A dog's nose is not just used for smelling, but also to keep him cool. That's why a dog pants. The longer the dog's nose, the better his cooling system works.
Dogs that chase cars have learned that cars run away. This behavior is reinforced each time he chases one away.
If you're finding it difficult to teach your dog to catch a ball, try tossing something soft like a knotted piece of fabric instead. Some dogs find softer items easier to catch.