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Another Earnhardt themed roller coaster?

By Robert Niles
Published: August 26, 2009 at 8:26 AM
Carowinds announced today that its new $23 million (not $11 million, as previouly leaked) B&M hyper coaster will be called...

Intimidator

With a Dale Earnhardt theme.

Just like Kings Dominion's Intamin giga, announced last week.

How many NASCAR-themed coasters does the VA/NC/SC area need?

FWIW, this ride will be similar to Kings Islands' Diamondback, and will use the same staggered seating cars.

Update: Based on Carowinds' claim that this will be the tallest coaster in the Southeast, I offer this poll:

Also, here are two animations of the new ride, a POV and a fly-around:

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on August 26, 2009 at 8:38 AM
By the way, Deadspin had a wickedly sick thread on the KD Intimidator 305 announcement, noting the irony of naming a high-speed coaster after someone who died in a high-speed crash. I assume that this annoucement will open another round of snark.

Also, Carowinds is promoting this as the highest coaster in the southeast. One presumes that Carowinds' version of the southeast does not include Virginia, then.

From Tim Sampson on August 26, 2009 at 9:54 AM
First of all, I say they are all late in capitalizing on the popularity of NASCAR in the Southeast. Second, it's bad show to name a roller coaster after a man that died in a NASCAR race. Third, Virginia is the northernmost state in the Southeast U.S.
From 12.153.11.170 on August 26, 2009 at 9:56 AM
Last I checked Virginia was south of the Mason-Dixon line, that makes it part of the South doesn't it?
From Vickie Boyd on August 26, 2009 at 10:09 AM
Wow, this is really... I never expected this stupidity from Cedar Fair. Virigina is Southern. Heck, Maryland is Southern in that it's below the Mason Dixon line. Yes, it's right near a NASCAR track, just like Kings Dominion. Honestly, Carowinds should have gotten theirs out first. That's where the NASCAR Hall Of Fame is going to be. Kings Dominion should have been named something COMPLETELY different. This is really bad for the Cedar Fair PR department.
From TH Creative on August 26, 2009 at 10:25 AM
Mid-Atlantic
From Tim Odom on August 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM
I've alway considered it Mid Atlantic (though VA residents definately have a southern accent.) It can go either way, really...
From 131.238.208.122 on August 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM
I would consider VA more... Mid-Eastern...
From Derek Potter on August 26, 2009 at 10:45 AM
In North Carolina....a state where NASCAR has a lot of history, I can see the Intimidator/Earnhardt theme working out. I don't really know why they did it in Virginia. In any event, this is big news for Carowinds, whose fanbase has been waiting awhile for a big new attraction. They will respond with attendance next year.

In terms of Virginia being in the southeast, I'll buy that. I would call it the northern most southern state.

From 66.207.75.174 on August 26, 2009 at 10:55 AM
My only real problem is with them naming two coasters so close to each other geographically basically the same thing. Intimidator305 at KD is already referred to as Intimidator so now there are two Intimidator coasters in neighboring states. For clarity, we either have to call them by their proper names or specifically mention the park it's in. Also, as a Virginia resident, I consider Virginia to be a mid-Atlantic state, as do the local and regional newscasts. Although the Mason-Dixon line may be north of us, I consider North Carolina to be the start of the south. Well, when I think about it, anywhere south of Richmond, VA is when you really start to notice you're in the south. However, KD is located north of Richmond, so Intimidator305 would not be southern enough. :)
From David Kirby on August 26, 2009 at 1:45 PM
Virginia is in the South but I wouldn't classify it as the Southeast. If you're using the Mason-Dixon Line as a judge, then Maryland and Delaware are also in the Southeast. Generally, I would classify anything below Virginia as the SE and above Maryland is the Northeast. Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland along with Pennsylvania, Jersey, and New York form the the Mid-Atlantic. According to some classifications, North Carolina isn't even in the South East but instead is part of the Appalachians.
From Robert Niles on August 26, 2009 at 1:46 PM
Despite having lived in Florida for a spell, I am undoubtedly a Yankee. And the Yankee POV seems to be that if your state was in the Confederacy and is east of the Mississippi, it is in the Southeast.
From Vincent S on August 26, 2009 at 2:32 PM
I will say it like this. When driving on I-95 and going southbound, after driving thru the DC area thats when it starts to become southern. So yes, VA is in the southeast.
From Daniel Williams on August 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM
From someone who grew up in southeastern Virginia, I would definitely consider the area to be the southeast.

And for those who don't think there is a big culture of NASCAR fandom in VA, you're mistaken. I don't disagree with the perception that two similarly named/designed coasters that close to each other could be problematic, but I don't think that their two markets overlap that much.

From James Rao on August 26, 2009 at 3:23 PM
Wasn't Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy (South) during the Civil War? Hmmm...

The coaster layout looks real similar to Diamondback as stated in the post. Which is good, cause according to all reports, Diamondback is an excellent coaster. Plus, D-back is only 9 hours from my house, much closer than this Imitator... err... Intimidator.

From Adam Clinard on August 26, 2009 at 3:27 PM
Honestly, WHO CARES? I mean Carowinds is finally getting a NEW ride. Not a "hand-me-down" or a prototype! They are getting a NEW RIDE! It is about time! I think a big part of why the ride in Carowinds is being themed to NASCAR is because of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame in Uptown Charlotte which will open 5/11/2010 which is around the same time Carowinds opens.....Carowinds will hopefully be able to capitalize on the NASCAR Hall of Fame opening.

But regardless, focus on the fact that this ride is NEW and not a "hand-me-down" or a prototype and that it is 232 feet tall which is nearly 100ft taller than Afterburn at 144ft, rather than focusing on whether Virginia is in the south or not!

