Thunder In The DesertMost books about racing are not interesting to people who are not fans of racing. Thunder in the Desert is different, however, as it profiles the racing in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona for almost 100 years.
Two volumes are required to tell the whole story. The first book covers motor racing in Arizona from 1909 until 1980 and the second covers racing at Manzanita Speedway from 1981 to the present day. The author, Windy McDonald, has been the announcer at Manzanita Speedway for over 50 years. So you can bet he has seen some real changes.
It is really interesting to see the changes in what racers are racing today and what they were racing 50 to 70 years ago. Just the differences in safety equipment between 30 years ago and now is enough to make your hair curl. Racers have come a long way in what is a relatively short time given the real age of the automobile.
It is really interesting to read about the personalities and the equipment they were using. The books are a race fan's dream, with in-depth detail that allows the reader to get lost in the books. The books are a limited production, so don't wait too long to get your copy. V
The books can be ordered from: Win-Di Publishing, P.O. Box 82727, Phoenix, AZ 85071. Phone: 602-993-7471. Or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.
Fuel LinesIn any NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend, the competitors need Sunoco before they can go.
Sunoco is the official fuel for NASCAR and before any event, such as this summer's Pepsi 400 weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the gasoline is delivered two to three weeks in advance.
To learn more about Sunoco's role in the sport, we went to Thomas Golembeski, the company's manager of media and public relations.
Is the same fuel used in the top three venues and what is the difference between that and fuel one gets at a service station?
"Yes, Sunoco 260 GTX is used by all competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Craftsman series," says Golembeski.
"The 260 GTX is refined more than typical gasoline consumers buy at the pump. We start with high octane hydrocarbons that normally go into premium pump fuel and then refine them some more to give us the higher octane and other properties we want.
"Our 260 GTX is 98 octane unleaded fuel for NASCAR and it's green in color. Since we produce racing gasoline for series such as ARCA, Grand Am, and DIRT, we color code our fuel for instant identification. NASCAR fuel is green.
"Sunoco provides NASCAR competitors with free racing gasoline," Golembeski says. "Teams in the top three national series are allowed as much fuel as they need for sanctioned testing, practicing, qualifying, or racing.
"Outside of those situations, the fuel is available at a competitive price influenced by market factors and whatever supply contracts we might have in place."
How and when is the fuel distributed to the teams?
"Fuel is distributed to the teams during all official practice, qualifying, and race events. NASCAR allows the teams to use 5-7 gallon cans to top off the cars during practice," Golembeski says. "The average team would bring the car to the Sunoco station approximately three times (initial inspection, qualifying, and race day inspection) during an average weekend."
Have you ever run out or gotten so low you had to send for more?
"Our planning and logistical forecasts begin months ahead of each event. We're able to forecast our fuel needs to avoid delivering fuel during an event weekend."
How many gallons of 260 GTX fuel would be on hand at the Pepsi 400 weekend, for instance?
"Some folks here consider that proprietary or private.
"Every component used in 260 GTX is produced and blended by Sunoco," adds Golembeski. "We don't rely on other suppliers for any component in this fuel, which means we can control the consistency and quality of the fuel to a remarkable degree.