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All Previous Photos of the Day HERE

 

#2063  -  Do you think Jimmy Bryan was just a little bit popular? Even in that era when our sport was so lethally dangerous that the AAA separate itself from it, Arizona Highways ran a feature story on Bryan as a key figure in the state.  That’s Luella and daughter Stephanie with him.  From My Hero, My Friend Jimmy Bryan, by Len Gasper and Phil Sampaio.

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#2062  -   “John Holman (of Holman-Moody fame) is surrounded by dozens of SOHC 427 engines. Ford had developed the engine to compete against the Chrysler Hemi in NASCAR, but it was ruled illegal. So the engine was retooled for drag racing and became the engine of choice for the Holman-Moody funny cars.”  Quote and Photo from HOLMAN MOODY: The Legendary Race Team, by Tom Cotter and Al Pierce (Mike Teske Collection)
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#2061 -  Now here is an image of 1950!  That’s Indianapolis megastar/manager Wilbur Shaw and son Bill ready to pull the trigger with “Hopalong Cassidy.”  The photo comes from a brand-new book we worked on with author Bob Gates and the Boyle Racing Headquarters Foundation. It’s an expansion of Wilbur Shaw’s original memoir and entitled Gentlemen, Start Your Engines: The Rest of the Story… You can find the book at several book-signing events at Indy this month, including Thursday, May 24th, from 1pm-3pm at the Speedway Museum. (Photo Shaw Family Collection and the IMS Photo Department)
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#2060 -  Whoops!  A couple of days ago we posted a Photo of the Day about the IMSA Supers going to Monadnock (NH) Speedway for what we thought was the first time. Good buddy Jeff Horn straightened us out on that one. He remembers running his Super there back in the mid-70s, and you can understand why he remembers. He was leading when a lapped car got loose and nailed him. That time Jeff couldn’t straighten himself out and off he went, into the wall. He believes Ollie Silva won.  (North East Motor Sports Museum Collection)

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#2059  -  There's a favorite story in Fonda NY Speedway lore about super-hero Pete Corey, who one night at the turn of the '60s went wide on the second turn and ended up with a wooden leg on account of it. Corey was non-stop action, so he was back winning in no time, having whatever fun he could have with his new appendage. Things like playing tunes with it or putting an explanation point on the end of a comment by reaching down and pulling out a pistol. Meanwhile, Fonda's major competitor track, Lebanon Valley, 60 miles to the east, had a similar uni-legged character/winner. He was Tom Dressell, who gave his leg in World War II. In later years it is said he would offer it up as a target in dart games at the barroom after the races. (Roger Liller Collection)
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#2058  -  Most always, it seems, that at oval tracks’ turns one & two and turns three & four have completely different personalities. Most certainly the quirky quarter-mile pavement, Monadnock Speedway, in Winchester, NH, is a case in point.  And it seems impossible that the Supermodifieds, so much a part of New England’s motorized history, have never tried to conquer Monadnock, while they have run for years at neighboring New Hampshire tracks like Lee and Star Speedway (above). FINALLY, that was scheduled for tomorrow, May 19. But this blasted weather has taken it down for the weekend. The show has been rescheduled for June 23.  (Photo from A HISTORY OF AUTO RACING IN NEW ENGLAND,  North East Motor Sports Museum Collection)
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#2057  -  He was the ultra-hero in a racy and dangerous time. It was September 11, 1955, on the banks of the Mohawk River in Fonda, New York. Cropseyville’s Steve Danish takes refreshment before disembarking from his infamous six-banger “Danish Chevrolet.” He had just won the Langhorne Race of Champions Elimination event, and what a feature it was. The height of what was called Fonda’s most riotous night to date was when Bill Fake blew a tire and began flipping. That’s when Stan Bellinger came along and piled on in, fracturing Fake’s fuel tank in a ball of fire. Both men were rushed off in guarded condition. Danish’s car was top shelf for the day, beautifully built and obsessively maintained. But it was hard to believe that it would soon be on its way to the lethal, high-speed mile circle in Langhorne without even the hint of side bars. There was just that sheet skin of the hollowed-out door. He finished 11th down there in Pennsylvania, while his Saturday-night Fonda nemesis, Pete Corey, stole the show. (Photo by Bergh & Neiderhauser, Danish Family Collection)
