Brain Cramp by MSNBC Anchor: Asserts NASCAR Autos Travel at '500 Miles Per Hour'

Via the Inside Cable News blog, we learn that Jeff Gluck at SB Nation was amazed when MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed NASCAR Chairman Brian France about new green initiatives in auto racing. "The obvious draw for NASCAR is the speed," Roberts said to France. "Cars going up to about 500 mph, right?"

Um, no, said Gluck. "No race car has ever traveled even close to 500 mph. NASCAR stock cars go just over 200 mph, IndyCars go about 230 mph and NHRA top fuel dragsters travel about 330 mph before reaching their 1000-foot race limit." France was so stunned by the ignorance he just said "Right."

Wrote Gluck:

I mean, what was he supposed to say? "Actually, Thomas, our cars are 300 mph slower than that." I don't think so. In a national media interview like that, France probably just wanted to go on, hit his talking points and make a good impression.

Roberts, though, certainly didn't do his homework...No race car has ever traveled even close to 500 mph. NASCAR stock cars go just over 200 mph, IndyCars go about 230 mph and NHRA top fuel dragsters travel about 330 mph before reaching their 1000-foot race limit.

The all-time land speed record for a vehicle with a piston-powered engine is 415 mph and the wheel-driven vehicle record is a little higher, at 458 mph. Andy Green went 763 mph in the ThrustSSC, but that was basically a rocket ship on the ground.

Perhaps Roberts should have talked up that big NASCAR fan Brian Williams before conducting this interview.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis