Torn From The Headlines

Torn From The Headlines – Aug. 25, 2010

THE TOP DOGS: Richard Petty (43) chases David Pearson during NASCAR Grand National competition at Daytona Int'l Speedway in July 1970. Petty and Pearson rank number one and two in all-time NASCAR victories. (Chris Economaki Photo)

THE TOP DOGS: Richard Petty (43) chases David Pearson during NASCAR Grand National competition at Daytona Int’l Speedway in July 1970. Petty and Pearson rank number one and two in all-time NASCAR victories. (Chris Economaki Photo)

50 Years Ago – August 24, 1960
Mario Andretti roared to his fifth-consecutive strictly stock feature victory Thursday night in a 25-lap event at the Nazareth (Pa.) Fairgrounds. The 20-year-old local racer took the lead on lap seven and his only close pursuer during the closing laps was Harp Wink, who settled for second-place money.

25 Years Ago – August 28, 1985
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new $3.5 million Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were conducted Monday. Target date for completion of the 96 garages is April 15, 1986. The enlarged Gasoline Alley will include about 60 percent more total area and the garages will be constructed using tilt-up concrete panels.

Countdown To 100
Of the more than 700 drivers to have raced in the Indianapolis 500, Jimmy Davies may have had the most unconventional career. At age 20, he won a 100-mile Indy-car race at Del Mar, Calif. This was the race in which Rex Mays lost his life. Davies was the youngest to win in an Indy car until Marco Andretti, 57 years later. Davies drove in the rain-shortened 1950 Indy 500, finishing 23rd. He was a big surprise in 1951, leading for 25 laps before dropping out with mechanical failure. He missed the 1952 race and was 10th in 1953. He was merely a relief driver in 1954, but finished third in 1955 and never qualified at Indianapolis again. A top midget driver, he was USAC champion three years in a row. He was killed at Chicago’s Santa Fe Speedway in 1966.

Newsmaker – Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell made auto-racing history in 1993 when the British-born driver became the first rookie to win the CART PPG Indy Car World Series title.

After claiming the 1992 World Driving Championship, Mansell switched to America’s premier open-wheel series, driving alongside Mario Andretti on the powerful Newman-Haas team.

Mansell presented a preview of things to come during the 16-race season by claiming the pole and driving to victory in the opener on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia.

He ended up winning five races and seven poles, was named rookie of the year for both the series and the Indianapolis 500, and was honored with the prestigious Driver of the Year award.

Chris’s Column – March 31, 1993
“We always thought old timer Roscoe (Pappy) Hough was the first to tow midgets one on top of the other, but in looking through Jim Penney’s interesting four-page history of Kansas City area racing prepared for last Saturday night’s open-wheel reunion, we spied a pre-war photo of George Binnie with his midgets on a double-deck trailer. Penney used many old race clippings from tracks in the Sunflower State that made interesting reading.”

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