SHEHEEN: Bonneville & A Dodge Daytona

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Ralph Sheheen Mug
Ralph Sheheen

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — In 1971, Bobby Isaac and his Harry Hyde-led crew towed their winged No. 71 Dodge Daytona to the Bonneville Salt Flats and set 28 land-speed records.

This August, the team from The Garage Shop in Denver, N.C., will pay tribute to Isaac and his crew with their own assault on the Utah salt.

They have put a 1969 Dodge Daytona body on a modern NASCAR Cup Series chassis and installed a Dodge R6 NASCAR engine. The car was built completely from scratch and was painted by hand. It is stunning and almost ready for its trip west later this year.

Ford’s response to the Dodge and Plymouth racers of the era was the Ford Talladega Torino. Aaron Brown, who owns The Garage Shop, has his crew building a Torino replica as well. It will be powered by a stout Roush Yates Ford power plant.

Brown met Vance Kershner at the SEMA Show and they struck up a conversation about their mutual passion for land-speed racing. Those dreams led to Brown developing plans for the builds and a commitment from Kershner to fund them.

SPEED SPORT has been invited to join the team to capture the story as the cars are built and raced through the Bonneville speed traps.

Our talented team will produce a documentary about this ambitious project. Look for the finished product toward the end of the year.

– Those interested in land-speed racing should check out the recently released book, “Take Risk!” by Richard Noble. Noble, of course, drove his Thrust 2 machine to a record 633 mph run.

Noble details all of the craziness he went through chasing the needed funding to accomplish his many speed-record attempts.

Fans of the engineering side of motorsports will love this book, as Noble does a great job of explaining how they overcame so many of the engineering challenges involved in building these truly one-of-a-kind race cars. Get a copy of “Take Risk!” from quartoknows.com.

– Sadly, SPEED SPORT lost one of our family members in December. Bill Oursler was not only an important contributor to SPEED SPORT, Nobody knew more about sports car racing than Billy did.

For decades he was one of Chris Economaki’s closest confidants. Writing, editing and arguing with Chris over anything and everything, those debates are legendary with SPEED SPORT staffers of the day.

Billy and I worked on many television shows and various other projects through the years.

Billy was eccentric as well. His die-cast model collection was well known around the world. It was his passion and will live on in displays at some of the world’s finest automotive museums.

Thanks for all of the great bench racing sessions and for the friendship Billy! RIP.

– Ken Schrader called just before Christmas. He was moving out of his race shops in Concord, N.C., and heading home to Missouri. He had found numerous tubs and boxes full of old SPEED SPORTs and he wanted to donate them to our archives.

We had a great time rummaging through the old issues, reading the stories and checking out the pictures. At one point I found an issue from the 1980s that Schrader was on the cover after winning the midget portion of the Copper World Classic. He earned $2,000!

Schrader laughed when he heard about his winnings. “That’s nothing,” he said. “Back then, when I ran a midget on any track a half mile or bigger, I was guaranteed $200.”

Thanks Schrader.

– Livestreaming video continues to grow in popularity. Promoters are livestreaming to reach race fans that are outside their normal fan base. Race fans are tuning in to watch races they are unable to attend.

Livestreaming is going to continue to grow and expand this year. The television experience of which we are accustomed is evolving dramatically.

SPEED SPORT is leading the way when it comes to livestreaming grassroots American motorsports. Our recently launched SPEEDSPORT.TV Network quickly established itself with promoters, track owners and sanctioning bodies as the best platform to livestream their events. One of the key reasons being that SPEEDSPORT.TV is racers broadcasting racing for racers!

SPEEDSPORT.TV is an over-the-top television network. It’s real TV and has been a huge success for race fans as well. No other motorsports streaming organization produces as much content as SPEEDSPORT.TV.

While the world was scrambling due to the pandemic, our network affiliates criss-crossed the country producing more than 1,300 live motorsports events!

Check out the SPEEDSPORT.TV Network and the SPEEDSPORT.TV channel today.