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#3554  -  That's Esther Vukovich celebrating aside her husbands winning car at Indy in 1955. She told the media, "I’ve got a bull of a man, haven't I?" Bill almost seemed to agree when he commented, "I've met every piece of dust and every flying rock on the hamburger trail from Fresno to San Diego. I know every brand of oil just from the taste. Quotes and photo from VUKOVICH: The Man Who Wouldn’t Lift, by Angelo Angelopoulos
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#3553  -  Multi-talented wheelman Travis Pastrana took to the New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2010 for a Combo Surface Rally. Half of the track was dirt and the other half was asphalt. Travis was collected in an earlier incident that resulted in a right-rear tire rub. Being the competitor that he is, he continued to mash the gas of his Subaru and soldiered on for a top-5 finish. After the event was over, he loaded up his race car, pulled the rig to the fan parking area and signed autographs for about an hour. (Mike Feltenberger Photo)
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#3552  -  Nope. It wasn’t something Lenny Boehler kept hidden under a canvas in his garage down near Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It's the Deidt/Offenhauser that Mauri Rose wheeled to victory at the Brickyard in 1947. Photo from EPIC DRAMA: The Winning Collection of the IMS Museum

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#3551  -  Quite unusually and sportingly, John Kozak began racing those unruly 1970s-era Modifieds at Reading, PA, Fairgrounds, having never been out of the grandstands before. Then, while beginning to crew for Kenny Brightbill, he cobbled together a sedan of his own. Four seasons later he bought Brightbill's famous Pinto, renumbered it 31, and raced up in the standings, winning the Kennedy Memorial in '78 by defeating Brightbill. Between the two drivers, the car won more than any other in Reading history. (Photo from READING FAIRGROUNDS MODIFIED MEMORIES, Vince Vicari Editor.)
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WD-3550  -  Ted Field, with Bill Whittington relieving, swept the six-hour Times/Toyota Grand Prix of Endurance at California’s Riverside Raceway on April 25, 1982. It was a surprising finish, given the start. Right at the green, John Paul Jr. gassed it, scattering the lineup. Field took a enforced detour through the gravel and had to pit to remove some of it from his throttle linkage. He rejoined the field a lap down just three laps into the race, He sliced through the field and won it in this amazing-looking Lola. (Photo from RIVERSIDE RACEWAY: Palace of Speed, by Dick Wallen. Frank Mormillo Photo)

#3549  -  Earnhardt was Earnhardt personified at Charlotte on May 30, 1993. He was going to win and beware any obstacles that might appear along the way. One was Greg Sacks, who was suddenly redirected into the wall, across the track, and into the infield. Earnhardt's remarkable recollection post-event was: "I was close, but I didn't hit him. Maybe our bumpers touched, or I touched him a bit, but it wasn't like I rammed the hell out of him. I don't think I nudged him. (And then, with a smile): I might've been a-gin him." (Caption and Photo from DALE EARNHARDT: The Pass in the Grass, The Charlotte Observer.)
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#3548  -  Wally Dallenbach Jr. left his home in Basalt, Colorado, after school to embark on an successful, multidisciplined professional career in motorsports. He apparently liked going back home when he could. Here he was looking very racy in a hill climb car at Pike's Peak. (From WALLY DALLENBACH: Steward of the Sport, by Gordon Kirby.)