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#2056  -  “Rydell, Hope, and Lang were a trio of mid-class Gassers who teamed up in 1967. For the next few years, they campaigned a G/G Anglia affectionately known as Mr. Crude. Rydell had the idea sometime after Indy 1967 to improve the breathing of their 292-ci 6-cylinder by fabricating a new cylinder head using a pair of small-block Chevy heads. Because the bore spacings were nearly identical, he could lop off the end chamber from each V-8, bolt the two modified heads onto a 6-cylinder block, and use Ni-Rod to weld it up. The rest was pretty basic machining. Intake for the new design came courtesy of a modified V-8 Crower injection. The trio was the first to use V-8 heads on a six, and the experiment really paid off. The Anglia went from low 11s elapsed times to 10.79 and held the class record for what seemed like forever. At the 1969 Springnationals, their newly formed heads won the Best Engineered Car award. Of course, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, before long, every 6-cyclinder drag car seemed to be sporting modified V-8 heads.” Quote and Photo from 1001 DRAG RACING FACTS: The Golden Age of Top Fuel, Funny Cars, Door Slammers and More, by Doug Boyce. (Doug Boyce Collection)
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#2055  -  “This photo hangs on Bob (McCreadie’s) shop wall as a recurrent inspiration. On it Bob wrote ‘When you think you drive hard, when you think you’re trying hard, remember this picture and hope he’s not behind you.’ That’s Jack Johnson passing for the win on the DIRT tour at Cowtown, Texas in 1989.” Quote and Photo from BAREFOOT: The Autobiography of Bob McCreadie, As Told to Andy Fusco. (Photo McCreadie Family Collection)
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#2054  -  There can't be much question that Jessica and Stewart Friesen are the fastest couple around. And, unquestionably, they have all the equipment around them they need.  But they’d better start looking into CC cars, too.  Imagine what their son, Parker, is gonna be like! (Photo by Our Man from Amsterdam. Dave Dalesandro)
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#2053  -  That’s Ray Evernham back in 2008 climbing into his #98 SpeedSTR and taking it up to speed at Oswego Speedway. That was the first full year of Richie Tobias’s Speedway Entertainment tour series. Richie once told us he wondered why so many car builders like Danny Drinan and Ray Evernham turned out to be such gassers themselves. Speak for yourself, Richie!!!  (Mike Feltenberger Photos)
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#2052  -  Saranac, New York's Curt 'MetalMan' Giventer celebrated his first stock car win 50 years ago. He did so in a car that was rebuilt after a flip on the last night of the 1967 season. Gene the Junkman donated a '55 Chevy to MetalMan's cause and shared life-long wisdom. "He taught me that 'Junk is Beautiful!,'" says MetalMan who carries that message today at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York.  (Photo and caption by Karl Fredrickson)
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#2051  -  A few laps back. “Dave Darland poses with a USAC newcomer named Kasey Kahne in 2000. They were teammates on the much-feared Midget team fielded by Steve Lewis and Bob East.”  From THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP: A Racing Life, by Dave Darland with Bones Bourcier. (Rex Staton Photo)
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#2050  -  “The Ford Mark IV chassis was big and wide, but the aluminum honeycomb structure – reinforced after Ken Miles’ fatal crash at Riverside – offered the same structural rigidity as conventional steel at roughly half the weight….It made its public debut at Sebring on March 29, 1967. As soon as practice began, it was clear that Ford had moved the goal posts in the prototype class. It was first in  line….The wide wing Chaparral 2F qualified second.”  From FORD GT: How Ford Humbled the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans, by Preston Lerner. (Photos by Dave Friedman)
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#2049  -  Linda Vaughn says, “Three of my pals right here, and heroes in the NASCAR world. From left to right are Fred Lorenzen, Bobby Johns, and Fireball Roberts. I just love this picture.” It is pretty cool. From LINDA VAUGHN: The First Lady of Motorsports, by Linda Vaughn and Rob Kinnan.

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#2048  -  There’s quite a bit of chatter these days about kids from well-to-do families who race without consequence – such as having to pay the bills. Actually, that’s been going on for a long time….”The son of the Plymouth dealership's owner went joyriding and partially wrecked this then-new ’Bird. Written off as a complete loss, it was hidden away for a long time and became a true barn find almost a half century later. This was its public reappearance at the 2016 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (NCACN).”  Quote and photo from MUSCLE CARS IN DETAIL No. 11: 1970 Plymouth Superbird, by Geoff Stunkard.
