Ford Thunderbird is a nameplate, used by Ford from model years 1955 to 1997 and 2002 to 2005 over eleven model generations. Introduced as a two-seat convertible, the Thunderbird was produced in a number of body configurations through its production life, including four-seat hardtop coupe, four-seat convertible, five-seat convertible and hardtop, four-door pillared hardtop sedan, six-passenger hardtop coupe, five passenger pillared coupe, with the final generation produced as a two-seat convertible; the 1958 addition of a rear seat to the Thunderbird, while controversial, marked the creation of market segment known as personal luxury vehicles. An American interpretation of the grand tourer, personal luxury cars were built with a higher emphasis on driving comfort and convenience features over handling and high-speed performance. From 1968 to 1998, Lincoln-Mercury marketed their own versions of the Thunderbird as the Mercury Cougar and the Continental Mark III, Mark IV, Mark V, Lincoln Mark VII, Lincoln Mark VIII.
The Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible. Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car. Ford positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model and is credited in developing a new market segment, the personal luxury car. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, once again in 1983. Sales were good until the 1990s. Initial production ceased at the end of 1997. In 2002, production of the Thunderbird started again. From its introduction in 1955 to its final phaseout in 2005, Ford produced over 4.4 million Thunderbirds. The Second to Fourth Generation Thunderbird convertibles were similar in design to the Lincoln convertible of the time and borrowed from earlier Ford hardtop/convertible designs. While these Thunderbird models had a true convertible soft top, the top was lowered to stow in the forward trunk area; this design reduced available trunk space.
The trunk lid was rear-hinged. The forward end of the trunk lid contained a metal plate that extended upward to cover the area that the top is stowed in. With the top down and the trunk lid lowered, there is no sight of the soft top; the overall appearance was a sleek look with no trace of a convertible top at all. No cover boot was needed. However, this design could present a challenge to one, troubleshooting a convertible top malfunction; the system consists of a spiderweb of solenoids, limit switches, electric motors, a hydraulic pump/reservoir, hydraulic directional valves and cylinders. While the hydraulics are not a cause for trouble, the electrical relays are known to fail. Failure of any of the relays, motors or limit switches will prevent the convertible system from completing the cycle. Unlike hardtop models that utilized a conventional key-secured, forward hinged design, the convertibles combined the trunk opening and closing within the convertible top operating system; as a result of this design, the trunks of convertible models were notorious for leaking.
A smaller two-seater sports roadster was created at the behest of Henry Ford II in 1953 called the Vega. The completed one-off generated interest at the time, but had meager power, European looks, a correspondingly high cost, so it never proceeded to production; the Thunderbird was similar in concept, but would be more American in style, more luxurious, less sport-oriented. The men and their teams credited with the creation of the original Thunderbird are: Lewis Crusoe, a former GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II. Ford Designer William P. Boyer was lead stylist on the original 1955 two-seater Thunderbird and had a hand in designing the future series of Thunderbirds including the 30th Anniversary Edition. Hershey's participation in the creation of the Thunderbird was more administrative than artistic. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker,'Why can't we have something like that?' Some versions of the story claim that Walker replied by telling Crusoe, "oh, we're working on it"... although if anything existed at the time beyond casual dream-car sketches by members of the design staff, records of it have never come to light.
Walker promptly telephoned Ford's HQ in Dearborn and told designer Frank Hershey about the conversation with Crusoe. Hershey began working on the vehicle; the concept was for a two-passenger open car, with a target weight of 2525 lb, an Interceptor V8 engine based on the forthcoming overhead-valve Ford V8 slated for 1954 model year introduction, a top speed of over 100 mph. Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded to the final car. After Henry Ford II returned from the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1953 he approved the final design concept to compete with the new Corvette; the name was not among the thousands proposed, including rejected options such as Apache, Eagle, Tropicale and Thunderbolt. A Ford sty
In motorsport the pole position is the position at the inside of the front row at the start of a racing event. This position is given to the vehicle and driver with the best qualifying time in the trials before the race; this number-one qualifying driver is referred to as the pole sitter. Grid position is determined by a qualifying session prior to the race, where race participants compete to ascend to the number 1 grid slot, the driver, pilot, or rider having recorded fastest qualification time awarded the advantage of the number 1 grid slot ahead of all other vehicles for the start of the race; the fastest qualifier was not the designated pole-sitter. Different sanctioning bodies in motor sport employ different qualifying formats in designating who starts from pole position. A starting grid is derived either by current rank in the championship, or based on finishing position of a previous race. In important events where multiple qualification attempts spanned several days, the qualification result was segmented or staggered, by which session a driver qualified, or by which particular day a driver set his qualification time, only drivers having qualified on the initial day eligible for pole position.
