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Thread: Happy Birthday

  1. #151
    Mythbuster
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    Ok, Ryan, I think I'm caught up. Apologies for the topic drift. Back to you...
    "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

  2. #152
    February 10:

    Danny Kladis (1917-2009)

    Kladis was a hall of fame midget driver. He also qualified for four Indy car races out of 15 attempts. His best finish was a 13th at DuQuoin in 1954. Here he is after qualifying for the 1946 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 21st after being disqualified due to being towed in:



    Roy Newman (1918-2011)

    Newman started off as a motorcycle rider before switching to midgets. He would attempt, but fail, to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1953 and 1956. Here he is in his 1956 car:



    Eddie Johnson (1919-1974)

    Despite driving between 1949 and 1966, Johnson only started 33 races. His best finish was a 3rd at Trenton in 1959. Here he is after qualifying for the 1956 500, where he finished 15th:


  3. #153
    February 11:

    John Surtees (83)

    Surtees was a four-time 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix champion (1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960). He would begin to compete in Formula One in 1960. He would win six races and was the 1964 World Champion. He would later form his own Formula One team that competed between 1970 and 1978. Between all of this, he would compete in the 1967 Indy car season finale at Riverside. He started 4th, but finished 20th due to magneto failure. Here he is in that race:



    Roberto Moreno (57)

    Moreno started off by racing Europe and drove in Formula One off and on between 1982 and 1995, getting a best finish of 2nd at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. He also drive Indy cars off and on between 1985 and 2008. He got the nickname "Super Sub" for his ability to serve as a replacement driver on a team and be competitive quickly. He would manage to win two Indy cars races, Cleveland in 2000 and Vancouver in 2001, that would end up being the final two wins for Patrick Racing. Here he is on his way to his first win:


  4. #154
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    See... Without this thread I would have never know that John Surtees drove in the 1967 Riverside Rex Mays 300...

    Nor would I have found this...


    "Ride the Barrel and get pitted... So Pitted."



  5. #155
    February 12:

    Floyd Roberts (1900-1939)

    Roberts has the distinction of being a national champion while failing to qualify for half the races during the season. In 1938, he won the Indianapolis 500 from the pole position, but then failed to qualify at Springfield, the only other race that season. He would be killed at Indianapolis the following year. Here he is after qualifying in 1938:



    Frederick McEvoy (1907-1951)

    McEvoy was an Australian socialite and sportsman. He was an avid bobsleigh rider who was also a racing driver. He competed in various European races. His only Indy car race was the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup, where he finished 6th. Here he sits in his car from that race:



    Jack Turner (1920-2004)

    Turner was the AAA National Midget champion in 1954 and 1955. His best Indy car finish was a 2nd at Darlington in 1956. Between 1961 and 1963, he crashed and flipped his car at Indianapolis. He would retire from racing after flipping during practice in 1963. Here he is during practice for the 1959 500, where he finished 27th:



    Ronnie Duman (1929-1968)

    Duman drove Indy cars between 1961 and 1968 with a best finish of 3rd at Phoenix in 1965. He is the only driver to start a dirt car on a road course race and a rear engine car at a dirt track race. He would finish 6th at the 1968 500, but would be killed just over a week later at Milwaukee. Here he is after qualifying that year:



    Dick Tobias (1932-1978)

    Tobias was a hall of fame sprint car driver who started two races in 1970 at Springfield and DuQuoin, finishing 19th and 8th. He would also fail to qualify at Trenton the following year. He would be killed at Flemington Speedway in 1978. Here he is during one of his 1970 races:



    Jorge Koechlin (67)

    Koechlin's only Indy car race was at Laguna Seca in 1983, where he finished 15th due to a broken gearbox. He would later serve as a Spanish-language racing announcer. Here he competes in a Formula Aurora race in 1982:



    Tora Takagi (43)

    After two seasons in Formula One, Takagi started driving in CART in 2001. He switched to the IRL in 2003 and became the first Japanese driver to finish on the podium with a 3rd at Texas. He was also the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year that year with a 5th place finish. Here he is at Milwaukee in 2004, where he finished 20th:


