Category archives for: Torn From The Headlines

Sweeping Changes For USAC After 1970 Season

CHIT-CHAT: Driver Don Brown chats with USAC’s Bill Smyth at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in 1970. (Chris Economaki Photo)

A milestone moment that forever changed American open-wheel racing took place on Sept. 14, 1970, when the United States Auto Club’s board of directors met in Indianapolis.

Torn From The Headlines – Dec. 15, 2010

NORTHERN STARS: The USAC National Championship Car field lines up at the New York State Fairgrounds mile oval in Syracuse, N.Y., on Sept. 9, 1961. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Purses paid to United States Auto Club sprint-car competitors during 1960 totaled $120,198, the most money paid in this division since 1956 when the total was $134,702. The average purse for the 21 races was $5,723.71, an all-time high. The average purse per mile was $219.34, second only to the championship division.

Langhorne Configuration Adapts To Changing Racing Culture

LARGE CROWD: A capacity crowd watches a modified feature at Pennsylvania’s Langhorne Speedway in 1967. (Chris Economaki Photo)

The racing landscape in the Eastern United States began to change, both literally and figuratively, just before Christmas in 1964.

Torn From The Headlines – Dec. 8, 2010

ON THE DIRT: Drivers power into the first turn at Pennsylvania’s Langhorne Speedway when the track had a dirt surface in 1961. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Dan Gurney, driving Frank and Phillip Arciero’s 2.5-liter Lotus Monte Carlo, took command on the 40th of 54 laps and went on to win the $10,000-plus Nassau Trophy Race Sunday that closed out the seventh annual International Bahamas Speed Weeks. Gurney completed the 243-mile distance without a pit stop.

Permatex Sponsorship Began Racing’s Tie To Corporations

ON THE HIGH BANKS: This shot was snapped during the 1965 Daytona 250, which became the Permatex 300 the following year. (NSSN Archives Photo)

A simple two-paragraph story on page two of the Nov. 3, 1965, issue of National Speed Sport News signaled a milestone moment in the fledgling relationship between corporate America and the sport of auto racing.

Torn From The Headlines – Dec. 1, 2010

FROM THE TOP: NASCAR Grand National cars circle Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway during the first event held at the historic .533-mile oval on July 29, 1961. Jack Smith won the race, but not without relief from Johnny Allen. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Don Davis, the newly crowned California Racing Ass’n champion, dominated the 40-lap USAC sprint-car feature Sunday at the Rodeo Grounds in Clovis, Calif. It is believed to be the first time since the pre-war days of Jimmie Wilburn that an “outlaw” driver beat the big leaguers in his first time out.

Turkey Night Grand Prix Was Final Race At Ascot Park

ASCOT PARK: An aerial view of California’s Ascot Park as it appeared in the late 1980s. (NSSN Archives Photo)

Ascot Park, one of this country’s most famous short tracks, hosted its final race on Nov. 22, 1990, with Stan Fox, of Janesville, Wis., winning the 50th Turkey Night Grand Prix.

Torn From The Headlines – Nov. 24, 2010

CANADIAN CIRCLE: Indy cars fly down the frontstretch during the 1985 CART World Series event at the Sanair Superspeedway in Quebec. (Chris Economaki Photo)

A.J. Foyt, the hard-driving 25-year-old from Houston, Texas, claimed the U.S. Auto Club National Championship in grand style Sunday by winning the 11th annual Bobby Ball Memorial at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. Foyt started ninth, took the lead on lap 24 and cruised to victory on the rough track.

Stewart Wins Three USAC Titles In A Single Season

Stewart Wins Three USAC Titles In A Single Season

Tony Stewart, a 24-year-old racer from Columbus, Ind., made history in 1995 when he became the first driver to claim championships in each of USAC’s top three series in the same season.

Torn From The Headlines – Nov. 17, 2010

ON THE WALL: NASCAR Cup Series drivers Brett Bodine, Jim Sauter, Phil Parsons and Bobby Hillin, Jr. sit on the pit wall at Richmond (Va.) Int’l Raceway prior to the March 1989 event at the three-quarter-mile oval. (Chris Economaki Photo)

Robert “Red” Byron, NASCAR’s first driving champion in 1948, suffered a heart attack Nov. 11 and was found dead in his Chicago hotel room. A stock-car pioneer who won numerous races prior to World War II, Byron, 45, was managing the Scarab sports car team at the time of his death.

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