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#2047  -  No question one of the most intense racing scraps ever came in the mid-1970s Northeastern Late Model wars between Dave Dion (and his brothers) and Bobby Dragon (and his). Here’s what Dave had to say in his book: “With all the hype and publicity that surrounded our rivalry, I guess it was inevitable that Bobby and I would eventually come to grief.  And we did.  In 1975 or ’76, we ran a 200-lap race on the old Sanair short track, split into two 100-lap segments. In the first segment, we went at it pretty hard. Bobby had his way of passing, and I had my way. He liked to work you on the inside, while my goal was to drive around you on the outside.”  To hear what really happened, come to the North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon for “Dion vs. the Dragons” on Saturday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m. and meet the contenders themselves.  Quote and Photo from LIFE WIDE OPEN: Dave Dion – No Holds Barred, by Dave Dion with Dave Moody. (Cho Lee Collection)
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#2046  -  “It was in the Midgets that Mario made his first racing headlines, but once he made it to USAC, he only ran a dozen Midget events. His last Midget appearance came in 1969 in the 1969 Astro Grand Prix in Houston’s Astrodome, billed as the richest Midget race in the world. Teaming with Midget champion Mel Kenyon, Mario finished seventh and eighth in the two 100-lap events.”  Quote and Photo from MARIO ANDRETTI: The Complete Record, by Mike O’Leary. (Ken Coles Photo)

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#2045  -  For a long time, starters and announcers were a much more dramatic part of the show than they typically are today. This image was taken a long time ago – in the early 1950s – at the State Line Speedway in Bennington, VT, tight up on the New York border. The aerial starter was Chet Hames, a highly athletic and popular figure who flagged at several tracks, always prancing and jumping about, playing colorfully off both the announcer and the field of drivers. Chet did appreciate a pop or two, however, and that caused the end of it. One night Fonda’s promoter, Ed Feuz, found him tippling during the races and promptly sent him packing.  (Ed and Betty Biittig Collection)
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#2044  -  John Hoenig came up with a unique – and racy – recovery plan in 1938 when his farm in Thompson, CT, was literally torn apart by the “Great New England Hurricane,” also known as the “Long Island Express.”  He built a beautifully formed oval, the first paved track in the country, and it opened on Memorial Day weekend in 1940 to a capacity crowd. Here are the Big Cars, dancing in formation on the high banks in 1941.  (North East Motor Sports Museum Collection)

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#2043  -  It was nearly 60 years ago, but you can bet it was an intense moment. Someone, likely highly displeased, is having a discussion with Lisbon, NY’s NASCAR National Champion Bill Wimble in the McCredy #33.  (Coastal 181 Collection)
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#2042  -  Ouch! Sixties-era midgeteer Wayne Hoffman inserted Roxie Vendenna’s V-8 underneath the steel guardrail at Denver’s Lakeside Speedway. He had a fractured elbow – the car sustained more serious injuries.  From The Mighty Midgets, by Jack C. Fox. (Leroy Byers Photo)

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#2041  -  The Brickyard, 2015. It was neat that Juan Pablo Montoya had just won the Indy 500, but what in God’s name happened to Roger Penske’s hat? From THE RACE: Inside the Indy 500, by James McGuane. (James McGuane Photo)
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#2040  -  A prototypical image of the time, April 29, 1956 at Reading, PA:  A Caddy tow vehicle, a pretty swish trailer, and the Curtis Offy. But you have to wonder how Chuck Weyant was feeling at that moment. The 23-year-old from the Buckeye State was fresh off his victory at the Hut Hundred the previous year, but by the looks of the steering wheel, this had not been a good day. Weyant lived on to become for some time the oldest living Indy 500 veteran until he died a year ago in January.  (Bradley Poulsen Collection)

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#2039  -  Starched shirts and helmets? Lou Schneider was lookin’ preppy in his Miller-powered Bowes Seal Fast Special in the 1931 Indy 500. He was fast too, qualifying at 107.210 mph and winning the show. Everything was not so pretty, though.  On the 167th lap, Billy Arnold broke a wheel and crashed in flames, injuring himself and Spider Matlock. But the wheel wasn’t done yet. It crossed Georgetown Road and killed 12-year-old Wilbur Brink, who was playing in his yard. And during practice, Joe Caccia and his riding mechanic Clarence Grove had died as well.  Photo from THE OILY GRAIL: A Story of the Indy 500, by Jack Albinson.
