More than a million spectators arrive each year, to be witness to the Woodward Dream Cruise. The fifteenth annual event will be held on the 15th of August 2009 and approximately forty thousand participants are expected. Hot rods, exotic cars and classics can all be seen at this event and it is not to be missed by serious automotive enthusiasts. The vehicles are displayed on the sixteen mile stretch between Ferndale and Pontiac.
The Woodward Dream Cruise website will be able to answer any queries and supply additional information in regard to the event: http://www.woodwarddreamcruise.com/
Date: August 15, 2009
City: Ferndale, Michigan
Country: United States of America
Jimmie Kenneth Johnson was born in El Cajon, California on the 17th of September 1975. His racing career began successfully on 50cc motorcycles when he was five-years old. By the age of eight he won the 60cc class championship, even though he had injured his knee and there were still seven races to go. From motorcycles he made his way to four wheels where he competed in many off-road leagues. These included SODA, Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group and SCORE International. Here he received Rookie of the Year honors in all three leagues, made a total of 25 wins, over 100 top-three finishes and six championships. In 1996 and 1997 SODA series Jimmie Johnson raced with Herzog Motorsports as well as being a field reporter for ESPN in the SODA series.
A year later Johnson joined the American Speed Association (ASA) circuit where he was chosen for Rookie of the Year honors as well as finishing fourth overall. At the same time he joined NASCAR Busch Series and began racing with them. In 1999 he did the same, running in both the ASA and Busch Series and won twice, finishing third in the ASA point race. The following year he became a Busch Series driver but this time with Herzog Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson won his first Busch Series in 2001 on the Chicagoland Speedway at the Hills Brothers Coffee 300.
By the end of 2006 Johnson had the honor of being the only driver to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship all in one year and the only driver to win three Coca-Cola 600s in one go. Jimmie’s 2006 season saw him win the first of four Sprint Cup Series championships, as well as the Nextel All-Star challenge. He was voted 2006 Driver of the year, an award that is unique in that it covers the entire racing series in the United States. Johnson continued on a winning streak in 2007 where he won a series of races as well as his second consecutive championship. 2008 saw Johnson notching up 7 wins, 6 poles, 15 top-fives, 22 top-tens and the Sprint Cup Series championship. In 2009 he made NASCAR history by being the first driver to win four consecutive championships. His achievements for the season included 7 wins, 4 poles, 16 top-fives, and 24 top-tens. Jimmie Johnson was chosen as the 2009 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.
Having set the goal of winning five consecutive championships, by the end of March 2010 Johnson was right on track with 3 wins, 3 top-fives, and 3 top-tens, the downside being a DNF at the Daytona 500. Currently Johnson drives the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, which is owned by Jeff Gordon, sponsored by Lowe’s and operated by Hendrick Motorsports.
NASCAR is an acronym for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing and the association is currently the largest sanctioning body of motor sports in the US. It is hugely popular with sports fans in that country and has the second highest television ratings in the US. Besides this, various NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries across the globe – proof that the appeal of NASCAR racing is not just limited to the United States.
Part of this relates to the fact that participating vehicles are based on stock cars, which can be bought from a local dealer’s lot. This means that the sport is more accessible to aspiring drivers than other forms of racing. Another factor is that, even though the NASCAR headquarters are based in Daytona Beach, Florida, the sport is widespread with a number of sanctioned races being held at racing tracks across the country on a regular basis. The sport is also well-sponsored since advertisers recognise that NASCAR fans are generally the most brand-loyal of all sports fans.
It all began in Daytona Beach in the early 1900s. During that time, the beach was known for being the best place to set land speed records and many flocked here to watch or prove their worth. As many as fifteen records were set here before the Bonneville Salt Flats were seen as being a decidedly better location. It is said that during this time, many of those with the fastest cars paid for their motoring improvements by means of bootlegging. Their cars doubled as a quick getaway vehicle for their illegal bootlegging runs. Once alcohol was made legal, these wealthy car owners turned to the thrill of racing for entertainment and money and the legacy of NASCAR was born. The actual association was founded in 1948 by Bill France Sr who saw fit to get this burgeoning sport onto closed tracks under one organizational umbrella. Prior to the formation of NASCAR, the various tracks in operation generally made their own rules which made it difficult for drivers and mechanics meet vehicle and engine requirements at each track. Certainly, the organisation of the sport through NASCAR helped to catapult it to new heights.
Today NASCAR racing is clearly one of the most popular sports in the US. There are a variety of noted NASCAR drivers and NASCAR teams who have made their mark on the history of the sport. Many drivers have centred their entire career on the sport, with many enjoying a long and prosperous career. Some even pass on their legacy to their children. There are also a great number of NASCAR tracks which are seen as seasonal favourites and NASCAR racing series which draw larger attendances than normal. This section of Autoracing.com is dedicated to the great sport of NASCAR racing and it’s many different facets.
