On this week’s episode of the J-Turn, host Jessi Lang takes a road trip to try out V-8 stock cars at Sonoma Raceway—formerly known as Infineon Raceway in California. Her road trip car of choice for the 400-mile journey is the 2014 Nissan GT-R, and she even uses the Japanese supercar to transport two mountain bikers and their gear, showcasing its surprising practicality.
Lang starts off documenting the history of stock cars, the original idea for which came from moonshiners in the 1920s prohibition era looking to transport their illegal goods in a hurry. Needing a quick car to evade from police if necessary but also looking to blend in with other cars on the road, these moonshiners would modify the engines of everyday cars without giving any exterior clues to the extra performance contained within.
Once at the track, Lang gets special training from professional race car driver Tyler McQuarrie, who has competed in everything from NASCAR to American Le Mans. McQuarrie gives Lang a full lesson on how to operate the full-bore, hardcore V-8 stock cars, and the unique dog box four-speed transmission proves to be especially difficult. Once she gets the hang of it, though, the two take some hot laps around the track, focusing on racing lines and overall strategy while the big V-8 stock cars make quite the racket.
Check out the video below to see some stock cars in action on the track.