Category archives for: Racing History

Looking Back – Feb. 23, 2011

PHOENIX FLIERS: Fans in temporary grandstands watch the field file past during the 1990 United States Grand Prix Formula One race held on the streets of Phoenix. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Lee Petty won the 150-mile Cannonball Division race for compact stock cars Sunday at Daytona Int’l Speedway. The former hog farmer from Randleman, N.C., averaged 83.564 mph over a tricky 3.1-mile course. Petty’s Plymouth Valiant was 44 seconds ahead of “Fireball” Roberts’s Pontiac Tempest at the checkered flag.

Hamilton Drove Petty Car To Surprising Daytona Victory

IN THE BIRD: Pete Hamilton in his Petty Enterprises Plymouth Superbird during the 1970 season. (Racing One Photo)

The winner of the 12th running of the Daytona 500, which took place Feb. 22, 1970, at Daytona Int’l Speedway, was a driver few could have predicted.

Looking Back – Feb. 16, 2011

TEAM STRONG: Richard Petty (43) leads Petty Enterprises teammate Pete Hamilton during the July 1970 NASCAR weekend at Daytona Int’l Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Bob DeJong and Dean Holden won the 30-lap features as the indoor midget season concluded with two nights of racing at California’s Oakland Exposition Building. Tommy Copp finished fifth in the Saturday finale to claim the Pacific Coast Indoor Racing Championship. Copp, who won the 1959 title, edged Johnny Baldwin by 17 points.

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.

Looking Back – Feb. 9, 2011

TRICKY DICK: Dick Trickle shows off his state-of-the-art transporter and late-model stock car during the 1973 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Paul Goldsmith celebrated his escape from blizzard-bound St. Clair Shores, Mich., by wheeling a Pontiac to victory in the opening USAC stock-car race of the season on the one-mile dirt oval at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. Jim Rostek challenged Goldsmith, but finished second with Elmer Musgrave third.

Different Lengths Led To Eventual 24-Hour Battle

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The Rolex 24 at Daytona has long been an island of stability on the often turbulent sports-car racing scene. The Rolex sponsorship has been in place for 20 years. There have been rule changes from GTP coupes to open-cockpit World Sports Cars to the current Daytona Protoypes.

Looking Back – Feb. 2, 2011

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Feuding between USAC and NASCAR is erupting again, this time over a USAC ban on Indianapolis 500 race drivers competing in the internationally sanctioned stock-car race at Daytona Int’l Speedway Feb. 26. USAC’s refusal to allow its members to participate resulted in a protest to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile by Bill France, the Daytona promoter and head of NASCAR.

Speed Hinkley Made Mark In Early Days Dirt Racing

IN THE SEAT: California dirt-track driver Byron W. “Speed” Hinkley in 1930. (Jim Thurman Collection Photo)

Born Byron W. Hinkley in Elba, Neb., Oct. 28, 1898, Hinkley would come to be known as “Speed” on the California dirt tracks he raced on in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Growing up on the family farm near Elba, Hinkley began his racing career on fairground tracks in Nebraska — Kearney, St. Paul […]

Looking Back – Jan. 26, 2011

BRISTOL DEBUT: Jim Paschal (44) and Marvin Porter battle side by side as a full house looks on at the first NASCAR race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway July 30, 1961. (Chris Economaki Photo)

50 Years Ago — January 25, 1961 NASCAR has contracted to sanction racing at a paved half-mile track under construction near Bristol, Tenn. The new speedway is being built on a 100-acre tract four miles south of Bristol. The grandstands will initially seat 20,000. The track is scheduled to open July 30 with the Volunteer […]

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.

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