Why I will never trade in my Mercedes Benz

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I find it strange that NASCAR tends to stick to the three major automobile companies in Toyota, Chevy, and Ford. Personally, I’m a big fan of the high-octane, muscle cars provided by Mercedes-Benz. These road hogs are designed for rip and grip, fearsome horsepower, and some of the best handling you’ll ever experience in a vehicle. They are luxury par excellence, and they look like they’re fit for royalty.

I understand that NASCAR is the creme de la creme of the US automobile racing industry. The price of entry into this illustrious market is off the charts and automobile companies would have to think twice before sinking their teeth into this mega market. Middle-class America loves NASCAR, and for good reason. It’s 100% adrenaline-loaded entertainment from inception to the final lap. The cars are loud, the track is sizzling-hot, and the fans are off the hook.

Don’t think for a second that NASCAR fans don’t consider their vehicle purchases based on the performance of the cars on the track. If Ford is doing well, expect NASCAR fans to go out and get themselves a Ford motor vehicle. It comes as no surprise that all of these big-name automobile manufacturers invest heavily in marketing at NASCAR, precisely because they know that middle-class America loves the sport. Yet, despite my affinity for Ford, Chevy, and Toyota, I still won’t trade in my Mercedes muscle car.

Why pray tell, you may be asking? It’s simple, really. It just looks too damn good, and it runs like an absolute beast on roids. It’s weird that when my better half is in the car with me, she is totally focused on the road ahead, enjoying the purring – she calls it – (roaring in my opinion) of the engine at 5,000 rpm, as the needle ticks up to 120 mph. Yet, when I’m watching a NASCAR race with her on TV, I often catch her trying to play Dragon Kingdom slot machine by Playtech before I yank the iPad out of her hands asking her to focus on the race! Aside: I guess fire-breathing dragons are a lot more fun for her!

NASCAR Vehicles & Leaders

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 17: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Speedway on November 17, 2019 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

There is something to be said about experiencing a muscle car in person, with your body contoured into the bucket seats, barely inches off the ground. The real deal appeal of an in-person experience is unmistakable. There is nothing to compare to the awesome feeling you get from red-lining a high-performance vehicle, just before you ease up on the throttle and slip into a lower gear as the engine whirrs, and the tires clamp down on the black top with a vengeance.

I understand that Mercedes-Benz has a special place in the world’s premier racing tournaments, particularly Formula 1 racing, and Le Mans. I guess I should be happy that my vehicle may not meet NASCAR’s stringent engine specifications, but it certainly does at the highest levels of competitions in Europe.

To fit NASCAR’s requirements, an iron block engine is required with a carbureted V8. Engine cylinders must also be made according to NASCAR specifications – and apparently Mercedes-Benz either isn’t interested or doesn’t want to comply with these specs. Things like intake manifolds, cylinders and blocks also need to meet NASCAR standards. And then, there is the issue of whether NASCAR wants German-manufactured vehicles in the race? Some folks say that it’s American vehicles only that are permitted. If you’re wondering whether that excludes Toyota, think again – many Toyota vehicles are made in the USA now. We may see a day where Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet are replaced by Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for guys like Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick or Matt Crafton to saddle up in a Mercedes-Benz just yet!