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#3547  -  Early Chicago racer Cliff Woodbury was in the chips in the 1920s, doing so well he landed the seat in the Boyle Valve Special. The team was looking pretty uptown when they pulled into Rockingham, New Hampshire's scary board track in October of 1928 and dominated the show. But by the next year, it was a different story. Woodbury started on the pole of the Indy 500 but crashed out after just three laps. On the 29th of October, 1929, the whole country crashed. (From HARD DRIVING MEN: Images of Speed 1895-1960, by Dick Wallen. Dick Wallen Collection)
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#3546  -  Richard Petty's #43 Pontiac erupts in flames following a crash on the 95th lap of the 1992 Hooters 500 in Atlanta. The King of NASCAR was competing in his 1184th and final NASCAR Winston Cup event. He got mixed up in an accident while trying to miss several spinning cars. "It broke the oil line and got on the headers," explained Petty. "It caught fire. I figured I better find me a fire truck, so I drove around the track until I could find one." Petty got back in the race and finished 39th in a field of 41. (Caption and Photo from NASCAR: The Complete History, by Greg Fielden)
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#3545  - Early in the 2000s, Doug Wolfgang and aging Frankie Schnieder came to the Coastal 181 booth at Lenny Sammons's Motorsports Show to sign books and were pleased to meet one another. Everyone had a fine time, especially Frankie. As you can see, he was also pleased that the purveyor of adult beverages was right nearby. Late in the afternoon his daughter came by and said, "It's time to hit the road, Dad." Frankie’s response: "I think you're right. Run right along and I'll see you later." (From FRANKIE SCHNEIDER, The Old Master, by Dennis Keenan.)
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#3544  -  On a magic night Brad Doty, previously paralyzed in a grueling Sprint Car crash, returned to Eldora to pace the feature field of the 1998 King's Royal. (The car had a Honda four-wheeler hand-throttle setup). "As the truck pushed me away, everyone along the pit lane was giving me the thumbs up. As I drove around the track, people came to the fence and were waving, pressing against the fencing as if they were trying to touch me as I rolled by. Although thousands of people were waving at me, and maybe a million more were watching on television, at that moment I was all alone. It was me and the race car, alone on Eldora's steep banks. As I went through turn two, my mind flashed back 10 years to a night that shaped the lives of many people. A night that took me several years to fully deal with. In a way this moment was the closure I had been looking for. As that concrete wall swept past I felt a renewed sense of purpose, a euphoria I thought I had forgotten. For ten long years the dragon had trailed me, trying to steal my hopes, my dreams, my life. But now the dragon was dead, forever silenced and out of my heart." (Caption and Photo from STILL WIDE OPEN, by Brad Doty with Dave Argabright.)
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#3543  -  That's Ray Evernham, with his most careful touch, tuning recent bride Erin Crocker's 410 at Knoxville in 2010. Later that year, they both pulled into a 360 Sprint Car race in North Carolina. He recalls, "t was the only time Erin and I got to race together which was really cool. Even cooler was Erin won the race and I finished sixth. What wasn't so cool was on the last lap Erin was lapping me as she passed the start-finish line; she says she was giving me extra room, and I say she was waving at me. Either way, she hit the wall and her car tumbled into the air and out of the speedway. The racing headlines said 'Husband and Wife Crash at Start-Finish Line. Wife Wins.' We laugh about it now, but it wasn't very funny then." (Photo and Caption from RAY EVERNHAM: Trophies and Scars, by Ray Evernham with Joe Garner)
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#3542  -  Mission Bell 200 Trans-Am event, Riverside, 1970: "In a race Parnelli Jones regards as 'my best drive ever,' he clawed his way back through the field to victory. Fans and drivers alike recall the spectacular sight of Jones drifting through Riverside’s famous esses, clipping apexes at every turn, and intentionally striking the curbing to bounce his Boss 302 onto its outside wheels to turn it in for high-speed corners. Here Jones (15) prepares to pass Gurney (48). It was the last time either driver would race against each other." From TRANS-AM: The Golden Years in Photographs 1966-1972, by Daniel Lipetz.
