LOOKING BACK: Saldana Is An Ironman

Joey Saldana, seen here in 2018, won the 2009 Gold Cup Race of Champions with a last-lap pass. (Jacob Seelman photo)

SPEED SPORT has been reporting on and covering motorsports happenings from all over the world for 85 years, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back in the archives to see what happened 10, 25 and 50 years ago each week.

So check out what SPEED SPORT was covering 10, 25 and 50 years ago this week in Looking Back!

10 Years Ago (Aug. 12, 2009): Joey Saldana outran his Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Craig Dollansky to win the inaugural running of the Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. Saldana started fourth and chased Dollansky until the 19th circuit, when he used a slide job off of turn four to take the lead. He would lead the remaining 37 laps to take home the $20,000 top prize.

Other Happenings: Scott Dixon knocked out the competition by winning the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; Terry McCarl became the first three-time winner of the ASCS 360 Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway; Jimmy Mars earned $50,000 for winning the North/South 100 at Florence Speedway; Gil de Ferran, an Indianapolis 500 winner, announced his second retirement, this time from sports car racing; Tony Stewart took top honors in NASCAR Cup Series competition at Watkins Glen Int’l.

25 Years Ago (Aug. 10, 1994): More than 300,000 people watched as as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with 23-year-old Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural Brickyard 400. The race attracted more than 80 entries for the 43-car field, with Gordon outrunning Brett Bodine and Bill Elliott to earn the trophy and more than $600,000 for winning the inaugural event.

Other Happenings: Kevin Doty drove the Rusty and Keith Kunz Fontana-powered Stealth to victory in the 17th Belleville Midget Nationals; Mike Wallace scored his third Busch Grand National victory of the year at Indianapolis Raceway Park; Joe Amato topped the Top Fuel field at Seattle Int’l Raceway; Billy Hagan shuttered his NASCAR Winston Cup program due to a lack of sponsorship.

50 Years Ago (Aug. 13, 1969): Lee Roy Yarbrough bumped his season-long earnings to $140,000 with a victory in the Dixie 500 at Atlanta Int’l Raceway. He had planned to use a relief driver, but instead went to a local hospital that morning to receive a shot that helped him complete the race without a relief driver. He averaged 133.001 mph in the romp, setting a race speed record.

Other Happenings: Tiny Lund was declared the winner of the Music City 200 for the NASCAR Grand Touring Series at Fairgrounds Motor Speedway when rain stopped the race early; Don White won the USAC stock car race at Wisconsin State Fair Park; Gary Bettenhausen drove his Willie Davis Chevy to victory in the 50-lap USAC sprint car race at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track.