Dale Lomas knows every inch of the Nürburgring. As a founder of the website BridgeToGantry, Lomas has covered all sorts of ‘Ring events, shuttled folks around in Ring Taxis, and raced in many VLN and other ‘Ring racing events. So to see him surprised by a certain vehicle that appeared recently at the German racetrack is a big deal. That’s why we’ll forgive him for calling this race car a NASCAR machine, when it is in fact a late model stock car. It is also an amazing sight to see it driven in anger around The Green Hell.
A late model stock car is basically a tube-frame chassis wearing a NASCAR-like bodykit. Under the skin you’ll find some manner of powerful American V-8, and it’s typically connected to a beefy rear end through a four-speed manual transmission. The one in the video was built by Howe Racing and uses a 6.0-liter V-8 that Dale believes is making somewhere around 500 horsepower. For a car that likely weighs well under 3,000 pounds, that’s a ton of go-fast grunt.
While it’s not an actual NASCAR race car (those have a few more modern tricks and make over 800 horsepower), it does sound the business. It’s also fast as hell and appears to make easy work of the European flavored competition assembled for this track day event.
After riding as a passenger with the car’s owner, Dale is given the opportunity to race around the ‘Ring himself. After a few laps, Lomas returns and offers up a few thoughts. The handling of the car is surprisingly good, but that’s because this stocker is built to take on some of Europe’s great road courses. While the race car doesn’t have much steering feel it does respond appropriately and is a rewarding machine when driven well.
Dale turns over a thousand laps per year at the Nürburgring. With this late model stock car, Lomas finds himself intrigued and eager for more seat time. A loud, lumpy V-8 engine and no driving aids can do that to a person.