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#3541  -  Herman Beam was another kind of smoke. The quiet engineer from Johnson City, TN, earned the nickname "Turtle" by going slowly in his early Grand National car. He attracted considerable attention at the 1960 Daytona 500 when he was black-flagged after eight laps for forgetting to don his helmet. Then, from 1961 and 1963 he set a remarkable record. He entered 86 races and finished every one of them. It ended on March 17, 1963, when he blew his clutch at the Atlanta 500. A HISTORY OF EAST TENNESSEE AUTO RACING, by David McGee. (Carl Moore Photo)
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#3540  -  "Boston Louie Seymour towed Sprint Cars from his home in Marlboro, MA, all over the country to compete in what was then USAC's Thunder and Lightning division. In one ten-year period he racked up a million miles pulling those cars. But Boston, (center) also competed in USAC's Silver Crown Series, where in 1976 with his sons Mike (left), Bobby (right) and driver Billy Cassella the family won the championship. This photo was taken at the final race of the series, Syracuse in October, on the day they earned the title. Caption from A HISTORY OF AUTO RACING IN NEW ENGLAND: A Project of the Northeast Racing Museum. (Dick Berggren Photo).
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#3539  - Tough guy! "Dale Earnhardt had a pretty hairy wreck in the Bud Moore Wranglers Ford at Pocono in 1982. Tim Richmond was also involved. Dale is sitting on the track, off to the left." From FLORIDA MOTORSPORTS RETROSPECTIVE PICTORIAL, by Eddie Roche. (Roche Collection)
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#3538  -  On June 27, 1938, at the Iowa State Fair, Emory Collins showed a bit of wear sitting in his Offy/Miller Sprinter after winning a battle royale with Gus Schrader. Congratulating him in Victory Lane were Barney Oldfield and announcer Ronald Reagan. From SAFE AT ANY SPEED: The Great Double Career of Joie Chitwood, by Jim Russell and Ed Watson.
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#3537  -  In what might well be the best of all his terrific books, Bones Bourcier does a deep dive into the souls of FOYT, ANDRETTI, and PETTY, America’s Racing Trinity. He captions this image, “Few drivers have ever played hurt as often as NASCAR’s King.”
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#3536  -  In his rigorously researched book THE LAST LAP, author William Walker investigates the deaths of driver Pete Kreis and riding mechanic Bob Hahn at the Indy 500 in 1934. Considered to be one of the strangest incidents in racing history, there were no skid marks leading up to the wall, no signs whatsoever of any kind of mechanical failure after very thorough analysis. The whole issue remains unresolved, with a dark, lingering thought in the background - might this have been a suicide? From THE LAST LAP, by William Walker. (IMS Photo)
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#3535  -  "Quick Nick" Rescino was unquestionably among California's greatest. Shown here at San Jose Speedway in the mid-'70s in an asphalt Super, he won with everything he drove. Especially remarkable was when, wheeling a Supermodified, he whupped the World of Outlaws travelers at their own game. Over the years he racked up over 200 fast times. (Dennis Mattish Photo, from Sea to Shining Sea, by Ken Clapp)
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#3534  -  San Diego's Cole Whitt was in the karts when Team Red Bull took notice of him, putting him in Sprinters in 2004. He moved to Indiana, traveling the country with his helmet. On June 8, 2008, he pulled into Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pennsylvania. As pictured in victory lane at age 17 with Dave Darland and Levi Jones, he knocked off the feature, becoming one of USAC’s youngest winners. He was on his way to NASCAR. (Mike Feltenberger Photo)
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#3533 - It was 30 years ago, before taking out the leader became commonplace...."Dale Earnhardt celebrates in Victory Lane after bumping Terry Labonte late in the race to win the 1999 Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The move was virtually a repeat of what Earnhardt had done to "rattle his cage" and beat Labonte in the 1995 Goody's 500. Earnhardt was booed heartily by fans in the stands for one of the few times in his long NASCAR career." From NASCAR 75 YEARS, by Kelly Crandall, Jimmy Creed, Mike Hembre and Al Pearce.