  6. #156
    February 13:

    Reeves Dutton (1887-1988)

    Dutton first drove at an exhibition race at Fresno in 1916, finishing 13th. He then drove relief for Earl Cooper at the 1919 Indianapolis 500, helping Cooper finish 12th. Finally, he started at Beverly Hills the following year and finished 12th. He would die at the age of 101. Here he is at Beverly Hills in number 8:



    Jim Crawford (1948-2002)

    Crawford initially raced in Europe and became the 500th person to start a Formula One race. He began to compete in CART in 1984 and got a best finish of 4th at Long Beach in 1984 and 1985. Starting in 1986, he only competed at Indianapolis and all but one of those times were with a Buick engine after he became the de facto test driver. In 1988, he led eight laps (the only laps not lead by a Team Penske driver) and was on his way to 2nd place finish when he flat spotted his tires and dropped to 6th after making a pit stop to replace them. Here he is after qualifying for that race:



    Ronnie Johncox (48)

    Johncox started eight races between 1999 and 2000. He got a best finish of 11th in his first start at Texas in 1999. His company, Technique, Inc., later built the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow chassis for various teams. Here he is at Phoenix in 2000, where he finished 14th:


  7. #157
    February 14:

    Joe Jagersberger (1884-1952)

    Jagersberger competed in the 1911 Indianapolis 500, finishing 31st, and at Philadelphia, finishing 5th. His racing career ended with a crash in Columbia, South Carolina that resulted in his leg being amputated. He would later form the Rajo Motor and Manufacturing company. Here he sits in his car:



    Fred Clemons (1889-1945)

    Clemons finished 5th in two races at Indianapolis in 1910. He would also fail to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and 1932. He later had patended various forms of suspension that were used on various race cars. Here he sits in a car from his racing career:



    Charles Muth (1892-1975)

    Muth's only start was the 1914 American Grand Prize at Santa Monica, where he finished 10th after running out of fuel. No picture is available.

    Fred Merzney (1895-1974)

    Merzney was a hill climb driver who failed to qualify forthe 1932 500. No picture is available.

    Bayliss Levrett (1913-2002)

    Leverett started 10 races in 1949 and 1950. He finished 4th at Milwaukee in 1949 and started 2nd at Springfield later that year. Here he sits in his car for the 1950 500, where he finished 27th:



    Richard Seaman (1913-1939)

    Seaman was a 1930s Grand Prix driver who drove for Mercedes-Benz in the European Championship. Seaman would win at the team's home race at the 1938 German Grand Prix. During this time, he started his only Indy car race, the 1937 Vanderbilt Cup, where he finished 2nd. He would be killed at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix. Mercedes-Benz continues to maintain his grave as a mark of respect. Here he his on his way to his German Grand Prix win:



    Banjo Matthews (1932-1996)

    Matthews was an early NASCAR driver and team owner. His greatest success came as a car builder. Between 1974 and 1985, cars he built won 72% of NASCAR Cup Series races, including all of the races in 1978. He is known to have competed in the NASCAR Speedway division in 1953, but his results are unknown. Here he sits in his car (owned by Jim Rathmann) at Daytona Beach in 1958, where he finished 36th:



    Enrique Mansilla (59)

    Mansilla drove three races in 1985 after a career in lower formula racing in Europe. His best finish was a 9th in his debut at Road America. After retiring from racing, he was a diamond and gold hunter in Liberia. He was kidnapped for five months and held as ransom, but was released. Here he is at Road America:


  8. #158
    February 15:

    Earl Motter (1919-1992)

    Motter was a BCRA Midget winning driver who drove Indy cars between 1955 and 1959. He qualified for 16 races and failed to qualify for 10 races. However, he qualified on the pole position at DuQuoin in 1956 and 2nd in his debut, Syracuse in 1955. His best finish was a 6th at the 1958 Hoosier Hundred. Here he sits in his midget:



    Graham Hill (1929-1975)