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#2038  -  Back in 1979, the Danbury (CT) Racearena was packed each Saturday night, offering its own brand of captivating stock car racing. But, with not a moment’s notice, one evening the excitement turned to tragedy. A couple of cars tangled on the frontstretch and slammed into the starter’s stand. Head starter Ted Abbott and his assistant and great friend Frank Arnone were both struck. Abbott died, Arnone was seriously injured. Above is a truly incredible image of both courage and sadness. Here was Arnone, back at it the very next week using Ted’s flags, leaning somewhat from his injury on the still-battered stand. He continued waving the flags until the track was bulldozed for a shopping center in 1981. (Gary Arnone Collection)
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#2037  -  Good guy Greg Fielden, who over the years has penned 16 highly authoritative books on NASCAR, has also long been a disciple of the church of the clay.  He has just come out with THE GREATEST SHOW ON DIRT: The Definitive History of the NDRA 1978-1985. It was a colorfully rowdy series that offered high-dollar purses that attracted the country’s best broadsliders for 39 events.  The photo, taken by Greg, shows the field about to take the green on a nice-looking surface at  Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia.  (Dixie is the track where the movie Six Pack with Kenny Rogers was filmed).
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#2036  -  September 16, 1962 and Parnelli Jones (Fike car on pole) and his buddy Jim Hurtubise (Barnett Bros. Special) bring them down for the start of the USAC 50-miler at Reading, PA. Can you imagine the moment? 1962 was a huge year for the Series, with packed stands everywhere they went. But there was danger lurking on each lap for the cageless Sprinters. In a two-month period during that summer, three regulars had been killed, as were two drivers in other USAC competition. On this day Roger McCluskey was the winner. Jones ended up season champion with McCluskey second and Hurtubise third. (Bradley Poulsen Collection)
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#2035  -  Everybody move back! The pace lap for the WoO Sprinters at Williams Grove for the 2017 National Open.  David Gravel (right) won the show; Donny Schatz (left) won the title. From Area Auto Racing News Calendar, 2018
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#2034  -  Here’s what Dario Franchitti has to say about John Force: “’When I first met him it was at the ESPN Awards, and, like me, he was up for Driver of the Year. ‘I don’t know why I bother coming. It’s always won by a NASCAR driver,’ he correctly predicted. Without pausing for breath he added, while looking me up and down, ‘Jesus, does Bernie have a farm where he grows drivers in Europe? You’re all quick, with model looks, and tiny butts. I wouldn’t stand a chance over there!’ He offered me a chance to see his world, though – he invited me to drive his Funny Car, all 10,000hp of it…. My favourite story comes after he had a monster shunt at Memphis. The car rolled into oblivion. Bearing in mind he is a massive Elvis fan, he climbed unhurt directly into a TV interview, talking as fast as he drove. ‘I felt I was at 1,000 feet or so, and I swear I saw Elvis.’” Quote and Photo from ROMANCE OF RACING, by Dario Franchitti, Photo by Robert Kerian
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#2033  -  They say that wall on the Syracuse Mile had teeth. Sure looked like it bit Donnie Corellis at high speed during Super DIRT week 2010.  (Mike Feltenberger Photo)
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#2032  -  This is from the Official Program for the 56th Indy 500, May 27, 1972.  The face of the field was changing…and it kept right on doing so.
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#2031  - “Taking the big money victories on the Central Pennsylvania 410 Sprint Car circuit last year was the No.69k team of driver Lance Dewease, car owner Don Kreitz Jr., and chief mechanic Davey Brown.  Dewease leaves a vapor trail off the top wing as he roars down the frontstretch at Williams Grove Speedway.  (Quote and Photo from Area Auto Racing’s very cool 2018 calendar, Chad Updegraff Photo)
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#2030  - The least expensive way to experience Daytona behind the wheel of a race car is to join SCCA and compete at one of their events. At an April 2018 meet, Keary Morris and his wife, Jennifer, shared the driving with two others in one of the best cars in the field, a Camaro that had a strong engine and transmission (they are in the transmission business). Keary, a West Coast champion Sprint Car driver, turned the third-quickest lap of the more than 50 drivers entered. Jennifer drove over an hour in the 12-hour event. It was her first race ever and she got faster as her time behind the wheel unfolded. The field included some high-end stuff including Porsches and some at the far other end of the scale including a pair of VW bugs. (Caption and Photo by Dick Berggren)
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#2029  -  Colleen Kay Hutchins, Miss Utah in 1951, was crowned Queen of the International Motor Show in the D.C. National Guard Armory the same year.  In 1952 she became Miss America.  She would definitely need a change of threads to handle the trophies at Eldora this summer.  From Souvenir Pictorial – International Motor Show, 1951.

