Fair enough, you shouldn't believe something just because somebody on the internet says it's true. So, let's try evidence. After I have presented mine, you can always ask Jason Bach, the author of ChampCarStats for his evidence.
Let's start with something easy, the "Bob Allen" case. He's listed at Phoenix with an "Emrich Chevrolet Special", even ChampCarStats got this right. Emrich Chevrolet was a car dealership in Manchester/PA, about three miles north of York/PA. The F5000 Bob Allen lived in Ripon/CA, about 2,500 miles away, while the Sprint car Bobby Allen lived in McSherrystown/PA, about ten miles west of York/PA. Moreover, Emrich Chevrolet was also the sponsor of his Sprint car for many years, and if you follow the link to his National Sprint Car Hall of Fame article which I provided in post #49, there you can read how Shorty Emrich bought "a pretty good Indy Car from Grant King in '70", and how Bobby Allen "took the car to Phoenix and two other races". Sounds pretty conclusive to me.
Next, the "Van Johnson" case. I realize it's a challenge for you to tell a Midget from a Sprint or Champ car, but it's actually not that difficult. Poster Niseguy was correct in post #84, the picture of Van Johnson showed him driving a Sprint car, and a very famous one at that, he could identify it at once as one of the three Sam Traylor cars. If you google around a bit, I'm sure you'll find many pictures. This particular car was built in 1954 and ran as the black #25 Sweigart Special with Wally Campbell driving, and after his death the car was bought by Traylor and run as the red #4 Traylor Special for Al Keller and Bill Holland. It was a black #7 in '55 and driven by Keller, Bill Brown (the Pennsylvania one, not the New Jersey and not the Indiana one), Lucky Loux, Joe Sostilio and Budd Olsen. It was then a white #55 in '56 for Dick Rathmann, Jackie McLaughlin, Pat Flaherty and Jimmy Bryan, before it changed colours in September and became Van Johnson's ride, still #55 but now red. Johnson drove it exactly three times at Williams Grove: on October 21 in 1956, April 7 and October 20 of the following year - he won the main event all three times. Those three wins were his only ones in Sprint cars, but the Sweigart/Offy had many more - at Williams Grove alone, the car won twice with Campbell, and once with Keller.
So you see, that car was pretty well known, and it's easy to identify for those who have a little knowledge. But as a Sprint car, it wasn't eligible to run in the Williams Grove race you linked to, as that was a special "(All-)Indianapolis Sweepstakes" race (it was never called an exhibition race). This event was first run in 1949 with the express notion that only cars that had run at Indianapolis were eligible to compete, although by 1957 that rule had been relaxed somewhat, because dirt track cars no longer ran at Indy. The car Johnson ran there in 1957 was (not really) co-incidentally also a #55 Traylor Special, but it was yellow, I think (I have only ever seen black&white pictures of it). It was a Kurtis 4000 Champ car, built in 1953, much bigger than the #55 Sprint car, and with a 270 Offy in it as opposed to the 220 Offy in the Sprint car. No chance to confuse these cars once you've mastered the basic design philosophies behind them, and as I said, the sprinter would never have been allowed to compete.
Now for the "Fireball Roberts" case, and I really don't know where to begin! He most certainly never did "compete in two exhibition Indy car races", nor did he compete in non-points Champ car races (which would be a better term for what you seem to think they were). Strictly speaking, he didn't even compete in a Sprint car race, he only drove a Sprint car up and down a measured mile on a beach in what were called "speed trials" at the time. Does that qualify him for this thread? It's your thread, and so it's your call, but if it does, then several thousands of other Sprint car drivers warrant inclusion as well!
I think there may be a semantic problem involved here, but to clear that up completely you would need to read up on lots of US racing history. It's rather late here, and I don't have that much patience, so an abridged version will have to suffice. "Indy car" and "Champ car" are relatively new terms, and both were rarely (if ever) used in the fifties. The general term in use back then was "Big cars", and that included everything that raced at Indianapolis, the mile dirt tracks and the half-mile "bull rings". Some promoters deliberately used obfuscating terms, for example IMCA promoters advertized their Sprint cars as "Indianapolis Speedway cars" well into the sixties. NASCAR called them "Speedway cars", and established a "Speedway Division" to sanction Sprint car racing in the East, in competition with several other local groups (and back then, NASCAR itself was very much a local group). Like most of these local groups, NASCAR had to depend on "hand-me-down" cars, and some of those had raced in the National Championship, even at Indianapolis, but the vast majority were homebuilt specials, built to race on half-mile dirt tracks. And so was the #25 (Leland) Colvin/Mercury, which Glenn "Fireball" Roberts drove at Daytona Beach. I don't know if that is enough info to be deemed "proven to be correct", but I don't see any "proof" on the ChampCarStats site either, only a very confused pattern. If you think it was an Indy car, please point out to me when this car raced at Indianapolis; if you think it was a Champ car, please point out to me when and where it appeared in a National Championship race.
