I found this today while looking for something else entirely. Oh, to be a racer in the Kelly Girl (later, of course, just “Kelly American”) Challenge! Racing against famous and soon-to-be-famous people! Driving 1976 Cutlasses and whatnot! Would people come to see races today with nothing but Honda CR-Vs and the like? These were not particularly rapid events; the one year of results I could find for Mid-Ohio the pole position time was 1:59. My Neon will run a 1:43 on that same track, and my Accord will run a 1:37. But everything’s relative, of course, and I think it would have been great to see these big coupes (and, apparently, the occasional Granada sedan) bash it out.
The spectator stands would fill up for these races pretty quickly. They’d be empty today, of course. Quite a few people have decided they’d rather go iRacing on their home computers than watch someone else compete for real. I can’t argue with this viewpoint, but I’d also like to step into a time machine for just one summer weekend in 1980 or thereabouts. Nothing to do, no screens to contemplate, and a genuine showroom-stock race going on just an hour’s drive away. Here come the Kelly Girl racers!