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#2028  -  That Frankie Schneider seemed to turn up everywhere. On this September 8, 1963, he was at Langhorne, PA, in a blue #42 Plymouth fielded by Lee, Maurice, and Richard Petty. Frankie outmuscled the car’s overheating and ignition problems with a sixth-place finish, behind Paul Goldsmith, Norm Nelson, A.J. Foyt, Don White, and Curtis Turner. Four decades later Frankie wandered into our book booth at the Motorsports show in Atlantic City, walked up to me, and said “I know you.”
“You should, Frank,” I replied. “You have helped us with these books.”
“That’s not what I mean,” he said, “I think I know you from the races.”
“You should, Frank,” I replied. “One day when I was just getting started, we towed all the way down to Nazareth, PA, with a pretty shaky Modified. A newcomer, I had to start last in the heat, next to you because you were probably leading in points. So I spun out on the fourth turn of the first lap and got stuck in the mud. And then you came around on the caution lap, looked over to me, and shook your head. How do you think that made me feel – a kid who had driven hundreds of miles to race, only to have the national hero shake his head.”  
Frankie looked me in the eye and asked “Where did you say you are from?”
“Boston.”
“Never heard of it,” he snapped.
(Photo from The Old Master: The Frankie Schneider Story, with Dennis Keenan)

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#2027  -  It was August 3, 1963, and former motorcycle champion Cal Lane has a big ol’ smile underneath that robustly fortified starter’s stand at Chemung (NY) Speedway. Cal recalls that he was particularly pleased because he was in the process of cleaning house – the heat, feature, and a match race – with his horned exhaust, slant-six dirt super. He had tough competition with the likes of Flyin’ Bryan Osgood, Dave Kneisel, and his arch rival, Earl Bodine. Earl was brother to Eli Bodine who owned and promoted the track – and was father to Geoff, Todd, and Brett. All three raced and motored far beyond the hills of upstate New York to the motorized world of NASCAR. (Cal Lane Collection)

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#2026  -  What can you possibly say? Don Freeland and Mike Nazaruk bring them down for the start of the 100-miler Champ Car race at Du Quoin Fairgrounds in 1953.  From FEARLESS: Dangerous Days in American Open Wheel Racing, by Gene Crucean.
(Bob Sheldon Photo)
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#2025  -  What a guy! Carl “Fuzzy” Van Horn, the late Modified standout from Harmony Township, NJ, sure was on the hammer. He was a steel worker who helped put up the beams on the World Trade Center. He did the same with the concrete and steel rod in the underground/solar home he built himself during the oil embargo. And two memories about his spectacular, but woefully underfinanced racing career: There was that autumn day in 1969 when he pulled into Reading, PA, for the Daniel Boone 200, only to be told he couldn’t run because of a safety violation. So he jumped back in the truck and hauled ass for 250 miles up to New York for the Lebanon Valley 200. He arrived just in time to pick up last in the consi, which he promptly won. He took the feature, too. That was pretty cool. But as cool as the rear bumper on his old Langhorne coupe above? (Mike Ritter Collection)
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#2024  -  “The Wood Brothers #21 Ford sits on pit road during the spring Talladega race week with Dale Jarrett at the wheel. Neil Bonnett, who had to give up the ride when he was injured at Darlington in April, made his trackside return at Talladega. Greeting him was Bobby Allison, who suffered near-fatal head injuries two years earlier. Bonnett broke the ice in the press conference when he described his first conversation with Allison. ‘Me and Bobby were sitting there on the couch,’ said Bonnett. ‘Between Bobby trying to say what he was thinking and me trying to remember what he was saying, it was a helluva conversation.’” Photo and caption from NASCAR: The Complete History, by Greg Fielden and The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.

