Sinkhole at Corvette Museum

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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, a sinkhole opened up and caused part of the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky to collapse, destroying eight rare cars that were on location. The section of the museum has since been closed off to the public and opened later that day. Read on for a look at the incident and what this means for the National Corvette Museum.

What was Damaged?

The collapse damaged eight rare high ticket cars that were very valuable to the National Corvette Museum. The vehicles damaged include a 1993 ZR 1 Spyder, a 2009 ZR 1 Blue Devil, both of which were on loan to the museum from General Motors, as well as a 1962 black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car, a 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette, a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and a 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette. Fortunately no one was in the museum at the time of the accident and museum officials cordoned off the damaged area off the museum and opened business as usual the same day.

The Reason for the Sinkhole

The National Corvette Museum is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky in one of the regions largest karst valleys where many deep caves run. This area is prone to sink holes and they can occur quite unexpectedly as in this case. The museum will block off the damaged area and keep the museum open for normal operation.

20th Anniversary of the Museum

In September, the Anniversary will be hosting the 20th Anniversary of the Museum. There is no word whether this accident will affect the festivities or not, however it is unlikely that the advent would be moved to another location since Bowling Green is so central to the Corvette name. Not only is Bowling Green home to the National Corvette Museum but also is the only place where General Motors builds Corvette.

While this accident was a costly one with the loss of eight rare vehicles and property damage to the museum, fortunately no one was hurt in process. While the museum can be restored, it is very fortunate that no one, guest or employee, were on the scene when the accident occurred. Now the museum has seven months until they need it to be ready for the 20th anniversary. There is no word yet if the museum will be ready in time for the big event.

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What to Expect When Detoxing

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If you are trying to kick a drug or alcohol addiction, then the first thing that you need to do is detox. Once you stop drinking or doing drugs, detoxing will start. This can be a scary and dangerous thing to go through and ideally shouldn’t be attempted on your own. The best place to detox is at a rehab center where they have drug detox services. Why? Because a lot can happen to you, both physically and psychologically while detoxing. And having a medical staff helping you out can be a life saver.

Delirium tremens (DTs)

When your body is used to a certain amount of alcohol or drugs and you quit cold turkey, the first thing you can experience is what is known as the DTs. You’ll become shaky, sweating and nauseous. You may also experience heart palpitations. Hallucinations can also occur, both visual and tactile. DTs are not to be taken lightly – they can, in some cases, cause death if the patient experiences autonomic instability, including tachycardia, fever and hypertension.

Digestive issues

While detoxing, you may also lose your appetite and feel nauseous. There can also be bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea, sometimes severe, as your body gets used to not having any alcohol or drugs.

Mental anguish

Detoxing will also affect your mental state and some patients experience insomnia, anxiety and depression as their mind tries to not only deal with the lack of drugs or alcohol, but also tries to convince them to use again.

When you detox in a treatment center, you will still experience some of these symptoms. But you will be in an environment where there will be people who can help you through it and make the detox process as harmless as possible.

For more information on detoxing this is an excellent video:

For more information on treatment centers check out the treatment center directory at htttp:www.drugrehabcomparison/dir

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2013 Motorsports Year in Review

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2013 was a mixed bag for motorsports, as the year had some surprise winners, while some of the usual suspects took home victories.

Jimmie Johnson walked away with an easy victory this year, winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for the sixth time. Yes, while it is probably due in large part to crew chief Chad Knaus, let’s not forget Johnson also owes this victory to a large dose of his own talent and experience. You don’t get within spitting distance of Petty’s record seven (7) championships without being great at what you do. Sure, he has the personality of a wet blanket, but he certainly gives Lowe’s the screen time they pay for. Two things though Jimmie: no one is going to call you “six time”, and it is probably time to let someone else have a win or two. Danica maybe?

Speaking of winning, there’s a guy across the pond doing a decent job of it. That guy being Sebastian Vettel, who just picked up another Formula One Drivers’ Championship. If you’re counting, that’s his fourth one, and he’s all of 26 years old. Vettel is absolutely killing it in the apex form of motorsports. If his streak continues over the next 10 or 15 years of his career, he will be remembered as one of the greatest drivers of all time, in any form of racing.

Even faster than Vettel, John Force took home the 2013 NHRA Drag Racing title in Funny Car. The 300 mile per hour old man claimed his 16th (!) title, beating out pretty much everyone, including his daughter Courtney. On the Top Fuel side, relative newbie Shawn Langdon took the title in the premier series.