In a phenomenon known as race rigging, where race promoters or sanctioning bodies invert their starting grid for the purpose of entertainment value, the slowest qualifier would be designated as pole-sitter. In contrast to contemporary motorsport, where only a race participant is designated pole-sitter, prior to World War II, the pace car was designated as official pole-sitter for the Indianapolis 500; the term has its origins in horse racing, in which the fastest qualifying horse would be placed on the inside part of the course, next to the pole. In Grand Prix racing, grid positions, including pole, were determined by lottery among the drivers. Prior to the inception of the Formula One World Championship, the first instance of grid positions being determined by qualifying times was at the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix. Since the FIA have introduced many different qualifying systems to Formula One. From the long-standing system of one session on each of Friday and Saturday, to the current knockout-style qualifying leaving 10 out of 20 drivers to battle for pole, there have been many changes to qualifying systems.
Between 1996 and 2006, the FIA made 6 significant changes to the qualifying procedure, each with the intention of making the battle for pole more interesting to viewers at home. Traditionally, pole was always occupied by the fastest driver due to low-fuel qualifying; the race-fuel qualifying era between 2003 and 2009 changed this. Despite the changing formats, drivers attempting pole were required between 2003 and 2009 to do qualifying laps with the fuel they would use to start the race the next day. An underfuelled slower car and driver would therefore be able to take pole ahead of a better but heavier-fueled car. In this situation, pole was not always advantageous to have in the race as the under-fueled driver would have to pit for more fuel before their rivals. With the race refueling ban introduced, low-fuel qualifying returned and these strategy decisions are no longer in play; when Formula One enforced the 107% rule between 1996 and 2002, a driver's pole time might affect slower cars posting times for qualifying, as cars that could not get within 107% of the pole time were not allowed start the race unless the stewards decided otherwise.
Since the reintroduction of the rule in 2011, this only applies to the quickest first session time, not the pole time. From 2014 to 2017, the FIA awarded a trophy to the driver who won the most pole positions in a season without sponsorship. From 2018, the FIA Pole Trophy has been renamed the Pirelli Pole Position Award, with the polesitter at each race winning a Pirelli wind tunnel tyre with the name of the polesitter and their time; the driver with the most pole positions at the end of the season wins a full-size engraved Formula 1 tyre. indicates that the driver won the World Championship in the same season. IndyCar uses four formats for qualifying: one for most oval tracks, one for Iowa Speedway, one for the Indianapolis 500, another for road and street circuits. Oval qualifying is like the Indianapolis 500, with two laps, instead of four, averaged together with one attempt, although with just one session. At Iowa, each car takes one qualifying lap, the top six cars advance to the feature race for the pole position.
Positions from 7th onward are assigned to their races, based on time, with cars in the odd-numbered finishing order starting in one race, cars in the even-numbered finishing order starting in the second race. The finishing order for the odd-numbered race starts on the inside, starting in Row 6, even-numbered race on the outside based on finishing position, again from Row 6, except for the top two in each race, which start in the inside and outside of the race for the pole position; the result of the feature race determines positions 1–10. All three races are 50 laps. On road and street courses, cars are drawn randomly into two qualifying groups. After each group has one twenty-minute session, the top six cars from each group qualify for a second session; the cars that finished seventh or worse are lined up by their times, with the best of these times starting 13th. The twelve remaining cars run a 15-minute session, after which the top six cars move on to a final 10-minute session to determine positions one through six on the grid.