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#2023A&B  -  Images from the big one – the fourth-lap crash off turn two at the sixth annual Super Series at Syracuse. Howie Cronce had spun and flipped, and along came the pack. In the top shot Glenn Fitzcharles, #43H, shot low for a hole and was tagged by Mike Granton. When it was over, cars and parts were strewn everywhere. In the second shot, Wayne Reutimann checked out his helmet in disbelief, next to his newly cageless convertible. Photos by David Wright from the 1979 GATER AUTO RACING YEARBOOK.
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#2022  -  AJ Foyt sure bolted on that look of commanding confidence when he wheeled his Ford-powered Dirt Champ Car in 1972. Despite a fuel spill at Du Quoin that ignited, causing him serious burns and a broken ankle, Foyt locked up the championship on September 9 at the Hoosier Hundred when he ran second to Al Unser. Photo from RACING PICTORIAL, Fall 1972
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#2021  -  That’s Nance employee Larry Foley displaying an aluminum Sprinter frame weighing 65 pounds. Can you imagine? Our buddy Shane Carson tells us it was a actually a four coil built for Pike’s Peak. He went on to say, though, that in 1975 Nance also built one for Fred Linder to drive. Then in 1976, Shane took it over for a race or two before it was outlawed. It now sits in Shane’s shop awaiting restoration. From RACING CARS: Spring 1980, Carl Hungness, Publisher
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#2020  -  COCKTAILS WITH HISTORY:  Daytona’s Streamline Hotel was opened in 1940, trumpeted as Daytona’s first fireproof hotel, and in 1947 served as the gathering place for the men who created NASCAR. The little rooftop bar and the deck that surrounded it was the site of the famed photos of the 24 who participated in the meetings. After falling into disrepair and becoming a youth hostel, in 2014 it was sold to Eddie Hennessy for $950,000. Six million dollars and three years later, it re-opened as a magnificent restoration of the original with new plumbing, furniture, wiring, paint…everything. You can relive history riding the elevator whose walls are completely covered with early racing photos. Have a drink at that famous rooftop bar, then go outside on the deck and see Beachside Daytona standing where Bill France Sr. once stood.  The Streamline has become the top destination for many racers and race fans as a place to stay, enjoy a meal in the restaurant, or just to look at the pictures from racing’s past on the walls. (Photo and caption by Dick Berggren)
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#2019  -  It does seem that early on, corporate advertisers and racing were somewhat awkward bedfellows. In this ad from the program from the 34th Indy 500, Filter Queen marketeers may have stretched the usefulness of their vacuums, suggesting applications from shampooing rugs to hair drying to eliminating the dust on the straightaway there at the Brickyard.  From INDIANAPOLIS 500 OFFICIAL PROGRAM, May 30, 1950.
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#2018  -  Some photos come from the heart – this one comes from my back. It still hurts on rainy days, 56 winters later. It was my fourth race, this one at a weekend show at the old Westboro, MA, Speedway.  I had already flipped that #181 bomber there at a weeknight show and did the deed again on the weekend, shown above. Good thing the number was the same upside down.  (Bill Balser Photo, Coastal 181 Collection)
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#2017  -  The Toyota Pro/Celebrity 10-lap race was run from the mid-1970s until 2016 as part of the Grand Prix weekend in Long Beach. When speaking about female competitors in the event, Fast Lane instructor Jim Bishop has a simple explanation for their success. “The ladies listen to instructions. Men have a tendency to project the macho thing; ‘I am a man, therefore I drive.’ Personally, I would rather teach the ladies. To begin with, most are in a place that is not comfortable for them so they pay attention and do what needs to be done. One year I had a group of ladies including Queen Latifah, Catherine Bell, and Cameron Diaz running in the celebrity group. All three of my students were the top qualifiers for the 1998 race. Queen Latifah could have won it, except she got bumped and spun going into a corner. Cameron Diaz, as I remember, was just plain fast. She was a natural.”  Pictured above (L to R) are 1976 race participants Bobbie Cooper, Janet Guthrie, and Mary McGee.  Quote and photos from PROFESSOR SPEED: Danny McKeever and the Mind Game of Going Fast, by Tom Madigan with Andrew Layton. (Tom Madigan Collection)