In the Old World, Sébastien Ogier beat down the competition, while beating up his car, to become the 2013 WRC champion. Along with co-driver Julien Ingrassia, the Frenchman claimed a fairly easy championship through his nine victories in 2013. Excluding Greece and Germany, he never finished outside the top two spots. Very impressive, mon ami.

There was also huge news for American road racing in 2013, with the announcement of the combined efforts of American Le Mans and Rolex Sports Car Series into the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship. This team up allowed similar series to share costs, lay down one set of rules, and decrease confusion among casual fans. The results should be exciting, and the cost savings should allow for decent promotions and more tracks. This is a series in transition, but it’s about to take off.

below is a fan video highlighting the best moments of F1 racing in 2013:

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The Business of Race Cars

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When popular racers like Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. mingle with fans, they are signing autographs, giving high fives, and chumming it up like any celebrity. To the public it appears that the driver lives the good life of any celebrity.  Behind the scenes though, the auto racer is more like the beating heart of a giant enterprise. They are the product and capital of a massive business. Sure, the driver gets to experience an opulent life, complete with lines of adoring fans; but their work is intense, draining, and critical to the support of a brand.

Off The Track

Racers are the main focus because they are the face of the enterprise. They are the ones we cheer for, but there is so much more to it than winning the race. The complex organization behind the driver includes intricacies such as:

  • Pit Crews
  • Assistants
  • Business Administration
  • PR Agents
  • Marketing
  • Accountants
  • Sponsors
  • Endorsements
  • Logistics

The Role of the Race Driver

The main responsibility of the driver is to generate money for the business and act as the brand ambassador.

race carMoney is generated from winnings, sponsorships, and endorsements. Some sponsorship agreements also include endorsements, such as Danica Patrick’s relationship with GoDaddy. They sponsor her brand, and she endorses them.

With most drivers, placing in the top five means more money. Not only are there winnings, but there are often bonuses from sponsors involved. Then the money is used to pay the driver, pit crews, and all others who work for the organization.

Accountants Make it Happen

In addition, the driver’s organization foots the bill for the logistics of moving the team from track to track. For Kansas City Scott Tucker it’s his Level 5 Motorsports team (see:http://scotttuckermotorsports.com/).  This involves mobile garages, race cars, RVs, hotels and airfare, meals, and more. All of these expenses are tracked and managed by accountants that specialize in the business or racing.

Without accountants to keep all the money in line and the bills paid, drivers would go broke and the racing industry would vanish. It would be an unfortunate because in addition to providing entertainment to the masses, race car enterprises are a valuable source of innovation in engineering.

Keeping the finances in order is necessary for keeping our favorite racing drivers doing what they do best…winning and being celebrities. We all reap the benefits one way or another thanks to stimulated economy and advances in engineering.

Trent Bakker is a financial professional who loves sports — especially racing.  In addition to following the industry behind motorsports, he has written blog posts and news features about subjects like forensic accounting.

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Sometimes Smaller is Better

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small carIn recent years there’s been a return to the early idea of “bigger is better” when it comes to cars. This was the overriding belief through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Then came the oil crisis and suddenly smaller was better. That lasted for awhile and then minivans, SUVs, and Hummers convinced Americans that once again bigger was better. That idea lasted until gas prices rose again and then the economy crashed and now, once again, smaller seems to be better.

A big advantage that small cars like the honda fit have over larger vehicles is gas mileage. In a tough economy, anything that reduces monthly expenses is a big plus, so cars that don’t guzzle gas are much more attractive. Although lots of people argue that the appeal of the hybrid cars in the last decade was about environmental-consciousness, many people invested in them in anticipation of the next gas crisis.

In the past, buying a small car meant that sacrificing seating, hauling capacity and other features of big cars. While a fit can’t compete with a full-sized SUV, it does have adjustable seats that can be reconfigured to increase cargo area and is engineered to provide the maximum head and leg space for its size. Smaller cars are also much more maneuverable than larger vehicles, able to park, turn, and fit into spots that larger cars couldn’t dream of.

Carl Ericksen is a writer who provided guest posts to a number of automotive blogs and sites.  He has written online motorcycle repair manuals, new car reivews, and countless “how to” posts.

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photo by: pedrosimoes7

What Makes a Popular Race Car?

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Auto racing has become one of the most popular sports today.  It has the second highest television ratings of sport in the US.  Today, more drivers get offers to endorse products and be on television commercials, print advertisements, and TV specials.  Names like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson are recognized by people who aren’t fans of the sport.