In this economy, a NEW coaster is better than nothing at all! Carowinds could have been on the chopping block!

I do not, however, like the fact that 2 NEW rides in the same company will have the same name (with the exception of KD having 305 attached to it). I think the team at Cedar Fair does need to be more creative!

From Frank Forrester on August 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM
I live in Virginia and even though the state fought for the South has nothing to do with it being a Southeastern state. I have grown up hearing it called a Mid Atlantic state. The College Basketball teams in Virginia are part of the Mid Atlantic Conference and not the Southeastern Conference.
From 69.136.33.212 on August 26, 2009 at 4:42 PM
Couldn't they of been at least a little creative and used another famous racers name or something? I thought it was lame enough having one coaster named after Earnhart, but two? Sounds to me more like Earnhart foundation is paying Cedar Fair to use the Earnhart name than the other way around. Both coasters do look pretty awesome though, its just sad that they spent all that money and couldn't come up with some better names. Maybe the contract will expire soon and they'll have to retheme them both :)
From Jesse Key on August 26, 2009 at 6:47 PM
I'm glad they are investing into Carowinds even if I personally do not care to see a Hyper (we were just talking earlier about how Carowinds seems to have a lot for kids and for thrill-seekers but seems to be lacking things to do for people who don't fit any of those.... unless you are going for the waterpark I guess).
My question out of curiousity is I wonder why it is a million more (in this economy) than Diamondback when Diamondback and it seem similar except Diamonback has a splashdown effect (Which I do not think would go with the NASCAR theme anyway..... but you'd think the splashdown effect would add to the cost of a coaster). Maybe they are including the cost of taking in sections of the parking lot or extra buildings that may be coming in with the coaster.
I have to say it will probably be a neat addition to the park even just to look at from the front of the park, but I hope for those of us who may not want our adreneline pumped that hard that they bring something else cool in with more of a mass appeal soon.
From Anthony Murphy on August 26, 2009 at 8:44 PM
They are in the South. They left the union during the civil war thus South.

Thats how I rationalize it, but that my two cents!

From Robert Niles on August 26, 2009 at 10:54 PM
I really wish I had a geographic breakdown of the voting on this one.

I suspect that people in the south (defined as ex-Confederacy) see Virginia as not in the southeast. And that people in the north (defined as the other states) do.

So people in the south see Virginia as not in the south. And people in the north see Virginia as not in the north, either.

So Virginia is... the state nobody else wants to be associated with.

(Ducks)

From Reggie R on August 26, 2009 at 11:59 PM
I'm from Jersey, and I've always been taught that Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia were the Mid-Atlantic states. People I know from those regions usually claim the Mid-Atlantic as well.

But, from a US Census standpoint, things get a bit interesting:
http://www.census.gov/geo/www/us_regdiv.pdf

The country is split into 4 regions, which places Delaware - Florida, and out West from Kentucky - Mississippi in the South. Those regions are split into divisions, which places Virginia in the South Atlantic.

Then me as a New Jersian thinking myself a North Eastern dweller is correct, but my mental placement of the Mid-Atlantic that I grew up with is wrong since it's defined as New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Interesting indeed...

From M. Ryan Traylor on August 27, 2009 at 12:50 AM
I was born and raised in VA. Here are a few points:

a) Richmond, it's capital, was once the capital of the Confederacy
b)fast food restaurant Bojangles
c) south of the Mason-Dixon line
d) NASCAR - Richmond International Speedway
e) southern accents (just listen to my parents. I was lucky to not have one)
f) home of Robert E. Lee
g) at one time Robert E. Lee, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Luther King Jr. holidays were all on the same day
h) decided to have a Confederate History month (and sadly chose March to be that month)
i) fried foods
AND
j) Wikipedia says so

From SC Todbear on August 27, 2009 at 7:53 AM
What a rip...why do we get such a 2nd rate version when just up the road KD gets a real ride yet again!!!

Also, why name two rides the same in one year. We also don't understand going after the name of someone that has been dead 8 years. Let the man rest in peace.

Not everyone in this area likes NASCAR. It is a dried up and dying series that is not even stable anymore.

Why not get creative and save the money from the liscensing aspect to use for new attractions that are more relavent.

From Jesse Key on August 27, 2009 at 12:38 PM
It seems like the $23 million dollar new roller coaster is getting over shadowed on here by if it is or is not in the southeast. If you are not going to be satisfied with this new B & M Hyper, then I say scrap the project and give us a new log flume ride. :-) (I'm kidding)
I think they did an impressive job with creating the videos to show you what the coaster is going to look like.
From 69.136.33.212 on August 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM
I agree. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this be the tallest b&m in the states?
From Al Kraus on August 28, 2009 at 12:33 PM
What was that little war between the states called...oh yeah the Civil War and Virginia was the Capital of the North or the South???

SOUTHEAST!

From Andy Guinigundo on August 28, 2009 at 12:52 PM
This question is more of a cultural question than a map question, right? I.e. is it "south" as it is definitely east.

West Virginia: Yankee
Virginia: Stars and Bars

Elliot Sadler, Denny Hamlin - two big NASCAR drivers born of that SOUTHERN NASCAR heritage. The good ole boys love these two, but can't stand the likes of Jimmie Johnson from California or Jeff Gordon.

Try to call a Virginian a northerner and see what you get...southeast

From Adam Clinard on August 28, 2009 at 8:12 PM
Intimidator will be the tallest and 2nd longest coaster B&M has created in North America. Worldwide, it is only shorter than Silver Star in Germany by 9 feet, and beats Silver Star for the 2nd longest B&M coaster in the world by 1 foot.

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