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#3532  -  It may have been ten years ago, but he was red hot already. Rico Abreu winning the inaugural Tribute to Gary Patterson, a Civil War Series race at Stockton, CA, in 2014. From GUIDE TO NORTHERN AND CENTRAL CALIFORNOIA RACEWAYS, by Saroyan Humphrey. (Humphrey Photo)
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#3531  -  On July 13, 1974, NASCAR's Grand National West pulled into Eugene, Oregon, for a 100-lapper on the 3.8-mile pavement. Red hot Jack McCoy was fast qualifier and swept the main. He recalls, "When you're right, you're right....And we used an air shock-a dummy with no valving but with the inflatable feature in place to raise the rear of the car to meet NASCAR's minimum roof-height standard. After going through inspection, we 'adjusted' the relief valve that lets the air out of the unit near the driver's seat, restoring the ride height we desired. On this hot evening I forgot to release the pressure on my qualifying run, but still set fast time. Was a crazy lap with all that weight jacked into the car." From RACING"S REAL McCOY, by Jack McCoy. (McCoy Collection)
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#3530  -  Iowa native Tiny Lund sure got it done fishing. He had a popular freshwater camp down in the low country of South Carolina, and he himself pulled in a 55-pound striped bass, a recordholder for 30 years. But with NASCAR Cup racing, he had but one superspeedway win, the '63 Daytona 500 in the Wood Bros #21. He was replacing their driver, Marvin Panch, who had been burned earlier in the week in a non-Cup event and Tiny had pulled him out of the wreckage. Over the subsequent years Tiny's real success came on the short tracks where he won big time. Nonetheless, he did decide to take a one-off Cup ride at Talladega in 1975, getting into the show after first alternate Grant Maddox dropped out. Tiny went only six laps before a huge backstretch melee claimed his life. He was 45, leaving his wife Wanda and son Christopher. (Photo from NASCAR The Complete History, by Greg Fielden)
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#3529 Gutsy Ricky Wright was a winning Big Block Modified driver in the 1980s and '90s at Lebanon Valley, New York. It's an intimidating high-banked half mile, not a good place to have brake problems...One night he was hit hard from behind in traffic. The belly pan beneath the driver folded up from the rear, breaking Ricky's foot badly. As he was taken off to the hospital, the medics wanted to prepare him for arrival by cutting off his fire suit. Painful though the injury may have been, the loss of an expensive fire suit would be even worse. He made them wrestle it off whatever the consequence. Two years later, Ricky was riding a motorcycle right next to the track and he crashed. He hurt his leg again, this time really dramatically, with a femur penetrating his blue jeans. He made no complaints about any treatment of his outerwear when the helicopter came to take him for a ride. Maybe motorcycles are too dangerous for Big Block Modified drivers." From
MODIFIEDS OF THE VALLEY: A History of Modified Racing at Lebanon Valley Speedway, by Lew Boyd. (Mark Brown Photo)
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#3528  -  Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and Ed Pink occasionally clashed, but, boy, did they win drag races. From Ed Pink: The Old Master, by Ed Pink with Bones Bourcier. (Ed Pink Collection)
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#3527  -  In 2010 a record was established as four women qualified for the [Indy] 500. Danica Patrick (top) finished sixth while Simona Silvestra (2nd) was 14th and honored as the top rookie. Ana Beatriz (3rd) and Sarah Fisher (bottom) were both eliminated in accidents. Caption and photos from 500 on the (Indy) 500: Tales, Facts, and Figures on the Greatest Race in the World, by Rick Shaffer. (Simona, IMS Archive; balance, Dan Boyd)
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#3526  -  In 1963 Curtis Turner told Smokey Yunick that he was determined to run at the Brickyard. Yunick dusted off a car he called "the Python," and off they went. There was just a wee bit of women-and-song out there in Indiana, and with two days to go, Yunick pointed out that they needed 3 mph more to even qualify. So Turner went for it big time – and got the third-turn wall. He subsequently apologized and suggested they restart the party. Yunick recalls that somehow, "We were in Vegas two days later finishing that up, and I go back to Daytona with the remains in about a week. I think the Python was cremated. Its remains went to Japan and came back as a Honda motorcycle (probably two of them). We did extinguish any burning desire Curtis had to conquer Indy." From THE BEST DAMN GARAGE IN TOWN, by Smokey Yunick.