In the 1980s, NASCAR began to be sponsored by Fortune 500 companies, bringing a new prestige to the sport.  Over 18 million viewers tune into the Daytona 500 race.

What Makes a Race Car?

While a race car may look like a street car, there are very little similarities between the two.  In fact, the differences make the race car unable to be treated like a regular car.

Power management

The race car is powerful but it requires the driver to work to maintain control.  Unlike a street car, there are no mechanisms to help the car be manageable.  The driver is responsible for controlling the car to keep it on the track at fast speeds.

Suspension

The suspension system on a race car would not make for a comfortable ride out on the street.  However, this is ideal for a race driver because it allows them to feel the road conditions to determine the level of traction for the surface and keep from spinning out of control.

Durability

Most people expect their cars to last for several years.  With a race car, durability is the last thing engine builders think about.  They want power and speed and build a strong, lightweight engine that often barely makes it through a single race.  They are constantly rebuilding engines for the next race.

Popular Car Models

Sterling Marlin Miccosukee Chevy Impala

Chevy has won the most manufacturers’ championships with 27.  They relied on the Monte Carlo for many years, but replaced it with the Impala after the Monte Carol was discontinued.  They have the best horsepower and performance especially with a Hendricks engine under the hood.

Ford has changed models over the years and used popular choices such as the Thunderbird, Taurus, and the Fusion.  Ford race cars are known for their fuel mileage, which means they need to stop and refuel less often than other cars and can give drivers that needed edge.

The Dodge Charger has been a popular choice for drivers for many years.  It unveiled a sleek 2013 model with features that allow it stand out from the crowd on the track.  Unfortunately, Dodge has announced that it won’t racing with NASCAR next year so fans will just have to remember the old Chargers in their glory days.

Race car drivers such as Scott Tucker would all agree that the race car is the most important component to their ability to win.  Choosing the right car make the difference between first place and coming in second.  And since much of the design gets translated into the new street models in the future, fans also get excited to see new models unveiled.

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Tips to Buying a Car Online

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old fashioned car lotIncreasingly, it’s getting easier and easier to purchase a car online, and it’s no secret that these cars are being found much easier through various online sources and databases than they have in the past. While it may seem ridiculous to search for, research, and even purchase a car online, it is something more and more people are using as they look for great deals and make it so they come up with the best cars possible at the best price.

In fact, there are several main sources for those looking to purchase a car online, and the availability of cars on all these sources is surprisingly reliable, open, and transparent for all to see.

CarMax

CarMax has brick and mortar stores, of course, to purchase cars, but what they also have is an unbelievable online database of cars in stock on their lots all around the country. Not only can you surf the CarMax web before you even begin to think about shopping in the physical store, you can also find out exactly which car is best suited for you based on make, model, mileage, and a whole lot more.

Additionally, CarMax provides you the option to choose cars and have them shipped from any of their dealers across the country to the dealer that is closest to you, for a flat shipping fee, done all online. You can search for the perfect car online on any of their databases around the nation, ship the car to your neighborhood dealer, and purchase it on the spot. Couldn’t be easier!

Craigslist

Craigslist gets a bad name sometimes, but it’s incredibly handy as a marketplace for a lot of things, including cars. You can shop Craigslist as your virtual marketplace, searching for a wide variety of cars online in quite a large area as you try to figure out exactly what is right for you and your needs.

No more guessing about the availability of cars in something like the Yellow Pages or through the phone; online on Craigslist, you have a living, breathing database of available cars at your disposal that you can use to purchase the one of your dreams, no matter what.

Your Local Dealer is Probably Online, too!

Believe it or not, your local car dealer himself is likely online with a database of available cars, prices, and specials. You can browse dealership inventory online without ever leaving your pajamas, and use your laptop or smart phone to score and track down great deals without driving all over town to do it.

From tracking down great prices, to actually making the purchase on the car itself after you take a test drive and check it out, you can do everything that you need to do online when it comes to purchasing the car of your dreams, whether from CarMax, an independent Craigslist dealer, or anywhere else on the Internet that sells automobiles.

by Harry Apted — writer and guest blogger.  Harry likes to write about computers, software and the internet.  He frequently gives advice to businesses about new technology on blogs and site like http://www.clickpointsoftware.com.

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The O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships

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“There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.  No pun in ten did.”

If that made you laugh then you might be in for a treat as the Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championship is being held again.  The O.Henry Pun-Off is a competition honoring writer William Sidney Porter where contestants compete for the top titles with spontaneous and original puns. The O.Henry Pun-Off is actually divided into two different pun competitions: Punslingers and Punniest of Show.

