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Question of the Day: What is the Most Pointless Automotive Competition?

Question of the Day: What is the Most Pointless Automotive Competition?

After that flaming burnout contest video, I got to thinking about all the different automotive type competitions out there. Outside of the normal racing type stuff, there are lots of pointless contests that people participate in with their cars. That is not to say that they are dumb or not enjoyable. They’re just pointless.

Take the good old burnout contest as an example. Fun as hell to watch, but utterly pointless. The best possible outcome, if you don’t have a line lock, is that the rear brakes are not completely fried or glazed over and that your pals will help you bolt the original tires back on the car after you have spun the junkers until the cords were exposed and they fragged. There’s the new wave of competitions that pit “stanced” cars against parking lot entrances. In order to “win” one of those showdowns, you need to be the guy who doesn’t scrape the nose, exhaust, or tail on the way in or out of the lot.

Outside of that stuff there is the car “jumping” that the low rider guys do, stereo contests (I am not sure if decibel drag racing still happens), flame throwing, and big truck tugs of war. Heck, I could keep this list rolling all day long, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

Question of the day: What is the most pointless automotive competition?

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29 thoughts on “Question of the Day: What is the Most Pointless Automotive Competition?

  1. D.S.A

    I am with Mrock on this one. I would have to say Drifting I could never really see the point of if.

  2. oldschool camaro

    auto cross or auto X as it’s referred to …………………..f’n boring and pointless

  3. Ermott

    [Insert the name of any car competition you personally don’t like or understand here.]

    Come on people. It’s ALL rather pointless isn’t it? From circle track, to road racing, to drifting, to rally racing, to Monster Trucks and swamp buggy racing… At the top levels, it’s a business like any other.

    Pointless yes, but Fun too.

    Nice way to take a popularity poll BTW BangShift. Clever.

    1. Speedy

      You don’t buy that “motorsports improves the breed” argument?

      Sure, it’s not curing cancer (and when Winston and the other cig companies were sponsors, it was CAUSING CANCER), but surely motorsports aren’t categorically pointless.

      1. Ermott

        You don’t buy that “motorsports improves the breed” argument?

        No, I sure don’t. Emissions controls and fuel efficiency standards improve the breed, meaning the family car, more than motor-sport does these days. Now before you get excited, hear me out.

        Cars today are ever so much better than the cars of my childhood because emissions standards and fuel economy targets mandated by the government required auto manufacturers to embrace new technology to maintain compliance. They could already get engines to make reliable power, produce stylish interiors, air-condition the interiors, have the thing provide a decent ride and so forth.

        In the early 80’s if you bought a late 60’s or early 70’s used car, the first thing you usually had to do was buy a new exhaust system for it. The old pipes rotted out every few years. Today, because it’s part of the emissions system and must function more or less for the life of the car, the pipes are generally in good shape.

        Same goes for electronic fuel injection. Gone is the leaky dripping carb, gone are the backfire rumbles you used to hear while coasting down an off-ramp. Fuel injection electronically controlled is more reliable than a carb any old day. We have them because the Government wanted cleaner air. Car companied embraced on board computer engine management as soon as it came available to help maintain compliance.

        Once computer control came along, cars began to last longer. I remember thinking 65k miles was a lot of mileage for a family car. Today that’s just a nice break-in number.

        Meanwhile, most motor-sport has either stalled (Nascar) or gone so far beyond what a street car could need (NHRA) that none of it matters to the average motorist any longer.

        The only exception to this in my opinion might be Rally Racing. Those are still more or less stock bodied cars. Here we see improvement in transmissions and so forth.

  4. Speedy

    I can’t argue with Brian’s listing of burnouts, hopping, “crank it up” contests . . .

    But rapidly moving to the top of my personal lists are:

    1. HOT ROD MAGAZINE DRAG WEEK — only 200 piddly slots for nearly 1 million readers. Horrible registration process. No real side-by-side racing for most of the event — just a big time trial. No penalty for horrible reaction times. Several stupid equipment rules that I disagree with but cannot comment on because I’m not one of the “insiders” or a personal pal of DF. New for 2012 — ripping off the spectators with a gate fee. “Insiders” are becoming too insular and elitist (“it’s a family”) . . . .

    2. PHR’s Engine Masters — The rules are still written to protect the antique pushrod engines from DOHC four-valvers and forced induction powerplants. And a detonating dyno “glory pull” predicts little about how an engine will perform on the road or track.

    3. Goodguys Autocross — the rules and classes are a joke compared to regular autocross events. And Goodguys still shafts anyone with a late-model vehicle until Sunday.

    4. Optima Ultimate Street Car — Another “invitation only” event for mega-buck “pro touring” cars that’s too exclusive and mostly irrelevant to “real world” hot rodding.

    5. Car Craft’s Real Street Eliminator — No drag racing anymore. Field of competitiors is way too small. Not enough classes. Held nearly in Canada. Poor organization and promotion . . . there’s not much “real” about it anymore.

