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Insider Report: This is how fast you can lose control on ice

Published December 31, 2012

The video description from YouTube user ChasesAndCrashes doesn’t give any indication where this video was captured other than a time stamp that says it was on Boxing Day. That’s OK though, because this could have been anywhere from Moscow to Toronto. Anywhere that drivers think it is all right to speed in the snow. The car we are riding along with seems to be in the middle of a pack of cars that come across some ice hidden under the snow. The next thing you know, there are spinners all over the place.

Learn the lesson folks, slow down, leave more space and please wake up and get proper winter tires.

More: The 8 worst winter driving mistakes

More: Winter tires on a beater car? It makes a big difference

Rally of the Tall Pines television broadcast now online

Back in November, I took Wheels.ca readers to Bancroft, Ont., to check out the legendary Rally of the Tall Pines. The season ending rally was full of excitement for fans and competitors alike, with drama right up until the final stage. CRC TV’s coverage of the rally is now live online and it shows a lot of the on-stage action that I wasn’t able to show, although they missed a lot of the crazy action that happened during and after the last flying finish. If you missed it you can read about the fun here.

In the video, watch for the Wheels.ca command post beside the starting ramp. You can also see yours truly interviewing Subaru co-driver Alan Ockwell at about 5:43.

Controversial Indy 500 racer passes away at 65

Perhaps best known for his involvement in a fiery crash at the start of the 1973 Indy 500, seven-time Indy 500 starter David “Salt” Walther passed away last Thursday. Born into a family of racers, Walther was the son of longtime Indy car owner George Walther. Salt got his nickname from his time racing boats. His brother George III, known as Skipp, was killed in an Unlimited Hydroplane crash in 1974. Starting 17th in the ’73 500, Walther crashed into the back of racer Jerry Grant, when the field ahead spread out to avoid a slowing car. The impact threw Walther’s car up into the fence, where the front was torn off and the crowd was sprayed with fuel. The driver suffered massive burns to 40 per cent of his body. After a year of recovery, Walther returned to the Brickyard and finished 17th in the 1974 500.

Following the crash, Salt became addicted to pain killers, which landed him in prison. Trips to jail over the years and continued drug problems prevented any meaningful continuation of his racing career, although the driver did make occasional runs in NASCAR races and made several unsuccessful attempts at Indy, as far along as 1991.

Norris McDonald was at the ’73 Indy 500 and also shares his memories of the race. An interesting side note to this story is that Jerry Grant also passed away in 2012. If you did not see the ’73 Indy 500, the television coverage of the crash is below.

The Dragmaster lives

Thanks to Jim Leggett for the tip on this video via Facebook. YouTube user Kerry G. Kerry’s car is a recreation of a Dragmaster Dart slingshot drag car. After dealing with a a few mechanical issues, the car is brought to life in the garage.

As a 45-year-old who spent many times sitting in my dad’s race car while he worked on it when I was a kid, I can tell you first hand how much of an impact being directly involved with a beast can have on one’s adult passions. Seeing Kerry’s kid sitting in the cockpit of this incredible retro dragster makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, because I know this young lad will remember these times for the rest of his life.

This video of Kerry heading down the strip in August, 2011, could easily have been shot in 1962!

Beer bottle excavator trick

Have you ever really watched heavy construction equipment in action? I have, and I’ve even had the chance to operate a massive Komatsu digger, so it always amazes me just how skilled some of these operators are. Not only can heavy equipment be operated with precision, but the Bobcat Ninja proves that a massive hunk of steel can also be super delicate. This is very cool and was supposedly shot in just one take!

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