weight placement is crucial to the fastest set-up on a race car and even if he hasn’t admitted it or not, your favorite driver’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Let’s cheer him on… LOSE, LOSE, LOSE!

That just seemed so wrong… so, so wrong.

Richard Cunningham is a Madisonville born, Western Kentucky University graduate with some 25 years in the Stock Car Racing PR business. A noted motorsports journalist he publishes several websites including www.KYRacing.com focused on Kentucky motorsports. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Aaron Kizer to Perform at Rooster Booster on Thursday Sept. 4

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/2/14) — Jennifer Elwell, CommonGround advocate and Communications Director for the Kentucky Corn… Read More

2014 Henderson County High School Little Colonel Cheer Clinic

HENDERSON, Ky. (9/1/14) — All children preschool through fifth grade are invited to attend the 2014 Henderson County… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 29, 2014 8617

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 30, 2014 8337

One Hospitalized After Officer-Involved…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 31, 2014 6345

Passenger in Officer-Involved Shooting…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 29, 2014 4293

Business Spotlight - Magical Memories…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 30, 2014 3303

Ponderosa Madisonville to Donate 10…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 30, 2014 3303

Ponderosa Madisonville to Donate 10…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 01, 2014 1930

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

in Top Stories by Karen McKnight
August 30, 2014 1473

City of Madisonville Says 'Goodbye' to…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 977

MCC Announces New Board Members

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs
September 02, 2014 877

Dawson Springs Woman Arrested for…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 29, 2014 2995

Daviess County Sheriff’s Office Activity…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 2831

Owensboro Police Department Activity…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 30, 2014 2142

Owensboro Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
August 29, 2014 1133

Woman Charged in Assault of 3-Year-Old…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 30, 2014 513

Smith, Hamilton honored at Distinguished…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 29, 2014 4293

Business Spotlight - Magical Memories…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 30, 2014 2543

Skateboarders Enjoy Own Style of Cruise In

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 2502

School System Facing $5M Shortfall;…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 2387

No College = Low Wages : A Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Ken Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06