Looking Back — April 14, 2011
50 Years Ago — April 19, 1961
Ramo Stott, of Keokuk, Iowa, provided Frank Winkley’s Auto Racing, Inc. with a spectacular season opener Sunday by driving his 1961 Ford to the checkered flag in the annual Peerless Pelican 200 at the Louisiana State Fair Speedway. An overflow crowd of 9,876 cheered the 26-year-old racer as he fought off a challenge from fellow Keokuk ace Dick Hutcherson.
25 Years Ago — April 16, 1986
“I wanted to win this so much because it was dedicated to Richie,” said a tearful Brian Ross moments after winning the Coors Spring Sizzler Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn. The 15th edition of the NSCAR modified event — witnessed by 10,210 fans — was dedicated to the late Riche Evens, the defending Sizzler and NASCAR modified champion.
Chris’s Column — August 14, 1974
“Larry Tessendorf, a 29-year-old Topeka owner-driver, broke down some 30 miles south of Knoxville. Standing by his rig, a new Chevy pickup stopped and its driver, Ron Piatt of Blue Springs, Mo., said, ‘Hook up, I’ll take you to town.’ Delivering Tessendorf, his car and crew to the fairgrounds mid-day Thursday, Pitt handed Larry the keys with the words, ‘Keep it until 10:30 Sunday morning. I’ll meet you at the front gate and take it back. Have fun.’”
Newsmaker — Pancho Carter
Second-generation star Duane “Pancho” Carter, Jr. became the first man in USAC’s 19-year history to win both the sprint-car and midget championships when he added the 1974 sprint-car crown to his 1972 midget title.
Driving the No. 6 Dobbins Chevrolet sprinter prepared by master car builder Steve Stapp, Carter won on both dirt and paved ovals as he visited victory lane seven times during the 34-race season.
Even though the championship was already in hand, Carter, a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., closed out the season in convincing fashion by dominating the 50-lap finale on Oct. 27 at Salem (Ind.) Speedway. Tom Bigelow was a distant second in the final standings with George Snider third.
Countdown To 100 — 2004 — Buddy Rice
Neither strong rainstorms that caused lengthy delays nor intense racing could keep polesitter Buddy Rice from winning the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Rain halted the race 20 laps from the scheduled 500-mile distance, but it made no difference as Rice and his G Force/Honda were dominant all day. He became the first United Stares-born winner of the 500 since Eddie Cheever in 1998. It was also the first Indy victory for team owners Bobby Rahal, who won as a driver in 1986, and David Letterman.
Rice led five times for 91 laps – the most of any driver. Andretti Green Racing teammates Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta finished second through fourth.