    6. NASCAR — there’s nothing stock about a stock car anymore. Take off the stickers and who can tell’em apart. Nothing they race is available in any similar form in any showroom anywhere. Too many cookie cutter drivers and 1.5 mile tracks. Too many “Toyotas.”

    7. NHRA PRO STOCK — Carbon fiber “melted car” bodies, $10,000 clutchless transmissions and non-stock mountain motors have nothing to do with the real world.

    8. NHRA FUNNY CAR — Absolutely hideous “aero” bodies. Ridiculous budgets. Technology that’s completely removed from anything at the grassroots.

    9. Outlaw Sprint Car racing — Just try showing up with a production-based DOHC/OHC engine from this century . . . .

    10. INDY CAR RACING — Horrible TV package. Too few cars at non-Indy 500 events. Little qualifing drama anymore for the 500. V6s suck. Chassis and engine rules are more to protect the deep-pocket dynasties than for good competition. $400,000 for a single chassis? That’s ridiculous.

    11. 24 Hours of LeMons — stupid theme cars. Crushing cars at random. $500 rule is likely honored in the breach. Idiotic penalties (i.e. welding iron to your race car).

    1. Andy

      Damn Speedy…. I think you need a new hobby with less stress. Stamp collecting might be a good place to start?

      1. Count Chocula

        Speedy writes an insightful commentary based on personal preferences, you belch out a cynical two line reply. Hooray for you then?

        1. Andy

          hehehe… True, that did come off a little prickish!
          But come on!! If you’ve got problems with TWELVE forms of motorsports? Maybe its time to find something that you enjoy, instead of finding all of the issues of your current hobby.

  5. jbsjunk

    Burnout contests are boring but the Aussies raised the bar where it isn’t a static burnout but a dance.

    Drifting is pointless. Live up north in the winter and drift in any parking lot you can find.

    Back in my younger days more things held appeal but the last few years have made most things blah. If I had a fat wallet, more things would be worth doing.

    Such is life.

    1. Speedy

      (Thanks Rebecca Black for helping us always remember the answer to that “what [day] comes next” security question . . . .)

      Drifting is just a moving burnout contest. When you actually see one of the pros do it in-person, it is clear that they’ve got some mad car control skills.

      The tire makers probably like drifting and burnout contests more than anyone else.

    2. Doc

      It’s weird you don’t like drifting BUT you liked doing in empty snowy parking lots? It’s like saying “I don’t like drag racing you can do it at any red light”.
      Drifting a car in an empty, snowy parking lot and drifting a car within two walls often with a car either behind or in front of you without hitting anything is two very different things.

  6. outskirtsof town

    Got to ride with Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his Mustang a number of years ago. He was doing ride alongs and we raced Millen’s kid in the GTO. I’ve done some racing, but that car control and the fact that the racers’ themselves create the track wasamazing to me!

  7. jgmagoo

    I AGREE with Brian ENTIRELY…And DISAGREE with ‘Speedy’ ENTIRELY!

    The MOST MEANINGFUL form of motorsports on the Planet is the ‘One Lap Of America” (The only rule is: “There are no rules”!)

    Cars are supposed to be CARS! Able to go on roads and streets, turn corners, stop, be reliable, AND FAST!

  8. Schtauffer

    For the record, big truck tug-o-war is not pointless, IMO. It’s kinda cool.

  9. Lee

    Rock Crawling. If Top Fuel Drag Racing is the fastest, that has got to be the slowest.

  10. ratty

    Drifting is without a doubt the lamest of the lame… Burnout contests are a very close second place… (and i’m not sure what is gayer, tires that produce colored smoke, or perfumed race fuel)

  11. gary351c

    Years ago I was watching SPEED and they featured a car stereo competition. The cars were total junk and most weren’t even drivable anymore. The object was to create as much noise on a decible meter as possible, not music, but noise. These guys spent thousands of dollars on amps, speakers and sub-wooffers. All I could do was shake my head.

  12. Sharkey0

    To me it doesnt matter what type of motorsport from dyno queens to trailer queens ,they all have their place. We dont all have squillions of dollars to run a top fueler as a matter of fact most have troubles driving their daily fueler (price of petrol,Gas) so everyone can play at different levels in different games . It still comes down to the fun of participating at a level you can afford.I just enjoy watching them all!

  13. Russell

    The problem with drifting, burnout contest, bumper draging etc. is the winners or loosers are picked judges. Real motorsports the winners are detirmined buy the clock.

    motorSPORTS main objection is entertainment.

  14. brian freiberg

    as a proud gearhead, i haven’t found a motorsports event yet that i could not take something from. burnout and drifting are a lot more fun than watching a guy or gal chase a little white ball around for 3 hours!!

  15. nxpress62

    The neat thing about modern America is you can invent any form of motorsport, make it completely grass roots and accessible to the average guy, and corporations and money will screw it up for everybody but the rich within a year or two..

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