The quintessential Yunick story has been retold so many times, and exaggerated so much in the telling, that today it’s almost unbelievable. The facts, if they can still be determined, are that Yunick showed up with a Chevelle at Daytona in 1967 for Curtis Turner to drive.
Turner won the pole, and the big manufacturers blew a gasket–a lone privateer wasn’t supposed to show up the factory teams like that.
The car blew up on the second lap of the race, avoiding further controversy, but when Yunick brought the car to the summer Daytona race, NASCAR inspectors, determined not to let their primary manufacturers be embarrassed again, gave Yunick a list of eleven mechanical items that had to be fixed before qualifying–which started in ninety minutes.
(Item #1, reportedly, was “Replace homemade frame with stock frame.”)
They removed the gas tank from the car, claiming that its non-exploding design was non-conforming. Yunick in exasperation told them, “Make that twelve items,” hopped into his tankless Chevy, and drove it back to its garage stall as the red-faced inspectors gaped.
The rulebook didn’t specify what kind of fuel lines the car could run, so Yunick had threaded eleven feet of 2" tubing through the frame, allowing it to hold almost a gallon of additional gas.
Within a week, the rulebook had been changed to allow only 5/8" tubing of a short length.
From http://www.gordonline.com/commish/020105.html and probably a dozen other sources.
From http://www.smokeyyunick.com/PressReleases/Reviews.pdf is a bit Smokey said after Earnhardt's death:
Yunick writes: “Moveable walls, concrete tracks, fueling by computer, air jacks ’stead of the 30 pound flying sledge hammers they use, mandatory retirement age, etc. When the hell they gonna get to doing something? Maybe after next ace gets killed? When they gonna get rid of the [deleted] restrictor plates and go to smaller engines? Don’t give me the [deleted] answer you can get killed in bathtub. It’s this simple: whoever’s running NASCAR has got his head up his [deleted].”
http://grantwcooper.com/smokey.html has a terrific tribute website, and so is http://www.legendsofnascar.com/smokey.htm
For more about Smokey: http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2008/11/great-racing-photos-and-warbirds-and.html