The Punslingers competition is a series of single-elimination rounds in which two contestants are given a single category and must think of the best pun that they can. The contestant with the lowest scored pun is eliminated eventually leaving one person to be crowned champion Punslinger.  In the Punniest of Show competition contestants present puns on stage and are scored by a panel of judges on originality, presentation, and content. Interestingly enough, the puns can be presented as stand-up comedy, music, visual piece or whatever the contestant can think of as long as it’s still a pun. The contestant with the highest score in Punniest of Show wins the competition. Don’t expect to see your favorite comedian though at the O.Henry Pun-Off, as its mostly just ordinary people with a perchance for wordplay; anyone can sign up. The competition begins at noon on Saturday, but the festivities really start at 11am with a barbeque, live music, and a vintage book sale.

Find out more about the O.Henry Pun-Off World Championship,on social sites like Twitter or Facebook or read more great puns at the PunPunPun site.

contributed by Josh Walker, an automotive and features writer who has been featured on numerous websites and online magazines. Some of his favorite subjects include sports figures, auto racing, and unusual events and contests.

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Cost of Running an Auto Racing Team

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Fans at a race track are there for the thrill of watching cars speed by at seemingly impossible speeds and to catch a glimpse of the new rockstar drivers.  While some may complain at the cost of a ticket to attend the race, most don’t give a second thought to how expensive it is to keep a single race team running from week to week.

The short answer: the average NASCAR team spends $400,000 a week. For Formula 1, it can cost as much as $50 million to field a team for a season.

Biggest Investments

racingWhile an F1 car can cost $7 million out of the box and NASCAR’s base price is $100,000, it is the cost of an engine and upkeep that plays a factor on a weekly basis.  In NASCAR a car can go through one or more engines in a single event at $100,000 each. Smaller teams try to use the same engine for two or three races.  any engines are leased and require paying for an engine specialist.

The other big investment is the driver.  Top NASCAR teams will provide a salary to elite drivers combined with a commission based on winnings.  Smaller teams forego the salary and simply give the driver 50 percent of his/her winnings. This means that losing drivers on small teams go home with next to nothing while top drivers make as much as $185,00 a week during the season. For F1 drivers, the salary is usually a seasonal figure, with the top drivers pulling contracts worth as much as $13-$15 million.

Payroll for other team members such as mechanics, engineers, pit crew, truck driver, PR team, etc., generally averages $83,000 week.  Smaller teams will cut those expenses by having one person do two or even three jobs and having fewer positions for non-driving areas such as PR and finance.

Other Costs

Travel and hotel expenses are part of the financial picture. Whether NASCAR teams have a private plane for transport or fly commercially, the average cost is about $500 a person. Rental cars in each town combined with paying for around ten hotel rooms will vary from city to city but are usually high due to the premium rates charged during race weeks.

While the average car needs about $50,000 a week in parts like axles, suspension, drive shafts, bearing, gears, and even bolts and nuts, tires alone are about $2,000 a set plus disposal fees for all the ones they use up.

Insurance and sanctioning fees can add up, and when combined with money for meals (whether purchased or produced by a team chef) make up another $18,500.

guest blogger Zac Lawrence has contributed to a variety of automotive and racing sites. In addition to covering the business side of motorsports, he also covers auto shows, provides race analysis and gives tips on customizing classic cars.

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photo by: Fabio Aro

The Dangers of Driving on Tires with Low Tread

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car tiresMost drivers wait to buy new tires and
rims until their tire tread falls below 2/32 of an inch. (The tread on new tires is generally 10/32 of an inch). Most people use the old penny test to measure their tread, unless their car has a built in wear indicator. Others will do a manual measurement and begin to think about replacing their tires when the tread falls below that depth. However, some studies have shown that worn tread can become dangerous much sooner. Some tests suggest that once tires lose half their tread they begin to create problems.

Driving on car tires with low tread can affect how the vehicle performs in already hazardous conditions. For example:

On wet roads, low tread can have a significant impact on brake times. Cars can take as much as three to six feet longer to stop in wet conditions. This is very similar to what happens when you are cycling on a wet road.

Cars will hydroplane sooner if the tread is less than 4/32 of an an inch.

Tires will loose their ability to grip on snow or icy roads as the tread wears off. This can result in the tires taking longer to accelerate and can reduce the tire’s traction by nearly 15 percent if a tire has even half of the tread gone. Bald tires perform at even worse levels.

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photo by: Fabio Aro