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#3525  -  With its twin tubular-steel side members joined by perforated webs, the Kurtis Kraft 2000 chassis was suitable for both dirt tracks and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was sprung by torsion bars. From INDY CARS OF THE 1950s, Ludvigsen Library Series.
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#3524  -   While it first appears that Holly Shelton has found a new way to pass POWRi Midget Series competitor Max Guilford by flying over the top of him, unfortunately for Holly, it's the beginning of a series of flips in between the first and second corners at the Belle-Clair Speedway, Belleville, Illinois, in 2018 at a POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League event. Holly suffered no injuries. Unfortunately Belle-Clair, a neat little track with that distinctive wooden fence, closed a couple of seasons back. (Photo and caption by Don Figler.)
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#3523  -  Former dirt track racer, ARCA star, multi-class NASCAR driver, and race director at Penn National Speedway, Lebanon, Pennsylvania's Bobby Gerhart Jr. was tabbed to qualify the Roush Racing #99 at Pocono in 2005 while regular driver Carl Edwards was in Colorado running the Salute to the Troops 250 at Pikes Peak International Speedway. Edwards finished fourth after starting 41st in the 43-car field. (Mike Feltenberger Photo)
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#3522  - The diminutive, star-crossed Cheryl Glass (#28) races to the outside of Lealand McSpadden at San Jose Speedway in 1981. "It takes a lot of me to run a night of practice, qualifying, heat races, and a sprint car main event," sprint car driver Tim Green said, "and I’m over six feet and 200 pounds. Then I look at this little, very lady-like woman, who drives a lot faster and smoother than some top male drivers, and I’m a little lost for words." From THE FIRST LADY OF DIRT: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Racing Pioneer Cheryl Glass, by Bill Poehler. (Shirley Glass Collection)
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#3521  -  In his brand new book, Lynn Paxton recalls a memorable 1968, both on the track with a new car as well as an unexpected encounter at the concessions stand. "This is 'the ‘Bathtub' at speed at the Grove, October 6, 1968. The car brought sixteen feature wins. Always at a disadvantage against the high-priced, custom-built sprinters, the Kenny Weld-built car with Paxton as the driver held its own to say the least. It was a tough machine, always taking abuse and coming back for more. Paxton flipped it five times that year." And then there was Barbara Deardorff. Barb's mom would make the introduction happen at the refreshment stand at Susquehanna where Barb was working. Barb says, "I thought he was a real geek." They married in 1972. From LYNN PAXTON: My Way, by Don Robinson. (Kings Photo)
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#3520  -  She's the voice that smiles when you call customer service at Speedway Illustrated magazine. Christine Worthington was also winner of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association's President’s award last month. She surely deserved it. She helps keep the publication timely and lively, with contributors countrywide focused on the goal of helping folks race "Faster, Safer, Wiser." But of all her talents, the one most relied upon is keeping the ground wires tight on her husband, Karl Fredrickson, the magazine's highly charged founder and mayordomo. (Speedway Illustrated Photo)
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#3519  -  Oh my! Robert Ballou at Ocala on February 16, 2024. (Photo John DaDalt, master lensman from the Nutmeg state)
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#3518  -  Even back when racing, Jeff Gordon has passionately supported pediatric-cancer research. Working with the Clinton Global Initiative and Paul Farmer's Partners in Health, he's supported the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda. He is shown with his wife, Ingrid, visiting with kids near the Center. From JEFF GORDON: HIs Dream, Drive, & Destiny, by Joe Garner
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#3517 Check out the faces. From Don Figler's MIDGET RACING CALENDAR 2024.