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#2016  -  “Famous for their quick response, the safety crew at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has become the gold standard by which other tracks measure the performance of their own emergency crews. During the early laps of the 1971 Indy 500, Steve Krisiloff blew the engine in his STP Special and oiled the track. Mel Kenyon then lost it and spun to a stop against the third-turn wall. On the scene almost immediately, two firemen, extinguishers in hand, prepared to serve. However, the accident continued to unfold with near tragic consequences. Fast approaching Gordon Johncock failed to see the yellow light, lost control and spun. John Mahoney’s iconic image, which was distributed globally by United Press International, records an on-rushing Johncock blasting into Kenyon’s static car, as the two firemen brace themselves for tragedy. Mario Andretti, seen in the foreground, also lost control and spun down the short chute. Pure good luck prevailed, however, and no one was injured.” Quote and Photo from FEARLESS: Dangerous Days in American Open Wheel Racing, by Gene Crucean (John Mahoney Photo)
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#2015  -  L-R: Bud Moore, Parnelli Jones, George Follmer and two welcome additions to Victory Lane. Parnelli: “In my opinion, the 1970 Trans-Am Series was the best of all because every factory had a team and had the best drivers available. Penske went from Camaro to the Javelin program with Donohue and Revson. They were really tough. Jim Hall took over the Camaro effort and he was no pushover. Gurney ran for Chrysler and teamed up with Swede Savage. Sam Posey was in a Dodge. We were lucky to have Bud Moore building our cars.”  Photo and Quote from FOLLMER: American Wheel Man, by Tom Madigan. (Follmer Collection)
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#2014  -  Good guy upstate New York racing historian Jeff Ackerman sent us this image of Nolan Swift pulling into the pits at Brewerton Speedway in 1953 with his Ten Pins Coupe. Jeff says, "Swift had ten miniature bowling pins he would light up when he took the lead. But, over at Oswego Speedway, he had some competition. Both Irish Jack Murphy and Eddie Bellinger tried to turn his light out and turn on themselves." (Lynchmob Racing Images, Jeff Ackerman Collection)
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#2013  - Two great dirt slingers battled it out a decade ago on concrete for a qualifying win. That's Smoke in the Black Deuce Midget dueling with Dave Darland, the one and only People's Champ, in 2007 at the Rumble Series on the 1/7th-mile oval inside the Memorial Stadium in Ft. Wayne.  (Photo by Mike Feltenberger)
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#2012
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#2011  -  Writing the book CAGES ARE FOR MONKEYS: Unleashed with Kevin Olson, Racing Zaniest Hall of Famer with Kevin Olson was some kind of experience. Kevin, who really is unleashed, prides himself on his zaniness, but when he wants to get something done, he sure is determined. His purpose in life was to become a great Midget driver – and, several years back when a group on the Internet collaborated to list the 50 greatest Midget drivers in the world, Kevin’s was the very first name put up. He had always been a huge Muhammad Ali fan, so one day he hopped into his Ranchero, drove over to Ali’s estate in Louisville, and pushed the buzzer at the gate. Amazingly, he was able to talk his way in, and, somewhat less amazingly, the two were great friends by the end of the day. Progress on our book stopped for Kevin’s attendance at Ali’s funeral in June of 2016. (KO Collection Photo)
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#2010  -  “Butch Lindley’s last tragic ride came at Florida’s DeSoto Speedway, April 13, 1985. The top-flight race driver was very likeable and extremely popular. Even today his fans and insiders bring up his name and speak of his accomplishments. His car had a strong cage which endured the collision, but Lindley sustained severe injuries which led to the coma he never came out of. This shot was at DeSoto in 1980.” Note: Lindley finally passed away in an assisted living facility on June 6, 1990. Quote and Photo from FLORIDA MOTORSPORTS RETROSPECTIVE PICTORIAL, by Eddie Roche. (Bobby 5x5 Day Photo)
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#2009  -  On Sunday April 7, 1946 the BCRA Midgeteers assembled at Bonelli Stadium in Saugus, CA, for the Red Circuit opener. Everyone was still revved to get back to racing after the war and the shortened 1945 season that followed. Don Cameron may have gone a tad overboard. He is shown here on his way after tangling with Dean Meltzer in the semi. Meltzer wound up in the second row of the stands, but no one was injured. From DISTANT THUNDER: When Midgets Were Mighty, by Dick Wallen. (Niday Collection)
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#2008  - The Living Legends of Auto Racing Banquet held on a Wednesday evening during Speedweeks in Daytona is quite the affair. Racing notables from across the country convene, and great racing tales are spun – sometimes with a tad of exaggeration – to an enormous and appreciative crowd. It’s curious how over the years, all of racing’s characters seem to come to know one another. Consider this amorous encounter between California’s Linda Vaughn, the First lady of American Motorsports, and perpetually naughty Bugsy Stevens, Massachusetts’ standout in the old time pavement Modifieds. Some things just never change. (Don White Photo)
