Differential Differences

Question: What is a Traction-Lok differential and how will it help me?

A clean looking differential

Picture Courtesy of MustangHeaven.com

Answer: This is a great question! A differential upgrade is practically a requirement for anyone looking to tear it up at the strip, so let’s start with some basics: the differential (aka “rear end”, “rear”, or “pumpkin”) is that roundish thing that sits between your rear axles; it’s responsible for transferring power from the driveshaft to the rear wheels and allowing the wheels to spin at different speeds when going around turns. With a job that important it’s easy to see why having a bullet-proof rear is so crucial for serious racers.

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Video: Petty Paces Daytona in 2011 Mustang GT

2010 Daytona 500 Pace Car

Carl Edwards & Kasey Kahne chat
w/ Richard Petty (From foxsports.com)

For one lap yesterday at the Daytona International Speedway, a 72 year old driver led the NASCAR pack.

Racing legend Richard Petty was back in a familiar position at the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. But rather than strapping into a ride stenciled with the fabled #43 and doing 200 laps on the Daytona oval, Petty piloted the pace car, a 2011 Ford Mustang GT.

Richard Petty Motorsports, which recently acquired Yates Racing, has returned to the Ford Racing family for the 2010 Sprint Cup season.

Prior to the race, the record holding seven time winner of the Daytona 500 told fordracing.com:

“There’s nothing like the Daytona 500,” Petty said. “It’s one of the biggest races in the world and to be a part of it in this way is the next-best thing to actually being able to race. Who knows, maybe I’ll just stay out there for a few laps and see what those guys have got.”

At the end of the first lap, the green flag waved, and the field split around the pace car. King Richard eased the Mustang down pit row, and the strange race that followed, marred by long stoppages for track problem repairs, was underway.

2/25/10 update: Here’s a video from Ford Racing of the pace lap, and comments from Richard Petty – pretty cool!

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NASCAR Rebirth: 2011 GT Pacing Daytona 500 on Sunday

Roush Fenway NNS No. 16 Mustang

Roush Fenway No. 16 Mustang (From aussiev8.com)

Even before Roush Fenway Racing unveiled their entry into the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, buzz was building about Ford’s official release of the deets and specs on the 2011 Mustang GT. When the presser was held for the No. 16 Con-way Freight Mustang this past October, it was clear that Ford’s marketing team was working overtime with its FRPP division and racing partners, such as Roush Fenway, to breathe new life into the Mustang brand. There was a potential Catch-22 though: would the CIA-level secretive work of Ford’s design and engineering teams match the enthusiasm of the PR effort? Muscle car junkies around the world waited for the word. Think of it this way:

Cue up your favorite road warrior music, and close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep, dual-exhaust cleansing breath. You’re standing in line at a world-class amusement park, waiting for your turn to board the newest and most awesome roller coaster ride on the property. Remove those earrings, eyeglasses, and loose jewelry. Anticipation, anticipation. You’re itching to be shot out of the barrel of a cannon. Now, open your eyes. It’s 2010.

Your ride has arrived — and it’s pacing the kickoff of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season this Sunday in Daytona…

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Green Wheel Weights?

Image from ecocenter.org

Image from ecocenter.org

Absolutely! No, they’re not a special color to match green Mustangs. But they are environmentally friendly! Most of the weights used to balance wheels these days are made out of lead. As anybody who’s ever hit a pothole knows, those lead weights can fall off your wheels. This means that not only are your wheels unbalanced, but there’s a big ol’ chunk of lead sitting on the street. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realize how many millions of cars are on the road everyday, and how many of those are hitting potholes and losing weights. (more…)

February Sale: Save up to 30% Through February 28th!

February isn’t anybody’s favorite month. The cold sets in, there aren’t any good holidays to look forward to for months, and regular season football is over. What can you do to get past the cold, slushy slog of February? Work on your Mustang! We’ve got some sweet items on sale for up to 30% off that will have your ‘Stang ready to hit the open road as soon as spring finally rolls around.

Click below to check out the February Sale at AmericanMuscle.com.