via Imago

via Imago

When it comes to NASCAR, innovation is at the heart of the sport. Every manufacturer, and even NASCAR, is out there trying to make these cars better than ever. Still, every now and then, a car comes along that pushes the boundaries, leaving officials with no choice but to take action.

Such was the case with Team Penske’s 2008 car during the NASCAR All-Star Race, driven by the talented Sam Hornish Jr, who is a multiple IndyCar championship winner. So what made this car so special?

This car had an unconventional design that defied the norms of NASCAR’s ‘Car of Tomorrow’. The car dared to challenge the limits of grip and aerodynamics. Its radical behavior demanded attention, eventually leading to a controversial decision that would force NASCAR to change its rules.


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The Banned Marvel That Redefined NASCAR’s Hopes for the Future of Its Cars

The #77 car, driven by Sam Hornish Jr, was so unbelievably fast and unique during the All-Star Race that NASCAR officials had no choice but to ban it. The unruly behavior of the car shook the foundations of stock car racing, leaving everyone astonished.

Underneath its sleek exterior, Team Penske’s car hid a secret. The rear end housing of the car, angled and pointed towards the outside wall, defied conventional wisdom. This unorthodox design unleashed a phenomenon that quickly became known as Skew, Yaw, or Crab walking. It helped generate side force and grip like never before. The car’s ability to navigate the turns while seemingly going sideways perplexed both fans and experts.

The sight of Sam Hornish Jr.’s #77 car going sideways on the All-Star Race weekend triggered memories of Jeff Gordon’s legendary T-Rex car from 1997.

The potential for a full field of crooked cars posed a significant challenge for NASCAR. Recognizing the need to maintain fairness and safety, NASCAR swiftly responded to the situation. Rule changes were enacted, restricting the angle at which the rear-end housing could be mounted and specifying the positioning of the wheels on the rear axles. These measures aimed to level the playing field for everyone in the sport.

READ MORE: How Jeff Gordon’s Banned T-Rex Car Was Accidentally Produced by Hendrick Motorsports

When the car first made it out to the track, questions quickly arose about its unusual characteristics. Sam Hornish Jr, during one of his interviews, provided us with his perspective on the matter. He sheds light on the car’s intriguing behavior and the team’s motivations behind it.

Sam Hornish Jr’s Take On the Unconventional Car and the Teams Motivation Behind It


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When asked about the peculiarities of his car, Sam Hornish Jr. acknowledged its unique qualities and how it pushed the boundaries of accepted norms. He noted that every car on the track has a degree of dog tracking, but the #77 car ventured further into uncharted territory.

When asked how the car helped him on the track, Hornish Jr replied, “That’s one of those things where it kind of helps all the way around and if you look at every car out there is dog tracking to a little bit of a degree. You know we just maybe pushed down the envelope a little bit further than some of the other people have…”

“You know it’s uh something that we saw other people doing earlier on in the year and decided that we wanted to try it out and actually you know there’s been you know people running it all year.”


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While it may have been outlawed for its behavior on the track, the daring spirit of the #77 lives on. Share your thoughts on the total beast of a car the #77 was.