Looking Back – March 16, 2011

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STOCK CAR MAN: Mario Andretti enjoys the spoils of victory after winning the 1967 Daytona 500 NASCAR stock-car race at Daytona Int’l Speedway. (Chris Economaki Photo)

STOCK CAR MAN: Mario Andretti enjoys the spoils of victory after winning the 1967 Daytona 500 NASCAR stock-car race at Daytona Int’l Speedway. (Chris Economaki Photo)

50 Years Ago – March 15, 1961

Stirling Moss, England’s top road racer, turned down Al Dean’s offer to drive one of the Dean Van Line Specials in the Golden Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 30. Dean made the offer via telegram and Moss replied: “Greatly appreciate your offer Indianapolis car but regret only interested in competing with British car. Regards and good luck — Stirling Moss.”

25 Years Ago – March 12, 1986

Wisconsin native and former ASA regular Alan Kulwicki has purchased the yellow and black Ford Thunderbird he has been campaigning in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from Bill Terry. Kulwicki, who is competing for the rookie-of-the-year title, will house the car at Norman Negre’s shop in Kannapolis, N.C., and he hopes to run at least 20 of the remaining 26 races.

Countdown To 100 – 1999 – Kenny Brack

It was only fitting that in the final Indianapolis 500 of the 20th century the man who is considered the greatest Indianapolis 500 winner would be back in victory lane.

Thanks to Kenny Brack’s sterling drive in the 83rd Indianapolis 500, A.J. Foyt was able to celebrate in victory lane as a team owner.

Brack conserved his fuel, used the right pit strategy and did not force the issue until it mattered the most. Robby Gordon was clinging to the lead when he ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap and Brack swooped in for the victory. Jeff Ward finished second and Billy Boat was third while Gordon fell to fourth in the final rundown.

Newsmaker – Mario Andretti

One of the most successful teams in racing history began to unravel late in 1969. In the Oct. 22 issue, NSSN reported Mario Andretti and his co-chief mechanics, Clint Brawner and Jim McGee, were going their separate ways for the 1970 season.

Andretti and Brawner began working together in 1964 with McGee serving as an assistant before being promoted to co-chief mechanic in 1967.

During that period, Andretti won 30 National Championship races, including the 1969 Indianapolis 500, and claimed three USAC championships.

Andretti renewed his contract with car owner Andy Granatelli and Granatelli’s brother, Vince, was named chief mechanic while Brawner and McGee went to work for Jim Hayhoe, preparing cars for Roger McCluskey.

Chris’s Column – August 12, 1970

“We were part of the huge throng that jammed Al Howard’s Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., Saturday night and were pleased to see every one of his nearly 11,000 seats occupied. The stockers are high in their praise of Howard, who pays the modifieds $700 to win and $500 for second every week. The racing was good and it was nice renewing acquaintances with the modified boys and the URC sprint-car set.”