Open competition is now permitted in some major National Associaiton of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) events. Today's Grand American 100-miler at the Richmond Fairgrounds will allow non-NASCAR members to compete.
These sedans have a minimum weight of 2,700 pounds, a half-ton less than the Grand National machines, so speeds well over 100 miles per hour are expected. A 75-mile race for U.S. and foreign small sedans is also on the 1 p.m. program.
Protesting that Stirling Moss isn't cricket, four members of the British Racing Drivers Club resigned rather than race against him in the "historic" car series. Moss is running a Ferrari model built in the 1960s. His mount, however, is a replica built of new parts last winter. Protesters say it isn't historic and should not be allowed.
There will not be a race in a Las Vegas parking lot this November. Caesars Paace scrubbed the idea when it could not clear a date for a Grand Prix race, and the neighboring Summa Corp., whose property would have been part of the track, would not agree to anything other than an international event. The proposed track was pure "Mickey Mouse," with the longest straightaway only 350 yards.
Auto racing might revive the ill-fated Parr Meadows quarter-horse track on Long Island, N.Y. Promoters are planning a summer series of spring and midget car races over its dirt track. Built for $26 million, it closed after only 113 horse racing shows in mid-1977.
Dover (Del.) Downs has a better idea. It has a half-mile harness track inside the one-mile paved stock car oval. There will be 12-race programs next Friday and Saturday night preceding its Mason-Dixon 500-miler for Grand National sedans May 18.
Rookies at the Indianapolis Speedway must pass a 100-mile driver's test at speeds of 160 mph and up before being allowed to take a time trial.With veteran Indy racers observing, they drive in traffic in 160, 170, 180 and faster segments. Drivers who have not raced at the speedway in more than two years must take a refresher test before being allowed unlimited speeds.
Dale Earnhardt, who races either a Chevrolet or Oldsmobile, is leading the Winston Cup Grand National point standings after 10 races. He has 1,555 points, followed by Cale Yarborough (Oldsmobile, 1,407) and Richard Petty (Olds, 1,387). Six drivers have won races this season with Darrell Waltrip taking three victories.
BMW (Bavarian Motors Works) will have an engine for Grand Prix racing next year for the Brabham team.It will be a 91 cubic inch, four cylinder, turbocharged model that BMW developed in its racing touring cars. Brabham uses a Cosworth Ford engine, like almost every other Grand Prix team. It will have the BMW exclusively next year. After that, it can be sold to any team.
Next weekend's major auto racing events: Final qualifying for the Indianapolis 500-miler, the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo and Sunday's Dover, Del., stock car 500. On Saturday night, May 24, Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas will have the Mello Yello 150 for sportsman cars, and Maryland International Raceway at Budds Creek will have an all-pro sweepstakes drag racing meet.
The World 600-miler at Charlotte, N.C., for grand National stock cars will be May 25, the same day as the Indy 500. The Charlotte race is the longest U.S. oval track event. It takes four to five hours to complete.