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#2007  -  Joe Ruttman, Troy’s younger brother by 14 years, was quite the shoe in his own right. He had a long career with NASCAR, racking up 60 Cup top-tens, one Xfinity win, and 13 in the Craftsman Trucks. He’s shown here in JD Stacy’s #2 in 1981, a ride he took over when Dale Earnhardt left to join Childress. From GRAND NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING: The Other Side of the Fence, by Bob Jones, Jr. (Randy Hallman Photo)
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#2006  -  The world may be all right after all. This week we talked with Lynn "Preacher" Phillips, the passionate promoter of the Talladega Short Track in Alabama. He tells us that yes, Red Farmer is all psyched up, just now finishing up his ride for the 2018 season. That would be a Super Late Model, and Red is reportedly 87 years old. Warmups are scheduled for March 24. (Photo, Talladega Short Track)
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#2005  -  When we were working on our TOBY book last summer, the late Dick Tobias’ grandson, Paul Lotier Jr. told us that he was going to put together a USAC Sprint Car for Timmy Buckwalter. Timmy was both USAC SpeedSTR and 600 CC Micro Sprint Champ at Action Track USA in Kutztown, PA, in 2017. Along with Gene Franckowiak and Ray Nemith, Paul had the car ready by the fall. A previously unused 2002 Twister, the car is red #7, a design honoring Paul’s dad, Paul Lotier Sr. In their maiden voyage – to Fremont OH, just his first time in a Sprinter, Timmy was second to Thomas Meserault in the Buckeye Series main event. In Ocala, FL, last month, Timmy went wheel to wheel with USAC’s best, won a heat, and qualified for the main on each of the three nights. Keep an eye on this kid. He's gonna be fun to watch. (John DaDalt Photo)
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#2004  -  Taunton, Massachusetts, tucked up tight to the south of Boston, is not exactly dirt track territory. Just ask Mick D’Agostino. The industrious 22-year-old is a senior at Suffolk University, busily seeking an internship in finance. In his spare time he is finishing up his 600 Micro Sprint. He used to race in New England, but longed for dirt surfaces and bigger fields, more competition. He got what he asked for at Hamlin Speedway in Hamlin, PA, with its racy 20-23-car weekly fields. The guys at Hamlin got some competition, too. Even though it is over 300 miles away, Mick was 2016 track champ. He’ll be back again at Hamlin this year each Saturday. On the way, though, he will pass through Accord, NY, with a second car in his trailer – a North East Wingless Sprinter for Accord on Fridays. Mick says, “It can all be a drag, but, when you’re runnin’ good, it sure feels good. It’s especially tough for me to find sponsors, though, because I’m not exactly performing around the corner.” (Steve Pados Collection)
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#2003  -  Here’s what Dario Franchitti has to say about Emerson Fittipaldi: “The King of Sideburns! I’m not ashamed to say that after seeing a picture of Emerson from the 1970s, I went through a period of trying them myself to create a level of homage….In my mind there are three Emerson Fittipaldis. The first is the super-quick young FI driver who was World Champion aged 25, and followed it with another in 1974. The second is the struggling FI team owner, failing even to qualify, and retiring as a driver aged 33, just as I started karting. The third is the comeback kid. After four years of retirement and now aged 37 he joined the IndyCar Series. Two more championships and two Indy 500 wins quite rightly gave Emerson back the respect he lost with Copersucar. Finally, what is there to dislike about a man who has his own brand of cigars?” Quote and Photo from ROMANCE OF RACING, by Dario Franchitti, edited by Andy Hallbery. (Paul-Henri Cahier Photo)
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#2002  - Can you believe? One time Kenny Brightbill actually went too far – and our "Guy with the Hat" was right there to record it. It was a DIRT race pit stop at Susquehanna, PA, in 1996. The air hose came just a tad short of the left front. Kenny had to back up. Likely the knot didn't help either....(Photo by Frank Simek)
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#2001  -  Our friend John DaDalt is just back from Florida and sends along this neat shot from the USAC races at Ocala. John says the highlight of the week was seeing John Andretti, in the middle of recovery from nasty colon cancer, helping out his son Jarett. Here they are checking lap times during time trials. (John DaDalt Photo)
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