Sarah Young
Sarah Young Editorial/Art Assistant
1/6/09 1:23 p.m.

"Fire! Fire!”

Beavis chanted these words in a now-banned episode of “Beavis and Butt-Head” as he watched a building go up in flames. His clenched fists, pronounced underbite and erratic eyebrows all underscored his intense desire for burning destruction.

It’s safe to imagine a miniature version of the animated character perched on the shoulder of each member of the Hong Norr team, influencing their actions. That would explain the cartoonish looks and poop-joke name of Hong Norr’s $2007 Challenge entry, the s00p3rturd. That would also explain the—ahem—incident during the $2006 Challenge involving a Chrysler 600 convertible, a set of fire-breathing bull horns, and the Gainesville fire department.

The next morning, after the sirens and flames of the incident had died down, Hong Norr team member Mike White received a call on his cell phone from his father, who had caught wind of the happenings.

Dad: “Well, apparently you’re not in jail.”

Mike: “Nope.”

Dad: “Did you spend the night in jail?”

Mike: “Nope.”

Dad: “It might have done you some good.”

After this conversation, Mike says he immediately relived those “I’m not mad at you, I’m just really disappointed” conversations from high school. But it turns out guilt can be inspirational. Out of the ashes of this incident came an idea for the theme of the team’s next Challenge car.

Mike and teammate Wayne Cusson decided to make a Richard Petty Superbird-inspired Challenge entry for 2007 to once again make Dad proud. “Dad has always been a huge Richard Petty fan, and we were actually at the FireCracker 400 in 1984 when he scored his 200th win,” Mike recalls. “In no time, talk of Petty Blue paint, a monstrous wing and a big 43 on the roof ensued.”

In short, thanks to Hong Norr’s collective love of cyberspace, Richard Petty, poop jokes and dear old Dad, they quickly christened their entry for the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2007 Challenge Presented by eBay Motors and CDOC as the s00p3rturd.

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