When it comes to auto racing in the United States, NASCAR definitely makes the top of the list. This exciting form of racing is one of the best supported spectator sports in the country. It is well endorsed, organised and sponsored and many racing drivers focus their careers on this sport. Because it is so well supported and organised, NASCAR racing enjoys good television coverage which further expands its fan base – often to different parts of the globe. Fans are brand-loyal and advertisers have found that one of the best ways to get their sales to pick up is to endorse a popular driver. This has helped provide much of the funding needed in order to help the sport grow to the extent that it has over the past few decades. Fans have emerged in virtually every state and people across the country are familiar with names such as Dale Earnhardt, Richard Todd Bodine, Ricky Craven, Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte. These are just a few of the great NASCAR racing drivers who are covered on this website.
A number of father and son teams have also emerged as fathers have shared their passion with their sons. Drivers such as Ned and Dale Jarrett, and Dale Earnhardt Senior and Junior have each enjoyed considerable success in their own right and shared the prestige of previous generations. Sometimes the family tie to racing stems even deeper – as is the case with the Petty family who have enjoyed three generations of racing greats – Richard, Lee and Kyle who is now carving his own name out in the NASCAR racing scene. Other family ties are not unknown – such as Bobby and Terry Labonte, brothers who have both enjoyed successful racing careers.
In this section on Famous NASCAR Drivers, we have tried to cover the basic details of as many different legendary drivers as possible. From their early life to the pinnacle of success and beyond, you will find that learning about drivers such as Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton can be every bit as interesting as the sport itself. Oftentimes the drivers lived lives that were as explosive as their performance on the track – lives which make for interesting reading. So why not scan the list of names for your favourite NASCAR driver? We welcome you to learn more about these NASCAR driving legends.
NASCAR Racing Drivers
- Al Holbert
- Bill Elliot
- Bobby Allison
- Bobby Labonte
- Bruce McLaren
- Cale Yarborough
- Casey Mears
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Dale Earnhardt Sr.
- Dale Jarrett
- Darrell Waltrip
- Davey Allison
- David Pearson
- Greg Biffle
- Jeff Burton
- Jeff Gordon
- Jimmie Johnson
- Kurt Busch
- Kyle Petty
- Lee Petty
- Mark Donohue
- Michael Waltrip
- Peter Revson
- Richard Petty
- Ricky Craven
- Ricky Rudd
- Ryan Newman
- Swede Savage
- Terry Labonte
- Todd Bodine
- Tony Stewart
- Ward Burton
An announcement dated November 3, 2010, on the Gateway International Raceway website states: “Dover Motorsports, Inc. announces closing of Gateway International Raceway”
Gateway International Raceway is a NASCAR track located in Illinois of the USA. Amongst the biggest motorsports complexes in the United States Midwest, Gateway International is host to several NASCAR races, drag races and other exciting events each year. Dover Motorsports owns the track. If you are a big fan of NASCAR, be sure to pay a visit to Gateway International Raceway.
Gateway International Raceway had its beginnings back in 1967. Wayne Meinert decided to construct a 1/8 mile drag strip, which he named St. Louis Raceway Park. Meinert increased the strip to ¼ mile in 1971. He then renamed the track St. Louis International Speedway. Later, in 1985 a road course measuring 2.6 miles was added to the track. The name was changed to Gateway International Raceway in 1988. The impressive racing facility was referred to by spectators as “The Swamp”. Chris Pook of Long Beach Grand Prix purchased Gateway International in 1995. The following year he began renovations. A lovely new oval track was laid with a new drag racing strip. The newly revamped track was opened in 1997. Today, Gateway International Raceway is owned and managed by Dover Motorsports.
Gateway International Raceway has an oval track of 1.25 miles as well as a 1.6 mile road track and ¼ mile drag strip. As such the facility is able to host a number of different motorsport events. Through the year, Gateway hosts some 300 events attracting more than 500 000 excited spectators. Amongst these events are the NASCAR Busch Series, Craftsman Truck Series and Indy Racing League. A special activity area has been designed for children as well as an interesting junior dragster program.
Several additions have been made to improve the Gateway International Raceway experience. An additional 15 000 grandstand seats have been added. A Firestone pedestrian and vehicle tunnel was constructed below the track instead of the bridge that previously blocked the view. St. Louis’ light rail system has been extended to carry visitors nearer the raceway and a free shuttle service runs from the MetroLink stop to the raceway for added convenience. For a remarkable race day experience, make your way to Gateway International Raceway this season.