    Hill was the Formula One World Champion in 1962 and 1968. As of 2016, he is the only driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport by winning the Monaco Grand Prix (1965, 1968 and 1969), the Indianapolis 500 (1966) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972). His Indy car career consisted of three starts, all at Indianapolis, and three failures to qualify. He won at Indianapolis when teammate Jackie Stewart retired with 10 laps to go. Here he is in that race:


  9. #159
    February 16:

    Walt Faulkner (1918-1956)

    Faulkner would qualify on the pole position for his first race, the 1950 Indianapolis 500, and finished 7th. He would then win at Milwaukee that year and finished 2nd in points. He was the fastest qualifier for the 1951 500, but started 14th, and won two more races at Darlington and Milwaukee. Afterwards, he began competing more part time before being killed in a qualifying crash for a USAC Stock Car race at Vallejo, California. Here he is at the 1950 500:



    Jean Behra (1921-1959)

    Behra was a 1950s Formula One driver. He won several exhibition races, but never a points race. He won eight consecutive sports car races for Porsche in 1958. He started to drive for Ferrari in 1959, but was fired after punching team manger Romolo Tavoni. He entered the 1957 Race of Two Worlds at Monza, a race that was meant to be a showdown between Indy cars and Formula One cars. However, Behra, along with all other Formula One cars, failed to start (the only European starters were a trio of Jaguar sports cars). Here he is on his way to a 6th at the 1957 French Grand Prix:



    Jay Howard (36)

    Howard was the 2006 Indy Lights champion. He began to compete in IndyCar in 2008, but was replaced prior to Indianapolis by John Andretti and only started one other race that year. He returned in 2010 and would fail to qualify at Indianapolis after his team withdrew his speed and went slower than his prior speed. He would finally qualify in 2011, but finished 30th after crashing after 60 laps. His best finish would be a pair of 13ths at Motegi and Kansas in 2008. He was supposed to drive in the 500 in 2012 and 2015, but the entry fell apart for the former because the team would not take a Lotus engine lease and the latter because sponsorship never came through. Here he is practicing in 2011:


  10. #160
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    Reeves Dutton lived past 100... I wonder how many are in that club?

  11. #161
    Mythbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Capua View Post
    Reeves Dutton lived past 100... I wonder how many are in that club?
    Not many, though I'm sure it would come as a great surprise to many here that most drivers back in the old days survived their racing careers. Yep, even back in the board track, cloth helmet, no seat belt days, many drivers went on to outlive the average life expectancy with most eventually dying from heart attack or cancer. There aren't that many from any sport that live past 100. MLB has had some, the NFL fewer still. The most recent racer I can think of is Frank Burany, who passed away last year, several months past his 100th birthday.

  12. #162
    February 17:

    Jimmy Gleason (1898-1931)

    Gleason began to compete regularly in 1928 after driving at Indianapolis in 1925 and starting an exhibition race at Syracuse in 1927. In 1931, he finished 6th at Indianapolis and then finished 2nd at Altoona. He then won in his next race at the track. However, he would be killed less than a week later during qualifying at Syracuse. Here he is after qualifying for the 1930 500, where he finished 29th:



    Myron Stevens (1901-1988)

    Stevens attempted four races and qualified for two of them. He would finish 3rd at Altoona in 1929 and 4th at the 1931 500. He would be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993. Here he sits in his car that he would fail to qualify with after crashing in practice at Indianapolis in 1929:



    Louis Tomei (1910-1955)

    Tomei started 10 races between 1932 and 1946. His best finish was an 8th in his debut race, Oakland in 1932. He would later serve as a stunt performer in movies and occasional acted in bit parts. Here he is after qualifying at Indianapolis in 1938, where he finished 23rd:



    Colby Scroggin (1925-1992)

    Scroggin failed to qualify for three races in 1954 and 1955. He then won the 1962 CRA championship and started six races between 1962 and 1963. Here he sits in his car at Milwaukee in 1963, where he got his best finish, an 8th:



    John Morton (75)

    After driving in various SCCA club races, which included winning National Championship Runoffs at Road Atlanta in 1970 and 1971. He would then serve as a stunt performer in movies and television shows. He first appeared for an Indy car race at Riverside in 1982, but was not allowed to compete due to a lack of experience. He then failed to qualify there in 1983. He started five races in 1984 and finished 9th at Long Beach. He started one other race at Toronto in 1986, finishing 12th. He then failed to qualify at Detroit in 1990 and Indianapolis in 1993. Here he is at the 1980 Can-Am race at Riverside:

    Last edited by Rhino Ryan; 02-18-2017 at 11:11 AM.

