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 (July 8, 2009): Justin Wilson delivered veteran IRL IndyCar Series team owner Dale Coyne his first series victory during the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen. The victory was Coyne’s first as a team owner in 558 starts in Indy car competition. It was the first race that year that a Team Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing entry didn’t visit victory lane.
Other Happenings: Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Int’l Speedway after being involved in a last-lap crash with Kyle Busch; Tony George was ousted from his roles with Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IRL IndyCar Series; Bernie Ecclestone drew heavy criticism following ill-considered remarks about Adolf Hitler and democracy; Greg Hodnett claimed the Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek title.
25 Years Ago (July 6, 1994): The Orlando Sentinel published a four-month study in a three-part front-page story that bashed NASCAR following eight fatal crashes during a 20-year period. The story indicated that NASCAR’s investigations into fatal accidents, including those of Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr earlier that year at Daytona Int’l Speedway, were inconsistent and cursory at best.
Other Happenings: Jimmy Spencer edged Ernie Irvan in a photo finish to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona Int’l Speedway; Scott Lagasse won the ARCA Supercar Series event in Des Moines, Iowa; Steve Holzhausen used pit strategy to win the ASA race at Iowa’s Hawkeye Downs Speedway; Mike Wallace scored his second NASCAR Busch Grand National win of the year at The Milwaukee Mile; Rod Millen set a new Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb record en route to victory.
50 Years Ago (July 9, 1969): LeeRoy Yarbrough continued his winning ways at Daytona Int’l Speedway, winning the Medal of Honor Firecracker 400. Yarbrough nosed his No. 98 Ford Torino Talladega ahead of Buddy Baker’s No. 6 Cotton Owens Dodge less than 50 miles from the checkered flag and beat Baker to the checkers by four car lengths.
Other Happenings: Gordon Johncock bested a 19-car field to win the Rocky Mountain 150 for USAC championship cars at Continental Divide Raceway in Colorado; Richard Petty won the inaugural NASCAR Grand National event at Dover Downs Int’l Speedway after a heated duel with LeeRoy Yarbrough; Roger McCluskey outran A.J. Foyt to win the Mid-America 200 at Mid-America Raceway for USAC late models; Cale Yarbrough reset the world’s closed course speed record with his 190.706 mph lap in qualifying at Daytona Int’l Speedway.