The Iowa format was instituted in 2012 with major modifications (times set based on open qualifying session in second pract
2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was the 63rd season of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 40th modern-era Cup series season. The season included 36 races and two exhibition races, beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and ending with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway; the final ten races were known as 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup. During the 2010 season, NASCAR announced several calendar changes, including race additions at Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, the removal of one race each from Atlanta Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. Once the 2010 season had concluded, NASCAR announced changes to the point system, that the fuel changed from Sunoco unleaded to an ethanol blend called'Sunoco Green E15'. Stewart Haas racing won the Owners' Championship, while Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Gene and Margaret, won the Drivers' Championship with a victory at the final race of the season in a tiebreak over Carl Edwards.
Chevrolet won the Manufacturers' Championship with 248 points. There were 41 full-time teams in 2011. In preparation for 2011, Penske Racing made team changes by moving Brad Keselowski, along with his No. 12 team, into the No. 2 Miller Lite car, replacing Kurt Busch and his 2010 team, who moved to the newly formed No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil car. Another change was made by Hendrick Motorsports; the team moved Steve Letarte with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Alan Gustafson with Jeff Gordon, Lance McGrew with Mark Martin. On January 7, 2011, Bob Leavine and Lance Fenton announced the formation of Leavine Fenton Racing, that David Starr drove for the team. In February, another team was formed, FAS Lane Racing, by Frank Stoddard. In March, David Stremme announced his return to the Cup Series with a new team, Inception Motorsports, they ran the No.30 Chevrolet and attempted to make the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond. In October before the Bank of America 500, it was announced that Sinica Motorsports would join the Cup Series for 3 races in 2011, running the No. 93 Chevrolet with either Bill Elliott or Terry Labonte and that ARCA driver Grant Enfinger would drive for the team for 10-15 races in 2012.
Several drivers changed teams for the season. One of, Paul Menard, who left Richard Petty Motorsports to drive for Richard Childress Racing. Menard signed a three-year deal to expire with options for further years. Other changes were Kasey Kahne who joined the Red Bull Racing Team, after leaving Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010, Marcos Ambrose who left JTG Daugherty Racing to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2011, as a replacement for Kahne. Bobby Labonte replaced Ambrose at JTG Daugherty Racing, Bill Elliott, who moved from Wood Brothers Racing to Phoenix Racing. Kevin Conway, the 2010 NASCAR Rookie of the Year in the Sprint Cup Series made a change by moving to NEMCO Motorsports. For the 2011 season, Trevor Bayne, who placed seventh in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, entered the series driving for Wood Brothers Racing in 17 scheduled races. Another driver, Brian Keselowski entered the series, after qualifying for the 2011 Daytona 500 for the K-Automotive Motorsports team; some drivers left the series, such as Elliott Sadler who left Richard Petty Motorsports to drive for Kevin Harvick Incorporated in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series.
Sam Hornish, Jr. exited the series and moved to the Nationwide Series to participate in ten races, after new sponsorship for his Sprint Cup Series car could not be found. After the final race of the 2010 season, Scott Speed exited the series after Red Bull Racing Team dismissed him to make room for Kahne; the change resulted in Speed filing a lawsuit against the team for several reasons. During July 2011, Max Q Motorsports announced that Scott Speed signed a three race contract with the team to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Pocono Raceway. Following the announcement, Speed commented, "I am excited to get back to the track. Max Q Motorsports seems to have a great group of guys. Ford has a great engine package, so I'm hopeful that we can get the ball rolling and be competitive out the gate. " At the beginning of the season, two drivers announced plans to participate in the 2011 Rookie of the Year standings. The drivers were Andy Lally driving for Kevin Buckler's TRG Motorsports, Brian Keselowski, moving his family-operated K-Automotive Motorsports team up from the Nationwide Series.
Trevor Bayne, running half the season with the Wood Brothers, did not participate in the standings after deciding to participate for the Nationwide Series championship. T. J. Bell entered in the season and collected his first Cup points at Pocono; as Lally was the only rookie driver to run the required 17 races to keep eligibility, he won the rookie award despite being released from TRG before Homestead. After the 2010 season, the catch can man, who caught excess fuel during pit stops and adjusts the track bar, is no longer needed, because of the addition of a self-venting fuel can. On January 11, 2011, NASCAR reported drivers can only be able to compete for the championship in one of NASCAR's three national racing series, which means the drivers who race in multiple series, most notably in the Cup and Nationwide Series, are able to compete in the races, but not for the championship; the rule does not affect the exemption rule, as exemptions are determined by the top 35 in NASCAR car owner points.