  13. #163
    Are you sure about Scroggin's year of death?

  14. #164
    Good catch! Colby raced until 1972, so it must be wrong. I think he died early nineties.

  15. #165
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    It is all there: http://forums.autosport.com/topic/14...e-four-wheels/

    There you can also easily find the known centenarians. Just search for "age 10".
    Reinhard

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ferner View Post
    Good catch! Colby raced until 1972, so it must be wrong. I think he died early nineties.
    Correct. Colby died in 1992.
    "I think of Indianapolis every day of the year, every
    hour of the day, and when I sleep, too. Everything I
    ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of
    the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
    - Eddie Sachs.

  17. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Norman J Crump View Post
    Are you sure about Scroggin's year of death?
    I accidentally typed in 1963 for some reason, I think because it was the last year he raced in Indy cars.

  18. #168
    February 18:

    Jack Scales (1886-1962)

    Scales drove primarily in England between 1914 and the mid 1920s. He first entered at Cincinnati in 1917, but failed to appear. He then failed to qualify for the 1920 Indianapolis 500. Here he sits in his car at Indianapolis:



    Pete Henderson (1895-1940)

    Henderson was regular driver in the latter half of the 1910s. He would win at Chicago in 1917. Here he is after qualifying at Indianapolis in 1920, where he finished 10th:



    Jim Brubaker (1913-2000)

    Brubaker attempted, but failed, to qualify for each Indianapolis 500 between 1946 and 1949. He also entered at least two sprint cars races in 1946 that counted towards the National Championship that year, DuBois and Port Royal, but his results are unknown. No picture is available.

    Jim McElreath (89)

    McElreath first drove at various race tracks in his native state of Texas. He would finish 3rd in his debut Indy car race, the 1961 Hoosier Hundred. He would then be the 1962 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year with a 6th place finish. In 1965, he won three races and finished 3rd in points. He then won at Phoenix in 1966 and finished 2nd in points. He would win his final race at the 1970 California 500, the first 500 mile Indy car race that was not the Indianapolis 500. He would continue to race Indy cars through 1983 at the age of 55. Here he poses with his California 500-winning car:



    Norm Brown (1937-2016)

    Brown was a super modidfied and later sprint car driver who started 11 Indy car races between 1966 and 1968. His best finish was a 4th at Springfield in 1967. His racing career ended when he was burned in a crash at Milwaukee in 1968 that killed Ronnie Duman. Here he sits in a super modified at Berlin Speedway:



    Gary Congdon (1937-1967)

    Congdon would start driving Indy cars in 1965. In 1966, he qualified 3rd at the first Langhorne race and started and finished 4th at the second race there that season. At the 1967 500, he attempted, but failed, to qualify in six different cars. He would be killed at the Autumn 50 midget race later that year. Here he is after qualifying in 1966, where he finished 25th after being eliminated in the starting crash:



    Giovanni Lavaggi (59)

    Nicknamed "Johnny Carwash" (an exaggerated and humorous version of the literal translation of his name from Italian to English, John Washes), Lavaggi started two races in four attempts in 1994, finishing 30th at Cleveland and 15th at Road America. He then won the 24 Hours of Daytona the following year and started seven Formula One races in 1995 and 1996. Here he is at the 1995 German Grand Prix, where he finished 13th:



    Jimmy Kite (41)

    After driving in the USAC Silver Crown series, Kite was signed to a 10-year contract with Team Scandia in the Indy Racing League. However, he crashed out of three of eight races and was released after just over a year with the team. He continued to drive Indy cars off and on through 2007. His best finish was a 6th at Las Vegas in 1997. Here he is after qualifying for the 1998 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 11th:

    Last edited by Rhino Ryan; 02-19-2017 at 11:21 PM.