N.B. An earlier version of this post vanished into the eternal internet void, and I didn't have the heart to write it all over again.
Whatever else Michael is, he knows one helluva lot about racing history, and by no definition is he a "jerk".
Having said that, your thread is enjoyable and interesting. Keep it going.
Also Michael, I do appreciate you or anybody else trying to correct me if I post inaccurate information. I know that you're doing it so the proper facts are presented, as they should. However, the reason I may be hesitant to make some major changes (such as Bob Allen), is that I want to be certain that I am putting down correct information.
Finally, thank you jnormanh for reading this thread.
Personally, I have no issue with the races listed above and NASCAR Speedway Division races being counted as references for this list.
Is he enough of an expert on the topic or do we need to enlist other experts?
Calling those races INDYCAR races is like calling me an INDYCAR driver because I drove in a media go-kart race against Paul Tracy and Roberto Guerrero and some other INDYCAR drivers in Michigan in the early 1990's.
For that reason, I include all of the above mentioned, plus NASCAR Speedway Division races in this thread.
Ryan, I am enjoying this thread immensely, too.
I just want to add that it's apparent to me that Ryan is just going down the driver database of ChampCarStats, so really the question is why did the people running that site include the Nascar Speedway division, and not ARS and SCVA,etc. That is perhaps where the questions should be directed.
El Grillo Cantor
Where you draw the line is linear.
Are USAC Stock Car races NASCAR races? No, they're USAC Stock Car races. Butch Hartman and Norm Nelson didn't win the NASCAR Championship.
Donald says that it's never been suggested that the NASCAR Speedway Division races are IndyCar races.
I asked, were they ever considered IndyCar races, no
I asked, Is there any reason to classify them as IndyCar races, no.
He says only a handful of the cars in the races were actually former IndyCars and none of them had IndyCar engines in them, so I'm not sure in what classification they could ever be the same thing.
You could make the argument that post-1995 CART/Champ Car races should not be considered IndyCar, since they used cars that were not eligible to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
Also, I have to ask, why didn't you have an issue with NASCAR Speedway Division races being listed on the previous birthday thread?
Before you go, could you ask Donald who he believes holds the record for most cars passed on the opening lap of the Indy 500?
Cliff Griffith (1916-1996)
Griffith started 18 races between 1950 and 1961. His best finish was a 4th in his first start, Springfield in 1950. Here he is after qualifying for the 1952 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 9th:
Chuck Parsons (1924-1999)
Parsons was a sports car driver who won the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona. His only Indy car race was at Riverside in 1967, where he finished 15th. Here he is at a Can-Am race at Bridgehampton in 1966:
Patrick Lemarie (49)
After serving as a test driver for the British American Racing Formula One team for four years, Lemarie would start the first six Champ Car races of 2003 and finished 10th in his first two races, St. Petersburg and Monterrey. Here he is at Brands Hatch, where he finished 11th:
[QUOTE=Rhino Ryan;4128659]You could have explained less abrasively.QUOTE]
If you think my post was rude, I apologize sincerely - I wasn't meaning to be impolite. But posts #74 and #81 show that you have difficulties telling different types of racing cars apart, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Nobody gets born with all the knowledge in the world, we all need to acquire it the hard way. Actually, that's the fun part of life: learning! Just keep an open mind, it's much more interesting that way.
Everybody seems to like this thread, and that explicitly includes me, but it's also important to get things right, that's why we're trying to keep you honest. I earlier asked you what your criteria for inclusion in this thread were, and you said it was ChampCarStats, warts and all. Now you're beginning to ask that question, too: where do you draw a line? It's not an easy question, but I think it should be clear by now that those NASCAR races don't really belong. It's your thread, and you can do as you see fit, and I have no problem with Fireball Roberts being listed. But I have a problem with him being called an "Indy car driver", because frankly, it's BS. It would be nice if you'd changed that.