This Nascar will sell for a lot less than you'd expect
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Nascar continues to enjoy a mediocre perception in New Zealand.
The majority press on with ignoring its existence, while idiots like me drink in every detail and watch every race.
I think, though, that both halves of the divide can agree on an appreciation for cheap period-correct old race cars. And while this 2008 'Car of Tomorrow' Toyota Camry Nascar isn't what most people would call 'old', it's still got a bit of a story to tell.
That story has nothing to do with results, though. Wielded by Brian Vickers ('by who?' say the crowd) during the 2008 season, this Camry scored one pole position and a couple of top fives. It ended up 19th in the points. Not bad, but not remarkable either.
Indeed, the most remarkable thing this car did during the season was cheat. They were pinged for running illegally thin bodywork at Martinsville late in the year. The car's crew chief and car chief were indefinitely suspended and the former — Kevin Hamlin — was fined US$100,000.
Nah, the story to this car is the one of the big stickers whacked on its sides. Red Bull.
The perennial energy drink brand have had a long association with motorsport all over the world. A lot of that began in drifting, backing Kiwis like Rhys Millen and Mad Mike Whiddett. But over time they've evolved into one of the biggest supporters of car racing in the world.
And almost all of that has resulted in domination. With Sebastien Loeb they dominated the World Rally Championship, with Sebastien Vettel they dominated Formula 1 ... the Supercars Championship, motocross, rallycross, Dakar... Their involvement and victory streak in racing is almost never ending.
And yet, they could never get a grip of Nascar. Red Bull Motorsport were never a force to be reckoned with in Nascar. Always the underdog; struggling to make it into the top 10. They lasted six seasons before the brand gave up and exited the sport at the end of 2011. Tail between its legs, citing their poor results and the sport's small youth demographic as the reason for departure. Ironic that one of their greatest rivals, Monster Energy, is now Nascar's naming-rights sponsor.
That exit didn't come before they could take a couple of wins though; Vickers winning at Michigan in 2009 (very possibly in this car), and Kasey Kahne winning at Phoenix.
What does one pay for an old Nascar? US$30,000–35,000 (NZ$43,000–$50,000) apparently, according to Auctions America who will auction off this car at their Auburn Spring auction later this month.
It might not be the most storied Nascar in history, but it's certainly got a tale to tell.