Drivers ineligible for Sprint Cup driver points earned Sprint Cup owner points for their team. An announcement came on January 26, 2011, when Brian France announced that the winner of the race, excluding bonus points would receiv
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Since 2017, it has been named for its sponsor, Monster Energy, but has been known by other names in the past; the series began in 1949 as the Strictly Stock Division, from 1950 to 1970 it was known as the Grand National Division. In 1971, when the series began leasing its naming rights to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was referred to as the Winston Cup Series. A similar deal was made with Nextel in 2003, it became the Nextel Cup Series. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, in 2008 the series was renamed the Sprint Cup Series, which lasted until 2016. In December 2016, it was announced that Monster Energy would become the new title sponsor starting in 2017; the championship is determined by a points system, with points being awarded according to finish placement and number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 26 races, 16 drivers, selected on the basis of wins during the first 26 races, are seeded based on their total number of wins.
They compete in the last ten races, where the difference in points is minimized. This is called the NASCAR playoffs; the series holds strong roots in the Southeastern United States, with half of the races in the 36-race season being held in that region. The current schedule includes tracks from around the United States. Regular season races were held in Canada, exhibition races were held in Japan and Australia; the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race, had a television audience of about 9.17 million U. S. viewers in 2019. Cup Series cars are unique in automobile racing; the engines are powerful enough to reach speeds of over 200 mph, but their weight coupled with a simple aerodynamic package make for poor handling. The bodies and chassis of the cars are regulated to ensure parity, electronics are traditionally spartan in nature. In 1949, NASCAR introduced the Strictly Stock division, after sanctioning Modified and Roadster division races in 1948. Eight races were run on the Daytona Beach beach/street course.
The first NASCAR "Strictly Stock" race was held at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. Jim Roper was declared the winner of that race after Glenn Dunaway was disqualified for having altered the rear springs on his car; the division was renamed "Grand National" for the 1950 season, reflecting NASCAR's intent to make the sport more professional and prestigious. It retained this name until 1971; the 1949 Strictly Stock season is regarded in NASCAR's record books as the first season of GN/Cup history. Martinsville Speedway is the only track on the 1949 schedule. Rather than having a fixed schedule of one race per weekend with most entrants appearing at every event, the Grand National schedule has included over sixty events in some years. There are two or three races on the same weekend and two races on the same day in different states. In the early years, most Grand National races were held on dirt-surfaced short oval tracks that ranged in lap length from under a quarter-mile to over a half-mile, or on dirt fairgrounds ovals ranging from a half-mile to a mile in lap length.
One hundred ninety-eight of the first 221 Grand National races were run on dirt tracks. Darlington Raceway, opened in 1950, was the first paved track on the circuit over one mile long. In 1959, when Daytona International Speedway was opened, the schedule still had more races on dirt racetracks than on paved ones. In the 1960s as superspeedways were built and old dirt tracks were paved, the number of races run on dirt tracks was reduced; the last NASCAR race on a dirt track was held on September 30, 1970 at the half-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina. Richard Petty won that race in a Plymouth, sold by Petty Enterprises to Don Robertson and rented back by Petty Enterprises for the race. Between 1971 and 2003, NASCAR's premier series was called the Winston Cup Series, it was sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette brand Winston. In 1971, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned television advertising of cigarettes; as a result, tobacco companies began to sponsor sporting events as a way to spend their excess advertising dollars and to circumvent the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act's ban on television advertising.
RJR's sponsorship became more controversial in the wake of the 1998 Tobacco Industry Settlement that restricted avenues for tobacco advertising, including sports sponsorships. The changes that resulted from RJR's involvement in the series as well as from the reduction in schedule from 48 to 31 races per year established 1972 as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era"; the season was made shorter, the points system was modified several times during the next four years. Races on dirt tracks and on oval tracks shorter than 250 miles were removed from the schedule, transferred to the short-lived NASCAR Grand National East Series. NASCAR's founder, Bill France Sr. turned over control of NASCAR to Bill France Jr.. In August 1974, France Jr. asked series publicist Bob Latford to design a points system with equal points being awarded for all races regardless of length or prize money. This system ensured that the top drivers would have to compete in all the races in order to become the series champion.
This system remained unchanged from 1975 until the Chase for the Championship was instituted in 2004. Since 1982, the Daytona 500 has been the first non-exhib
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway, is a NASCAR short track venue located in Bristol, Tennessee. Constructed in 1960, it held its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961. Despite its short length, Bristol is among the most popular tracks on the NASCAR schedule because of its distinct features, which include extraordinarily steep banking, an all concrete surface, two pit roads, stadium-like seating, it has been named one of the loudest NASCAR tracks. Bristol Motor Speedway is the third largest sports venue in America and the seventh largest in the world, housing up to 162,000 people; the track is so short that speeds here are far lower than is typical on most NASCAR oval tracks, but they are fast compared to other short tracks due to the high banking. These features make for a considerable amount of "paint swapping" at the NASCAR races where the initial starting grid of 40 vehicles each in the Monster Energy Cup Series & the Xfinity Series, 32 in the Truck Series, extends halfway around the track, meaning that slower qualifiers begin the race half a lap down.
The congestion inherent in this facility and the power of the cars and trucks has been likened to "flying fighter jets in a gymnasium". The track is one that tends to be either loved or hated by the drivers. Purists who grew up driving or attending races at older short tracks located at fairgrounds and similar places tend to love Bristol, while those raised on superspeedway racing tend to chafe at the lower speeds. Bristol races are the scene of the highest number of yellow-flag caution laps in the NASCAR season; until the Beneficiary Rule was instituted in 2004, the short lap length and the unpredictable nature of the racing meant that this was one of the few remaining NASCAR tracks at which it was feasible for a driver to come back to win a race from several laps down. The short lap length cuts the other way. Thus, the disadvantage of losing laps means the chances of earning a free pass under the Beneficiary Rule is harder, since a driver losing two laps under a green-flag pit stop would have to race their way past the leader before the caution waved to regain one of their laps back, unless there are no cars one lap behind.
The drag strip at this facility has long been nicknamed Thunder Valley. Both current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races held at Bristol are for 500 laps; the late summer race has rotated among several sponsors. From 2001 to 2015, Newell Rubbermaid sponsored this race, first under its Sharpie brand and its Irwin Tools brand. Starting in 2016, Bass Pro Shops became primary sponsor of the summer race, with the National Rifle Association as a secondary sponsor. Bristol is a fertile ground for other levels and types of racing. In 2004, it was the first Busch Series race of the season televised on broadcast network television, the race, 150 laps in 1982, 200 laps in 1984, 250 laps since 1990, was a 300-lap race in 2006; the Craftsman Truck Series]] ran a stand-alone race in June from 1995 to 1999 with the NASCAR Autozone Elite Division, Southeast Series. Since 2003, the race has been a midweek night race as part of the August night race weekend. In 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour ran a combined race prior to the truck race.
In 2017, the race was for the Whelen Modified Tour after NASCAR absorbed the Southern Modified Tour into the Modified Tour prior to the 2017 season. Many of the fans come from the East Tennessee area, but thousands more come from all parts of the country to experience Bristol's unique brand of racing. In the off-season, the complex attracts fans during the Christmas season by facilitating a miles-long holiday lights display that culminates with a lap on the actual speedway track itself; the track long advertised its banking as 36 degrees, which at one time made it the most steeply banked track used by NASCAR. However, BMS now lists its banking at 24 to 30 degrees, reflecting the results of the track's most recent resurfacing in 2007. Before the resurfacing, there was some dispute as to the accuracy of the measurement. In the 1980s, ESPN claimed the turns were banked at 35 degrees during television telecast of events at the track. In an interview with Stock Car Racing's Larry Cothren, driver Ryan Newman disputed the measurement of the banking of Bristol Motor Speedway's turns.