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#3516  -  Gutsy Ralph Liguori in Andy Granatelli's Novi at Indy in 1961, prepping for some practice. After a few refresher laps, Ralph went to pick up some speed, and the engine exploded, distributing hundreds of parts and pieces with the car sliding down the backstretch and pounding the wall. With blood-soaked gauze on his face and neck from burns, he hopped off his cot in the infield care center and announced he was ready to go again. But he never had the chance to try to qualify, losing his shot at a front-row start and possible track record, He lamented, "That was a low point in my career because I thought I had it made." Quote and Photo from RACERS IN THE SUN: The Story of Florida's Sprint Car Legends, by Richard Golardi. (IMS Photo)
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#3515  - A white sport coat and a pink carnation. Who would have known this 1950s high-schooler at graduation in the San Francisco Bay area was already a professional motorcycle racer performing on AMA.s half-and mile ovals on the West Coast Flat Track circuit? His name was Jan Opperman. From Dialed In: The Jan Opperman Story, by Jon Sawyer. (Opperman Collection)
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#3514  -  World of Outlaw Late Models are enormously popular and this photo shows why. When the race looks as if fans could drive the cars, it's not as good as when the cars look really hard to drive. Outlaw Late Models are set up to hike the left front wheel up in the corners, while the left side of the car's rear end moves forward 6-8 inches. Called "roll steer," that shift forward of the left rear axle has a lot to do with the incredible speed these cars achieve in the dirt track's corners. This photo was taken of Ricky Thornton at Barberville, Florida's Volusia Speedway Park on a night that preceded the 2024 Daytona 500. Think you could drive wide open through a dirt track corner in a car that's this out of shape? (Caption and Photo by Dick Berggren)
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#3513  -  Donnie Beechler #14 had a rough landing exiting the fourth turn during the running of the Tony Bettenhausen 100-mile event in 2011 at the Springfield Illinois State Fair. That's Dave Darland, #56 pointing in the wrong direction. Also involved were Randy Bateman and Darren Hagar. No injuries. Bryan Tyler won the race after starting in the 14th position. (From our photographer friend Don Figler)
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#3512  -  "In 1942 leading race sanctioning group, the American Automobile Association (AAA), voted to wait until after the war was over before they would sanction again. To a degree the Central States Racing Association (CSRA) bridged the gap. Joie Chitwood edged out hot shots Tommy Hinnershitz and Dave Randolph at Batavia, NY, just before a national racing wartime ban was instituted on August 1, 1942." From DAREDEVILS OF THE FRONTIER, by Keith S. Herbst. (EMMR Collection)
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#3511  -  In Tulsa in 1973, "John Wiebe qualified number-one in the 32-car Top Fuel field with a 6.119 ET at 229 mph...Wiebe's weekend came to a quick end, as did that of 17th-qualifier Jeb Allen when the pair tangled in the first round. Wiebe's Ed Mabry-chassis car shook bad and took a hard turn into Allen, destroying both cars. Allen received burns in his face and hands, while Wiebe suffered a broken leg and ankle after riding the guardrail.” From DRAG RACING'S REBELS: How the AHRA Changed Quarter-mile Competition, by Doug Boyce. (Don Gillespie Photo)
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#3510  -  In 1981 Billy Pauch did something a little different. He accepted a ride up north on Friday nights, running the Ripley and Harbinger #24S Modified at Albany-Saratoga. He recalls, "We were running against Jack Johnson, C.D., Dave Lape, Chuck Ely, Butch Jelley - it was a pretty good field there. I drove all year for the 24S guys and never won a race for them. But it was still a good memory. That was a lot of fun. Get up there to race, then go to the bars - they didn't close until four in the morning. Sleep 'til noon. Then stagger back to Flemington and win about ten straight." From THE LAST COWBOY: The Life and Times of Billy Pauch, by Buffy Swanson. (Mike Feltenberger Photo)
