De Lorenzo delivers a searing smackdown of 2014 Detroit show

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There are the cookie-cutter reviews of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that you can read… and then there is Peter De Lorenzo’s no-holds-barred, unfiltered take you can read over at Autoextremist (in, fittingly, the rants section).

De Lorenzo, an automotive lifer in advertising who founded the blog site in 1999, outlines this year’s Detroit show in the headline as: “a kaleidoscope of the pretty good, the really bad and the just plain ugly.”

Among the areas De Lorenzo critiques in great detail: GM’s elongated half-hour introduction before actually introducing the new Corvette Z06, the Chrysler 200 as a “massive yawn,” the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept as “sheer design lunacy,” and the Korean auto industry altogether, which he called “not ready for prime-time players.”

Motorsports made an appearance in a couple parts of this unvarnished review. De Lorenzo at least gave credit to GM for introducing the racing version of the Z06, the new C7.R, at the same time as the production car. But of the Infiniti/Red Bull Racing tie-in, De Lorenzo was not impressed. At all.

“How about Gimmicky, Misguided and Chock-Full of Clichés? The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is such a classic screw-up I don’t even know where to begin. This whole business about Infiniti trying to somehow establish a link between hanging its name on the side of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 machines and translating it into production cars worth desiring is not going well. At all. There is absolutely nothing about this car that suggests that Infiniti’s considerable financial involvement in the Red Bull Racing F1 team and having World Champion Sebastian Vettel act as technical adviser has been worth the effort, or even capable of yielding even a shred of desirability in the future.”

There is one vehicle he considered a home run: the new aluminum-bodied Ford F150, which De Lorenzo called “a flat-out a game changer and a grand slam home run, pure and simple” that he believes will leave Ford considerably ahead of the pack in 18 months.

You’ll need to take some time to read all the critiques in detail, but this review is roughly the automotive equivalent of the searing smackdown the New York Times’ Pete Wells laid on Guy Fieri’s new restaurant a couple of years ago. In other words, long and memorable.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.