How to Build a Race Track in the Dirt: Has Top Gear America Gone Roadkill?!Dirt tracks and crappy cars—the evidence is piling up.See all 10 photosJordon ScottAuthorMotorTrend StaffPhotographerMay 7, 2021
Top Gear America is back from the midseason break, but the guys are missing a place to call home—their own race track. They don’t even have a dirt track to play on. The oldest permanent road course in the United States—Willow Springs International Raceway—has been a great homebase for now, but the guys want a place of their own. Trouble is, world-class racing facilities like Laguna Seca, Spa-Francorchamps, and Fuji Speedway can cost in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars to build. Fear not, this is Top Gear America—Dougy, Jet, and Bobby (heavy Boston inflection, please) know how to build a dirt track.
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Dougy (Dax Shepard), Jet (Jethro Bovingdon), and Bahwbee (spelled phonetically for Mr. Rob Corddry) are the tough-guy-builder names our noble hosts assign themselves to give more credence to their terra motivational pipedreams. Because pipedreams they are—Dougy wants to copy the esses from Silverstone, Jet wants to recreate the Mulsanne Straight from its pre-chicane heyday, and Bobby needs a bend; more specifically, the Parabolica from Monza.
Guys, this is supposed to be a dirt track, why are you recreating features from famous road courses? The Stig gets to play, too; the guys are going to throw in a crazy, off-camber, technical section for the Stig reminiscent of the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. The producers have been generous, as well, giving the Top Gear America crew a scenic 20 acres of undeveloped land to work with.
How to Build Your Own Race Track
First step is already taken care of: Get three tough construction-types to do all the work—maybe that’s up for debate. Next, heavy equipment: Dax, sorry, Dougy has brought a Caterpillar 325F Excavator; Jet is going to plow his straightaway with a Caterpillar 950M Loader; and Bobby’s Bend will be built by a bulldozer—the Caterpillar D16 Bulldozer with a fancy attachment perfect for cutting the banked turns he so desires.
See all 10 photos
The layout has been approved and the equipment is ready, so why is there an «old-ass» Honda Civic DX, OBS Ford dually pickup, and a «bad-ass Caddy thing» that looks suspiciously familiar on the work site? It makes sense that if the Top Gear America guys are channeling their blue-collar spirits, they should be driving blue-collar cars, but only Bobby brought something that would actually help in building a dirt track.
Did Roadkill Come to Top Gear America?
Hold on a sec! Totally inappropriate cars, a scenic high-desert landscape with graded paths that barely pass for «roads» and man-children that can’t take anything seriously and only want to play with their cars? When did Top Gear America go full Roadkill? Comparisons to other car shows were inevitable, but we never thought we would do it ourselves.
See all 10 photos
But if we’re going to make comparisons, we might as well do it right. Let’s see, there was the time Dax blew up a «different» light blue Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with nitrous (recycling old garbage is totally Roadkill, so is blowing an engine with the bottle). Rob almost asphyxiated himself with all the gasoline leaking out of that future classic Saab. Can’t forget the whole episode dedicated to making rally racing more accessible—Roadkill is all about making motorsport more accessible to everyone. Dax had that terrible Ford E-350 van that couldn’t get out of its own way. And both shows seem to find any excuse they can to bomb down a dirt road.
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