Cheat Neat


In the Charlotte edition of Creative Loafing, Tom Jensen has an entertaining history of NASCAR cheating—from Junior Johnson, who "learned about aerodynamics running whiskey on the hardscrabble back roads of Wilkes County, NC," to Fred Lorenzen, who pulled off a scam

that involved one of NASCAR's most time-tested tricks: replacing an illegal part with one even more flagrantly illegal. "One time at Martinsville, Holman-Moody's car that Fred Lorenzen drove got caught," Latford said. "It was supposed to be a 22-gallon gas tank, and there was 22.9-gallons or something like that, and they made him take it out and take it away. And the team fussed and fumed and did the work, and they put a 28-gallon tank back in. They never checked the one they replaced it with."

Though raised a Tarheel, I never spent much time in Junior Johnson's home county. But I got the measure of the place from my brother, who ran into a few of its native sons at summer camp one year. "Hi," they'd say, "I'm from Wilkes County. Wanna fight?"