Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, April 20, 2018, 11:45 a.m.
As of the end of 2017, 125,809 Ford Mustangs were registered around the world. The United States had 81,866 of them tooling around. Next year, oh, 10 or so, maybe as many as 15, will be lapping a variety of tracks in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
It’s no surprise. Chevrolet debuted its version of the Camaro in Cup this year. Camaros and Mustangs have been the model of choice in the Xfinity Series and its precursors since 2011. Once they enjoyed the company of Dodge Challengers until Chrysler left the sport in 2013. Toyota persists with its NASCAR version of the Camry, mainly because the Japanese manufacturer enters no equivalent to Mustangs or Camaros on the highways, let alone the raceways.
I modestly called for “muscle cars” or whatever one chooses to call them – “muscle cars,” “sports cars,” “baby grands,” or, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. might say, “whatnot” – in NASCAR’s second-string series for most of a decade before they were adapted for such competition. My idea was that the Busch (then Nationwide, then Xfinity) Series would be a great place to get kids involved. It would provide an identity to a series that mainly consisted of racing between less powerful, minutely smaller cars that looked just like those in the more significant races run the following day or night.
It didn’t happen. Next year it’s back to slightly sportier basics.
This leaves with me with mixed feelings. I guess the benefits of pulses that could mildly quicken overweigh the concerns of renewed sameness. Forty percent of me is happy. Thirty-five percent thinks nothing matters. Twenty-five percent sinks into a blue oval funk.
I hope it works. I hope anything works. Camaros and Mustangs beat electric driverless cars.
I mean, don’t they?
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