  19. #169
    February 19:

    Fred Comer (1893-1928)

    Comer was board track specialist, as 43 of his 48 races came on those types of tracks. He would win at Atlantic City in 1926. Unfortunately, he would be killed at Rockingham in 1928. Here he is after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 that year, where he finished 9th:



    Perry Grimm (1914-1971)

    Grimm was a hall of fame midget driver who won the Turkey Night Grand Prix twice (1946 and 1949). He is also credited with revolutionizing midget racing in Australia. His only Indy car appearance was failing to qualify for the 1952 500. Here he sits in his midget:



    Ernie McCoy (1921-2001)

    McCoy finished 8th, 5th, 17th and 5th in his first four starts. However, he only qualified for one other race in his career. Here he is after qualifying for the 1954 500, where he finished 16th:



    Danny Jones (83)

    Jones started two races each in 1960 and 1961 and got a best finish of 9th in his final start, the 1961 Hoosier Hundred. No picture is available.

    Sherman Cleveland (1937-1966)

    Cleveland was a sprint car driver who was entered at Sacramento in 1965, but his entry was declined due to his driving style. He would be killed in a California sprint car race the following year. Here he sits in a midget at the Sydney Showground:



    Paul Pitzer (73)

    Pitzer was a sprint car driver who started three USAC Gold Crown races in 1981 and got a best finish of 10th at DuQuoin. Here he poses with his sprint car at Williams Grove in 1978:



    John Paul, Jr. (57)

    Paul was the 1982 IMSA GTP champion and won the 24 Hours of Daytona that year. He would begin to compete in CART later that year and won at Michigan the following year, but largely competed in sports cars over the following two years. His racing career was interrupted in 1986 when he was sentenced to five years when he refused to testify against his father, John Paul, Sr., at his drug trafficking case. He would be released in October 1988 and returned to sports cars, and did race in CART part-time. He would have some success after the formation of the IRL when he won at Texas in 1998. He would retire from racing in 2001 after discovering that he was suffering from Huntington's disease. Here he is after qualifying at Indianapolis in 1990, where he finished 16th:


  20. #170
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    I am only aware of Ernie McCoy running Indy twice, 1953 and 1954.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
    body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting
    "...holy $^!+...what a ride!"
    >

  21. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by Niseguy View Post
    I am only aware of Ernie McCoy running Indy twice, 1953 and 1954.
    Those were his only years,
    but he qualified for races outside of Indianapolis.

  22. #172
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    [QUOTE=Rhino Ryan;4135563]
    Giovanni Lavaggi (59)

    Nicknamed "Johnny Carwash" (a literally translation of his name from Italian to English)


    I don't speak Italian, but my wife speaks French, and she doesn't think Lavaggi translates to "carwash". It's the same word as lavage in French which simply means "wash".

    I have had shirts washed in Rome by asking Si prega di lavare.

    Carwash
    in Italian would be autolavaggio.

    Please excuse my nitpicking. No criticism intended. I am enjoying your thread, much of it is enlightening. I am learning much I did not know.

  23. #173
    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    I don't speak Italian, but my wife speaks French, and she doesn't think Lavaggi translates to "carwash". It's the same word as lavage in French which simply means "wash".

    I have had shirts washed in Rome by asking Si prega di lavare.

    Carwash
    in Italian would be autolavaggio.

    Please excuse my nitpicking. No criticism intended. I am enjoying your thread, much of it is enlightening. I am learning much I did not know.
    It turns out that it is actually an exaggerated and humorous version of the literal translation, John Washes. Also, thank you for liking this thread.

  24. #174
    February 20:

    Bruce Aurandt (1881-unknown)

    Aurandt's only race was at San Francisco in 1911, where he finished 3rd in a five car race. He also withdrew from another race at San Francisco that same day. No picture is available.

