Why Smokey Yunick is my hero. - Tampa Racing

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Why Smokey Yunick is my hero.

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Why Smokey Yunick is my hero.

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Old 09-21-2008, 02:06 PM
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Default Why Smokey Yunick is my hero.

Besides being Born next to my home town, I truly believe he was the MASTER of "racing in the gray" or finding loopholes in the rules that gave the cars he worked on a significant advantage..

Founder of "It didn't say you couldn't" foundation
Owner of "The best damn garage in town"

In the 60's invented Soft walls to save drivers and air jacks to save jackmen Neither was implemented by nascar untill Dal;e Earnhart died when safe walls were implemented.

some stories that I thought would be interesting.

Invented an inflatable bladder which could be placed in the fuel tank to pass maximum fuel capacity rules. after which nascar changed their rules

Built a 100% accurate 7/8 scale replica of their Chevelle race car and won, after which nascar mandated templates.

That car was the inspiration for Reese Bobby's car in Taladega Nights.


This One was the race car, but the really clever bit was the other he built as a standard car and parked in the car park. When challenged by the officials, he said lets check it against a stock one in the car park....... of course they were the same size. (this story has not been confirmed)

Having just had his car taken apart during scrutineering - which included the full removal of the fuel tank - was informed that his car was illegal on 20 counts. With the fuel tank still on the ground Smokey then jumped into it, fired it up, drove away and yelled:
"You'd better make that 21!"

He would regularly rig up fairly harmless illegal modifications going through tech and when the scruitineer would find it, feeling good about "catching" him he'd get a "fix it before the race" slap on the wrist. which purly acted as a diversion for the REALLY sneaky stuff going on.

He would often make sure to get to inspection in the last allowable minuites, when the inspectors were ready to call it a day.

Last edited by treekiller; 09-22-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:21 PM
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Hey Jeff. Two things. "Racing in the grey" just sounds like there's an old man driving in need of some just for men hair coloring. Second, I've never heard of this guy til now. I'm not young. Your old. But as always, another interesting story from Jeff.




P.S. I'm just busting your chops. Everyone knows that Loren is the old man.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:13 PM
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I'm not THAT old, But I do have nostalgia for when "the Drivers were fat and the tires were skinny".. AKA: "when Racing was dangerous and sex was safe."

Some other stories that I thought was hilarious, when the rules stated he could not "port and polish" he would coat the inside of the intake ports with epoxy and form it to smooth the flow.. also he pre-dated the "extrude hone" process in an effort to skirt the laws about using factory intake manifolds.

There is an often mistold story (and I may be mistelling it) of his exploits with the early Cammaro, He built one in 1968 to his interpretations of the Trans am rule book. once again he would never cheat, but if the rulebook did not say something was disallowed he considered that a chance for innovation. so he towed the car from his shop in daytona to a road race in califorina. worked his magic to get some track time, Borrowed a set of tires and proceded to eclipse the track record by a large margin, after which he returned the tires and packed up the car, it was "too fast to race"

Since it never raced offically, little was known about this car untill after his death when a collector bought it to restore. when replacement parts were ordered nothing fit, it was found that Smokey changed every dimension on the car. flared fenders, lowered nose and roofline, just enough so it looked right, and throughout the restoration things were consistently found that still challenge modern builders comprehension.

you can't tell me it's not completely gorgeous and made 490 hp from 5000cc (302Ci) with 1960's technology


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Old 09-21-2008, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Goumba View Post
P.S. I'm just busting your chops. Everyone knows that Loren is the old man.
Bustin' my chops, too, I see.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by treekiller
I'm not THAT old, But I do have nostalgia for when "the Drivers were fat and the tires were skinny".. AKA: "when Racing was dangerous and sex was safe."
I don't care who ya ahrr, that's fun-knee!
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Originally Posted by JustMiata
It's like this: The toadstool juice fires through the unicorn injector into the fairy dust chamber, where the tiny wizard does his secret work...Then a gang of keebler elves get hopped up on the crystalline byproduct of the wizard's tinkering, (they smoke it) and then the elves push the spinning triangle through a series of dimensional portals to a final realm codenamed the "exhaust port..." At least that's my undersanding of rotary sorcery...
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Loren View Post
Bustin' my chops, too, I see.
Obviously lacking knowledge that it's impossible to tell your age by looking at your hair! I, on the other hand, can explain my hair by the fact I have an almost-13-year-old daughter...really, I'm 25....
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:57 PM
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I had the good fortune to meet Smokey way back in the day. Even well into his 'retirement' he was still the go-to guy forsome interesting hardware when my own family's stable was in need of some odds and ends. His little shop of wonders was quite the place to poke around in as a kid. I was pretty saddened when I last passed by its old location by the river to see it had been torn down.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:03 AM
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......nascar inspections are now different:
https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/a...explained.html

Originally Posted by treekiller View Post
Besides being Born next to my home town, I truly believe he was the MASTER of "racing in the gray" or finding loopholes in the rules that gave the cars he worked on a significant advantage..

Founder of "It didn't say you couldn't" foundation
Owner of "The best damn garage in town"

In the 60's invented Soft walls to save drivers and air jacks to save jackmen Neither was implemented by nascar untill Dal;e Earnhart died when safe walls were implemented.

some stories that I thought would be interesting.

Invented an inflatable bladder which could be placed in the fuel tank to pass maximum fuel capacity rules. after which nascar changed their rules

Built a 100% accurate 7/8 scale replica of their Chevelle race car and won, after which nascar mandated templates.

That car was the inspiration for Reese Bobby's car in Taladega Nights.


This One was the race car, but the really clever bit was the other he built as a standard car and parked in the car park. When challenged by the officials, he said lets check it against a stock one in the car park....... of course they were the same size. (this story has not been confirmed)

Having just had his car taken apart during scrutineering - which included the full removal of the fuel tank - was informed that his car was illegal on 20 counts. With the fuel tank still on the ground Smokey then jumped into it, fired it up, drove away and yelled:
"You'd better make that 21!"

He would regularly rig up fairly harmless illegal modifications going through tech and when the scruitineer would find it, feeling good about "catching" him he'd get a "fix it before the race" slap on the wrist. which purly acted as a diversion for the REALLY sneaky stuff going on.

He would often make sure to get to inspection in the last allowable minuites, when the inspectors were ready to call it a day.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:05 AM
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Untold Stories of Daytona.....
Smokey Yunick, lots of other great stories. Watch them before they disappear......

Stock Car Racing NASCAR Untold stories of Daytona

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afRGMdl_Sy4
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:03 AM
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AND Every Saturday: Dunedin Gearheads car meet click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/e...ml#post9408927

Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/b...ontact-us.html

Have a great day! [email protected] and 813-839-4281 (24 hrs)
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