Looking Back — April 6, 2011
50 Years Ago — April 5, 1961
An estimated 3,500 fans were in the stands on Easter Sunday as Don White, of Keokuk, Iowa, won the 200-lap USAC stock-car race on the half-mile dirt track at North Carolina’s Concord Speedway. Promoted by Bruton Smith, the event marked the first time USAC’s stock cars had raced in the South. Norm Nelson finished second with Elmer Musgrave third.
25 Years Ago — April 2, 1986
Two-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Sammy Swindell is scheduled to compete in the American Racing Series, a new open-wheel circuit that features “spec” Wildcat March chassis powered by Buick V-6 engines. Metro Sports, of Dallas, Texas, named Swindell to its second entry, teaming with road-racing veteran Kim Campbell. The series debuts Sunday at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.
Chris’s Column — May 30, 1973
“Setting quick time and winning super sprint races may be fine for Chuck Amati, but he’s also doing another ‘thing’ this spring. The Tennessee ace hired on with Electrolux vacuum cleaners earlier this year, selling door to door. His sales record was such the company sent him to school, and now he’s an area manager. Knowing the way Chuck sells, we’ll bet it won’t be too long before we see him at the wheel of a fully-sponsored ‘Electrolux Special.’”
Newsmaker — Dick Trickle
Dick Trickle, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., recorded 67 late-model feature victories at 11 different speedways during the 1972 racing season.
Driving a self-prepared purple and white 1970 Ford Mach 1 Mustang sponsored by the A&W Root Beer dealers of Wisconsin, Trickle’s winning percentage was .644 as he competed in 104 events.
“Well, racing is my living, and to make money at it, you have to win a lot of races,” Trickle said. “The more you run, the more chances you have to win. “
Money-wise, Trickle earned more than $50,000. His biggest victory came on Labor Day at the Minnesota State Fair when he won an IMCA-sanctioned 500 lapper, paying $4,500 to win.
Countdown To 100 — 2002 – Helio Castroneves
In one of the most dramatic and confusing finishes in the race’s history, Helio Castroneves became the first driver in 31 years to win back-to-back Indianapolis 500s when he captured the 86th running of the world’s most famous race.
The controversy came on the 199th lap. Paul Tracy was trying to pass leader Castroneves as the two charged down the backstretch. Further back in the field, Laurent Redon and Buddy Lazier crashed, putting the track under caution.
Tracy was on the outside of Castroneves in turn three when the yellow lights came on and the debate as to whether he was ahead of Castroneves raged for weeks.
After exhausting the appeals process, Tracy settled for second.