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#3509  -  On January 27 and 28, 2024, the 62nd Rolex 24-hour race ran at the Daytona International Speedway 3.56-mile road course. Four divisions, each running together on the track at the same time, produced profoundly varied speeds, some over 200 MPH, and heart-pounding closing rates. The top divisions were as exotic as today's Indy cars. Cars had three or four drivers that shuffled in and out of the driver's seat during pit stops. The infield area not used for racing was filled with fans who visited the many displays (including historic Rolex cars) and rode on the full-size Ferris wheel. Most tickets allowed access to the stadium seats, fan zone and the garage. At the end, two cars in the top division were within one second of each other after 24-hours. The Roger Penske Porsche won with drivers (Indy 500 winner) Josef Newgarden, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell and Dane Cameron. The Whelen Engineering Cadillac shown here finished second. (Photo and caption by Dick Berggren)
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#3508  -  The kids were coming. Sixteen winters back, USAC Sprint Car Rookie of the Year, Chad Boat, age 16, waltzed the Billy Boat #30 to the youngest-ever race win at Hagerstown, MD. From MODERN THUNDER: The Illustrated History of USAC National Sprint Car Racing 1981-2019, by Dave Argabright, John Mahoney, Patrick Sullivan. (John Mahoney Photo)
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#3507  -  When Maine's Unity Raceway was reopened recently, it was met with great enthusiasm. Lots of fans showed up, especially when the SCONE Sprint cars were in town. At the same time some neat stuff appeared from out of the woods – and the past. How about this '40s truck cab on a narrowed truck frame from the early '60s? The Cutdown era had to be one of the coolest and most creative eras in American oval-track racing. In Maine, they ran at places like Unity, Exeter, Ellsworth, and Cherryfield before being largely replaced by Late Models. This one was driven by Keith Fuller, up-and-coming when he was killed in a highway crash in 1968. (Unity Raceway Photo)
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#3506  -  Wow. Practicing for the 1977 Gran Premio de la Argentina, Mario Andretti was rocketing by the pit area at 160mph in his Lotus when the fire bottle exploded. His visor was covered with oil, but he managed to ease it through an approaching turn and pull off. The car was a mess. Mario suffered only some bruising when the front bulkhead was blown back. From AUTOCOURSE 1977-78, Mike Kettlewell Editor
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#3505  -  It was 1990. "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 to 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.' Bonnett then told reporters he would not attempt to compete in NASCAR Winston Cup racing again in 1990." Quote and photo from NASCAR: The Complete History, by Greg Fielden.
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#3504  -  Geoff Bodine posts this eerie photo of the aftermath of his grisly Daytona truck crash in 2000. His caption reads, "Look closely, and you’ll see God's angels protecting me." From ALL OF IT: Daytona 500 Champion Tells the Rest of the Story, by Geoff Bodine and Dominic Aragon. (Bodine Collection)
Our Webmaster, Norm Marx, was on the scene and his dramatic photo shows the violence of the incident. (Norm Marx Photo)
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#3503  -  Herbert Estes (nicknamed "Tootle" by an aunt because he was too little to be a Herbert) was a terror in the mountain of North Carolina, Northern Georgia, and Tennessee, whether hauling 'shine or grabbing checkers. One season he reportedly won 85 of 104 features. Some say he compiled a career total of 1500. One thing's for sure: He counted money not trophies. He won 17 in a row at Greenwood, Speedway in South Carolina, receiving the same trophy each week, promptly selling it back to the promoter. He passed away of a heart attack in 1982, on his way home from Bull's Gap, Tennessee, and a feature win at Volunteer Speedway. (Chris Corum Collection)
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#3502  -  Starting lineup: The Brickyard 1959. From MY HERO, MY FRIEND: Jimmy Bryan, by Len Gasper and Phil Sampaio. (Photo Courtesy IMS)
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#3501  -  Rhythm Inn Speedway in Millers Falls, Massachusetts, was a high-funk 1/3-mile, one of the many that operated for a short while in the 1950s. Rene Charland was track champ in ’54 and ’55 and, like so many of his compatriots, he responded to money, race cars and the ladies - in varying order. The speedway was connected to a sister business, a club also curiously named Rhythm Inn. That made for an inventive business model. Charland often complained, "They'd pay you for the races and take it all back at the barroom!" (Mike Ritter Collection)
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