Newman's crew measured the banking during a test session to aid with setups, found that the turns were banked 26 degrees, rather than the advertised 36 degrees. A Camping World Truck Series open test noted the banking had dropped following resurfacing, to 22–27 degrees, in a variable banking configuration. Another anomaly
Chevrolet, colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors. Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors founder William C. Durant started the company on November 3, 1911 as the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. Durant used the Chevrolet Motor Car Company to acquire a controlling stake in General Motors with a reverse merger occurring on May 2, 1918 and propelled himself back to the GM presidency. After Durant's second ousting in 1919, Alfred Sloan, with his maxim "a car for every purse and purpose", would pick the Chevrolet brand to become the volume leader in the General Motors family, selling mainstream vehicles to compete with Henry Ford's Model T in 1919 and overtaking Ford as the best-selling car in the United States by 1929. Chevrolet-branded vehicles are sold in most automotive markets worldwide. In Oceania, Chevrolet is represented by GM subsidiary, having returned to the region in 2018 after a 50-year absence with the launching of the Camaro and Silverado pickup truck.
In 2005, Chevrolet was relaunched in Europe selling vehicles built by GM Daewoo of South Korea with the tagline "Daewoo has grown up enough to become Chevrolet", a move rooted in General Motors' attempt to build a global brand around Chevrolet. With the reintroduction of Chevrolet to Europe, GM intended Chevrolet to be a mainstream value brand, while GM's traditional European standard-bearers, Opel of Germany, Vauxhall of United Kingdom would be moved upmarket. However, GM reversed this move in late 2013, announcing that the brand would be withdrawn from Europe, with the exception of the Camaro and Corvette in 2016. Chevrolet vehicles will continue to be marketed including Russia. After General Motors acquired GM Daewoo in 2011 to create GM Korea, the last usage of the Daewoo automotive brand was discontinued in its native South Korea and succeeded by Chevrolet. In North America, Chevrolet produces and sells a wide range of vehicles, from subcompact automobiles to medium-duty commercial trucks.
Due to the prominence and name recognition of Chevrolet as one of General Motors' global marques, Chevy or Chev is used at times as a synonym for General Motors or its products, one example being the GM LS1 engine known by the name or a variant thereof of its progenitor, the Chevrolet small-block engine. On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little, former Buick owner James H. Whiting, Dr. Edwin R. Campbell and in 1912 R. S. McLaughlin CEO of General Motors in Canada. Durant was cast out from the management of General Motors in 1910, a company which he had founded in 1908. In 1904 he had taken over the Flint Wagon Works and Buick Motor Company of Michigan, he incorporated the Mason and Little companies. As head of Buick, Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races. Durant planned to use Chevrolet's reputation as a racer as the foundation for his new automobile company.
The first factory location was in Flint, Michigan at the corner of Wilcox and Kearsley Street, now known as "Chevy Commons" at coordinates 43.00863°N 83.70991°W / 43.00863. Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six, was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following instructions from Louis; the first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was incorporated. However the first actual production wasn't until the 1913 model. So in essence there were no 1911 or 1912 production models, only the 1 pre-production model was made and fine tuned throughout the early part of 1912. In the fall of that year the new 1913 model was introduced at the New York auto show. Chevrolet first used the "bowtie emblem" logo in 1914 on The L Series Model, it may have been designed from wallpaper. More recent research by historian Ken Kaufmann presents a case that the logo is based on a logo of the "Coalettes" coal company. An example of this logo as it appeared in an advertisement for Coalettes appeared in the Atlanta Constitution on November 12, 1911.
Others claim that the design was a stylized Swiss cross, in tribute to the homeland of Chevrolet's parents. Over time, Chevrolet would use several different iterations of the bowtie logo at the same time using blue for passenger cars, gold for trucks, an outline for cars that had performance packages. Chevrolet unified all vehicle models with the gold bowtie in 2004, for both brand cohesion as well as to differentiate itself from Ford and Dodge, its two primary domestic rivals. Louis Chevrolet had differences with Durant over design and in 1914 sold Durant his share in the company. By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough with successful sales of the cheaper Series 490 to allow Durant to repurchase a controlling interest in General Motors. After the deal was completed in 1917, Durant became president of General Motors, Chevrolet was merged into GM as a separate division. In 1919, Chevrolet's factories were located at Michigan. Y. Norwood, Ohio, St. Louis, Oakland, California, Ft. Worth and Oshawa, Ontario General Motors of Canada Limited.
