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Stories written by Bob_Gates

Ho-Pin Tung Chases Indy Milestone

Ho-Pin Tung is attempting to become the first Chinese driver to race in the Indianapolis 500. (IndyCar photo)

The magnitude of the Indianapolis 500 is such that it has spun off a series of milestone events that have captured the imagination of many. Whether they’re technically innovative, or simply appeal to pop culture, these “firsts” have long been a part of the aura of Indy

Early Days Racer Art Sparks

Art Sparks with Jimmy Snyder at Indianapolis in 1939. (IMS photo)

At 19 Art Sparks thought he had the world by the horns. He had 10 grand in his pocket, a 17-year-old bride, and was on a ship bound to the orient

Foyt Remained An Offy Loyalist Despite Chevy’s Horsepower

ONES: Parnelli Jones in his Chevy sprint car holds the high groove against A.J. Foyt’s Offy at Indiana’s Salem Speedway. (Bob Gates Collection Photo)

Reams have been written about A.J. Foyt’s phenomenal racing success. His expertise, talent and accomplishments have been extolled by many, known by legions.

French Showgirl Became A Popular Racing Driver

DRIVER’S SEAT: French driver Helle Nice behind the wheel of an early era racing car. (Bob Gates Collection Photo)

Born Mariette Helene Delangle in a small French village, she grew up disgruntled with the slow-paced French-country lifestyle. She wanted excitement, and, at 16, pursued that desire in Paris. Attractive, slim, athletic, she changed her name to Helle Nice and found fame as a model for “risqué” postcards, and as an exotic dancer.

West Coast Ace Veith Made 11 Indianapolis 500 Starts

IN THE HUNT: Bob Veith was a contender to win the 1958 Indianapolis 500. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo)

Bob Veith raced in 11 Indianapolis 500s. He never won, but that mattered little. Just competing in the 500 fulfilled his dreams and, he believed, defined him as a driver — and with good reason.

Armstrong Teens Climbing Motorsports Ladder

Armstrongs-Larrie-Ervin-Photo

With a new racing season looming, be prepared to hear a lot of the name Armstrong. Articulate, photogenic and young, the Armstrong boys represent everything desired in today’s sponsor-driven racing world.

Ruttman Stages Impressive Indianapolis Comeback

CLASSY WHEELMAN: Troy Ruttman, with team owner J.C. Agajanian in 1952, enjoyed another dazzling Indy run in 1954. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo)

Three months after Troy Ruttman took the 1952 Indianapolis 500 as the youngest winner in the iconic track’s history, he severely injured his right arm in a freak sprint-car accident at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Traco Engineering Shop Was ‘Organized Confusion’

PROVEN WINNER: A.J. Foyt navigates the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in his Traco Special sprint car. (Bob Gates Photo Collection Photo)

There was a time when a small, brick-front building in an industrial section of L.A., lodged between Helen’s Café and Jim Narin’s Machine Shop, housed the most important race shop in America.

Eleanor’s Dance

DEDICATION: Eleanor Vogler (second from left) presents Tracy Hines with a plaque after winning last season's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series Rich Vogler Classic at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. (John Mahoney Photo)

The Rich Vogler Scholarship Fund, now in its 21st year, has provided $350,000 to more than 300 deserving kids from racing families. They’ve been children of officials, mechanics and others connected with racing, and the recipients include Sarah Fisher and Ryan Newman.

Rindt’s Career Cut Short By Fatal Monza Crash

Jochen Rindt catches some air aboard a Team Lotus Formula One entry. (Bob Gates Photo Collection Photo)

Jochen Rindt’s magnetic charisma and his fearless, passionate, win-or-leave-it-all-on-the-mat style captured the imagination of the media, the fans and his peers alike.

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