Third and final 77MM demo revealed – NASCARs to thunder round Goodwood
We've already told you that M1 Procars and LMP legends will star in high-speed demonstrations at the 77th Members Meeting – now we can complete the lineup by announcing the third and final demo – NASCAR.
Goodwood has had a long love affair with American motorsport, with many a Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard highlight coming from across the pond, and when it comes to pure, brutish, American power, you can’t go far wrong with NASCAR.
With 40-strong grids, 5.8-litre V8 engines boasting over 850bhp under the hood and an annual audience in the millions, NASCAR doesn’t do things by half.
While regulations dictate that there can’t be 40 NASCARs vying for position at the Members’ Meeting, the rumble of American Thunder will ring out across the Goodwood Estate as a throng of mighty NASCAR machinery attacks Madgwick at full speed.
Previous Goodwood NASCAR highlights have included “The King” Richard Petty making a brace of triumphant appearances and Patrick Friesacher literally blowing the tyres off his Red Bull-backed Toyota Camry at the Festival of Speed.
The Members’ Meeting has also dipped its toe in the NASCAR pool, with Emanuele Pirro performing donuts in the ex-Bobby Labonte Interstate Batteries car at 76MM, and Mike Skinner lighting up his Toyota Tundra NASCAR Truck at 75MM.
Whereas in the past Goodwood has witnessed these American monsters one at a time, the high-speed demonstration will give GRRC Members and Fellows the opportunity to witness a grid of NASCAR brutes on their way around the Goodwood Motor Circuit – which runs in clockwise, as opposed to the anti-clockwise nature of the majority of NASCAR’s oval circuits.
The US stock car revolution began during the Prohibition era. Drivers would modify their cars for improved speed and handling in order to outrun the police while out distributing their illicit products – or “runnin’ shine”. As cars improved into the late 1940s, drivers began to barter with each other, running races against their fellow moonshiners and proving hugely popular in the rural Southern states.
The first dedicated stock car circuit, North Wilkesboro Speedway, was built in 1947 in the Wilkes County region of North Carolina – known as the Moonshine Capital of America – holding its first race in May of that year. Two years later North Wilkesboro would be the final race of the inaugural NASCAR “Simply Stock Series”, won by Red Byron in Raymond Parks’ Oldsmobile.
Fast forward 70 years and the series has gone under a number of guises, from Simply Stock to the Grand National Division, to the Winston, Nextel and Sprint Cups before finally becoming the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. The championship has grown along the way into the monster it is today, from 8 races in 1949 to 36 races a season – although 1964 saw a record of 62 NASCAR Grand National races as Richard Petty won his first of seven NASCAR titles.
Don’t miss your chance to see pure, unadulterated muscle cars power their way around the 77th Members’ Meeting in April.
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