McLaughlin's were given GM Corporation stock for the proprietorship of their Company article September 23, 1933 Financial Post page
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway Lowe's Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina 13 mi from Charlotte. The complex features a 1.5 mi quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Bank of America Roval 400. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area; the track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. with Marcus G. Smith as track president; the 2,000 acres complex features a state-of-the-art quarter mile drag racing strip, ZMAX Dragway. It is the only four-lane drag strip in the United States and hosts NHRA events. Alongside the drag strip is a state-of-the-art clay oval that hosts dirt racing including the World of Outlaws finals among other popular racing events. Charlotte Motor Speedway was designed and built by Bruton Smith and partner and driver Curtis Turner in 1959.
The first World 600 NASCAR race was held at the 1.5 mi speedway on June 19, 1960. On December 8, 1961, the speedway filed bankruptcy notice. Judge J. B. Craven of US District Court for Western North Carolina reorganized it under Chapter 10 of the Bankruptcy Act. At that point a committee of major stockholders in the speedway was assembled, headed by A. C. Goines and furniture store owner Richard Howard. Goines and Robinson worked to secure loans and other monies to keep the speedway afloat. By April 1963 some $750,000 was paid to twenty secured creditors and the track emerged from bankruptcy. By 1964 Howard become the track's general manager, on June 1, 1967, the speedway's mortgage was paid in full. Smith departed from the speedway in 1962 to pursue other business interests in banking and auto dealerships from his new home of Rockford, IL, he began buying out shares of stock in the speedway. By 1974 Smith was more involved in the speedway, to where Richard Howard by 1975 stated, "I haven't been running the speedway.
It's being run from Illinois." In 1975 Smith had become the majority stockholder. Smith hired H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler as general manager in October 1975, on January 29, 1976, Richard Howard resigned as president and GM of the speedway. Together Smith and Wheeler began to implement plans for expansion of the speedway. In the following years, new grandstands and luxury suites were added along with modernized concessions and restrooms to increase the comfort for race fans. Smith Tower, a 135,000 square feet, seven-story facility was built and connected to the grandstands in 1988; the tower houses the speedway corporate offices, ticket office, gift shop, leased offices and The Speedway Club, an exclusive dining and entertainment facility. The speedway became the first sports facility in America to offer year round living accommodations when 40 condominia were built overlooking turn 1 in 1984, twelve additional condominium units were added in 1991. In 1992, Smith and Wheeler directed the installation of a $1.7 million, 1,200-fixture permanent lighting system around the track developed by Musco lighting.
The track became the first modern superspeedway to host night racing, was the largest lighted speedway until 1998 when lights were installed around the 2.5 miles Daytona International Speedway. In 1994, Smith and Wheeler added a new $1 million, 20,000 square feet garage area to the speedway's infield. In 1995, 26-year-old Russell Phillips was killed in one of the most gruesome crashes in auto racing history. From 1997 to 1999 the track hosted the Indycar Series. On lap 61 of the 1999 race, a crash led to a car losing a tire, propelled into the grandstands by another car. Three spectators were killed and eight others were injured in the incident; the race was canceled shortly after, the series has not returned to the track since. The incident, along with a similar incident in July 1998 in a Champ Car race at Michigan International Speedway, led to new rules requiring cars to have tethers attached to wheel hubs to prevent tires from breaking away in a crash. Following the crash, the catch fencing at Charlotte and other SMI owned tracks was raised from 15 feet high with 3 feet overhangs to 21 feet with 6 feet overhangs to help prevent debris from entering the stands.
In February 1999, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the speedway, making it the first race track in the country with a corporate sponsor. Lowe's chose not to renew its naming rights after the 2009 NASCAR season; the track reverted to its original name, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 2010. In 2005, the surface of the track had begun to wear since its last repaving in 1994; this resulted in track officials diamond-grinding the track, a process known as levigation, to smooth out bumps that had developed. The ground surface caused considerable tire-wear problems in both of the NASCAR races that year. Both races saw a high number of accidents as a result of tire failure due to the roughness of the surface. In 2006, the track was repaved. Track president "Humpy" Wheeler retired following the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008, was replaced by Marcus Smith. At the end of 2008, the speedway reduced capacity by 25,000 citing reduced ticket sales. At the same time, the front stretch seats were upgraded from 18 inche