AutoWeek reported that the racing team of owner Bill Davis and driver Bobby Labonte was caught using ``cheater'' tires during second-round qualifying runs for the First Union 400 at the track in North Wilkesboro, N.C. The team had already used its allotment of practice and qualifying tires, so it tried to slip a set of Busch Grand National tires with altered serial numbers past race inspectors.
The team was fined $2,000 and barred from qualifying and the final pre-race practice session, but did gain a provisional starting berth. Mr. Labonte finished 26th.
Sooner or later, it's Jurassic
In conjunction with its sponsorship of ``Wildlife Adventures'' series on CBS-TV, General Tire held a poster contest for kids of its employees.
The effort shown below is by 11-year-old Tom Zeisser, son of Andy Zeisser, director of engineering at the tire maker's original equipment office in Farmington Hills, Mich.
The poster depicts a ``Jurassic Park''-type dinosaur chomping on ``Bib,'' the Michelin mascot-a tasty morsel perhaps, but too rubbery for our palate. The vehicle is, of course, riding on Generals. You gotta indoctrinate 'em while they're young.
Some marriages are made in Heaven, so they say. The ones William Signs offers are more down-to-earth.
Searching for that competitive edge, the owner of Swedish Auto Inc., a service shop in Farmers Branch, Texas, decided to offer a free marriage ceremony-hey, it's a $25 value-with any 30,000-mile inspection on Hondas, Volvos and BMWs. For the $290 vehicle inspection charge you get a warranty, but no guarantee on the marriage, which is performed by local Justice of the Peace Bob Forman.
Mr. Signs got the idea during a trip to Las Vegas, where a helicopter operator offered a free marriage ceremony with the purchase of a deluxe helicopter ride.
``Normally people don't get good news'' at repair shops, Mr. Signs told the Wall Street Journal, adding he's not cheapening the institution of marriage because the inspections aren't inexpensive.
If the idea catches on-and it hasn't yet-he may provide one-size-fits-all tuxedos and wedding dresses. And for marriages that don't live up to their ``treadwear warranty,'' he may offer uncontested divorces...after four 30,000-mile inspections (if the marriages last that long)-a $100 value.
A Transport Canada survey cites incorrect air pressure as the most common cause of tire failure, with 70 percent of the tires on motor vehicles
underinflated, and almost 90 percent of all vehicles having at least one underinflated tire, it reported.
Transport Canada's 1991 ``Traffic Collision Statistics Report'' says damaged tires are the No. 1 reason for fatal traffic accidents where vehicle condition was the major contributing factor.
See, you are better off
Speaking of air quality, the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy recently released its new long-term study of U.S. environmental quality, which contains trend data on environmental issues facing the country, such as air and water quality, forest growth and deforestation, land use, recycling and toxic industrial pollution.
Founded in 1979, the institute focuses on current public policy issues to promote a better understanding of them among opinion leaders in government, academia, the media and the business community.
The institute reported that, contrary to popular belief:
Air quality is improving;
So is water quality-the Great Lakes are coming back, it said (we didn't realize they were missing);
Forests are increasing-more trees are being planted than harvested;
The amount of toxic chemicals exposed to the environment is declining;
The amount of land set aside for parks, wilderness and wildlife is increasing;
Private-sector economic growth is responsible for many of these improvements; and, we might add:
Elvis is NOT dead-he's planting trees somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.