Jeepspeed Cherokees On The Move
In the second race of its inaugural racing season, JeepSpeed Cherokees took to the California desert last June to complete three 62-mile loops of the MDR Kartek 400. With double the entries of the first race, the JeepSpeed Cherokees battled it out through the tough yet fast racecourse with Billy Bunch and co-driver John Kearney, grabbing First Place in their 2000 XJ five-speed. The win positions them in Third Place for the series.
The JeepSpeed Racing Series is limited to 2WD or 4WD '84-'01 Jeep Cherokees in primarily stock form. Though fiberglass hoods and fenders are permitted, the vehicles must retain the other steel body components in addition to the original interior and window glass. Any factory Cherokee engine and transmission combo may be used, as well as any factory differential, though carriers must remain open. Suspension is limited to any aftermarket kit available to accommodate a maximum tire size of 33 inches.
Placing Second for the second time this season, Barrie Thompson and Steve Tomason are sitting First in the overall standings, with Ryan Wallace of Rubicon Express in Second. Both are in the running to grab a portion of the $6,000 in contingency money posted by American Racing Wheels. The JeepSpeed Series is currently slated to compete in three races this year, with the final race of the season being the Primm 400 in Las Vegas on September 13-16. For more information about the JeepSpeed Racing Series, contact JeepSpeed at (714) 538-7434 or visit the Web site at www.jeepspeed.com.
Suvs Suck Gas
Some congressional representatives want to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for SUVs. The current standards, set during the 1975 Arab oil embargo, require passenger cars to get 27.5 mpg and light trucks and SUVs to get 20.7 mpg. David Nemtzow, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, stated that by requiring SUVs to meet the same 27.5-mpg standard set for passenger cars, consumers could save $27 billion in fuel costs and reduce U.S. oil demand by 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. currently uses about 20 million barrels each day. Much of the argument stems from the fact that in 1975 most light trucks were used by farmers and businesses and were outnumbered by passenger cars on the road. Today, however, SUVs, pickups, and minivans total half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. A member of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers stated that raising the fuel standard would require smaller vehicles that weigh less and as a result would not be as safe in accidents. Though a report issued by the Union of Consumers Scientists stated that it is possible to develop cars capable of 40 miles per gallon by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020 with no decrease in safety or performance.