Looking Back – Feb. 2, 2011


CHIT CHAT: Ferrari teammates Mario Andretti (left) and Jacky Ickx talk prior to the 1970 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The pair finished third. (Chris Economaki Photo)

50 Years Ago – February 1, 1961

Feuding between USAC and NASCAR is erupting again, this time over a USAC ban on Indianapolis 500 race drivers competing in the internationally sanctioned stock-car race at Daytona Int’l Speedway Feb. 26. USAC’s refusal to allow its members to participate resulted in a protest to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile by Bill France, the Daytona promoter and head of NASCAR.

25 Years Ago – January 29, 1986

In recognition of his 1985 CART championship, Al Unser was honored Jan. 23 with a series of events in Washington, D.C. The activities included a Capitol Hill reception, a visit to the White House and a 30-minute Oval Office meeting with President Ronald Reagan. Among those joining Unser were his brother Bobby, son Al, Jr. and car owner Roger Penske.

Countdown To 100 – 1993 – Emerson Fittipaldi

Emerson Fittipaldi out-foxed leader Nigel Mansell on a lap-185 restart and went on to claim his second Indianapolis 500 victory in the 1993 running of the world’s most famous race.

After driving around Mansell, the Brazilian opened a three-second advantage before the yellow flag was waved again on lap 192 when Mansell brushed the wall.

Fittipaldi was able to hold the lead on the final restart and beat Arie Luyendyk to the checkered flag by 2.862 seconds, giving car owner Roger Penske a record ninth Indy victory.

The 1993 race was the first since 1957 without A.J. Foyt, who retired on May 15 and took a ceremonial final lap.

Newsmaker – Jack Bowsher

Jack Bowsher, of Springfield, Ohio, won 13 of 34 new car races en route to the 1963 Midwest Ass’n for Race Cars championship.

Driving a Ford, Bowsher also finished second on six occasions and had three third-place showings. He amassed 3,375 points, a MARC record and exactly 600 more than runner-up and defending champion Iggy Katona.

A victory in the prestigious 250-lap event at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit was among the highlights of Bowsher’s impressive season.

The 1963 season was the last under the MARC banner as the sanctioning body, headed by John Marcum and Frank Canale, was renamed the Automobile Racing Club of America as part of a geographic expansion for 1964.

Chris’s Column – September 28, 1964

“Quote of the weekend at the Bridgehampton road races came from Augie Pabst, one of the really nice guys in the sport. Triangle TV cameraman Harold Hodgeman was assigned to take in-car action shots of Augie wheeling the Ferrari 250 LM at speed. With the lensman tightly strapped in the second seat, on taking off, Augie looked over at him and said, ‘You’ll know when I lose it because I’ll scream’.”