    Louis Zborowski (1895-1924)

    Zborowski was a count from Poland who competed in early Grand Prix races. He also designed his own cars called Chitty Bang Bangs (which were the inspiration for the novel and later movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). His only Indy car race was the 1923 Indianapolis 500, where he started 5th and finished 20th due to a broken connecting rod. He would be killed at the Italian Grand Prix the following year. Here he sits in his Indianapolis car:



    Howdy Wilcox II (1905-1946)

    Wilcox had no relation to 1919 Indianapolis 500 winner Howdy Wilcox, as a result, he went by Howdy Wilcox II. He started off his career by finishing 2nd at the 1932 Indianapolis 500 and then finished 2nd at Detroit and finished 3rd in points. Prior to the 1933 500, it was discovered that he had diabetes. Despite the efforts of his fellow competitors to get him reinstated, he was not allowed to compete, effectively ending his major racing career. He would sue the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for slander by claiming that they said he was epileptic and diabetic. They would settle for $3,000.00 (he sued them for $50,000.00). He would be killed in 1946 in Converse, Indiana when he was waving the checkered flag for Jimmy Wilburn and was hit by Kenneth Wines. Here he is after qualifying in 1932:



    Bobby Unser (83)

    Unser won 35 races in 20 years. He has the distinction of finishing last in his first 500 (1963) and finishing first in his last 500 (1981). He also won the 500 in 1968 and 1975 and was National Champion in 1968 and 1974. After his racing career, he served as an announcer for ABC, ESPN and NBC. Here he is on his way to winning the 1981 Indianapolis 500, where he was not declared the winner until October due to a protest by Mario Andretti (who was declared the winner during this time) for passing cars under caution:



    Ralph Bruning (1945-2000)

    Bruning was a regular competitor in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, often in the stock car class, winning eight times. He would compete in the open wheel class in 1967 and 1968, two years it counted for points towards the National Championship, and finished 8th and 9th. In 1998, Bruning finished 2nd while battling terminal cancer and had a chemo pack and oxygen on him. Here he is in 1977:



    Scott Brayton (1959-1996)

    Brayton started 150 races between 1981 and 1996, getting a best finish of 3rd at Milwaukee in 1992. He would qualify on the pole position at Indianapolis in 1995, but finished 17th. He would get the pole position again in 1996. Unfortunately, he was killed in practice. Here he is leading the field in 1995 in number 60:



    Charlie Kimball (32)

    Kimball is the son of racing car designer Gordon Kimball. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007. However, he was able to continue his racing career. He began to compete in IndyCar in 2011 and won at Mid-Ohio in 2013. Here he is at that race:


  25. #175
    What a strange coincidence that, of all people, Howdy Wilcox and Charlie Kimball share a birthday!

  26. #176
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ferner View Post
    What a strange coincidence that, of all people, Howdy Wilcox and Charlie Kimball share a birthday!
    Makes you wonder if maybe the others born this day were just never diagnosed.

  27. #177
    Oh dear!! The story of the 1981 Indy 500 may not be over yet...

  28. #178
    February 21:

    Jimmy Thompson (1924-1964)

    Thompson competed in various NASCAR-sanctioned series. These series included the NASCAR Speedway Division. He finished 5th at Darlington in 1952, 5th at an exhibition time trial at Daytona Beach in 1953 and 6th at Martinsville later that year. Here he is in his stock car:



    Jim Reed (91)

    Reed was another NASCAR driver and a winner of seven Cup Series races. He also started two Speedway Division races in 1952, finishing 12th at Lakewood and 2nd at Heidelberg. Here he is after winning the 1959 Southern 500:


  29. #179
    Insider Frank Capua's Avatar
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    Are there any pictures existing of NASCAR's Speedway Division cars. I was around when this was going on I guess. But I never heard of it growing up in Speedway six blocks from turn 4. So I'm curious.

  30. #180
    http://www.wallycampbell.com/1952-1.html

    Click on "Next" for half a dozen more pictures.

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