Torn From The Headlines – Oct. 13, 2010

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chris economaki photo FORMULA FORDS: A pair of 50-lap Formula Ford races were held on the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April 1970. Here’s the start of one of the two events, which were won by Carson Baird and Jim Jenkins. (Chris Economaki Photo)

FORMULA FORDS: A pair of 50-lap Formula Ford races were held on the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April 1970. Here’s the start of one of the two events, which were won by Carson Baird and Jim Jenkins. (Chris Economaki Photo)

50 Years Ago – October 12, 1960

A.J. Foyt, 25, of Houston, Texas, held off Jim Hurtubise to win the Ted Horn-Bill Schindler Memorial Sunday at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway. Hurtubise challenged Foyt throughout the 50-lap feature, but fell a car length short at the checkered flag. With the victory, Foyt clinched the U.S. Auto Club’s Eastern sprint-car championship.

25 Years Ago – October 16, 1985

Rusty Wallace, wheeling Nicky Prejean’s Pontiac, drove around Dick Trickle for the lead on lap 364 and went on to win the Miller All-American 400 late-model spectacular Sunday afternoon at Nashville Motor Speedway. Gary Balough recovered from an early race spin to finish second. Wallace earned $11,900 from the $109,775 purse.

Countdown To 100

One of the all time Indianapolis 500 hard-luck drivers is George Snider. In 22 Indianapolis 500 appearances from his rookie year in 1965 to his final Indianapolis 500 in 1987, Snider finished in the final three finishing positions six times, the most of any driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500. Snider is one of six drivers to finish in all three final race positions. Others were Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Gary Bettenhausen, Paul Russo and Dick Simon. In 1971 and 1987, Snider finished last. In 1983 and 1985, he finished next to last. Snider finished 31st in 1968 and 1979. His best finish was a pair of eighth-place finishes in 1975 and 1978.

Newsmaker – Joe Amato

Joe Amato, the most successful driver ever in NHRA’s Top Fuel category, shocked the racing community when he retired from driving following the 2000 season finale at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.

Amato, 56, said two laser surgeries in the last five months to repair torn retinas, and the potential of further eye damage, prompted his decision.

“My plan was to drive a fan appreciation farewell season in 2001 and try for a sixth Winston Top Fuel championship,” said Amato, who will continue as a team owner. “That was the announcement I was going to make today. However, in the past few days, I realized the smartest and safest thing for me to do is get out of the car now.”

Chris’s Column – October 11, 2000

“A strange-looking ‘new driver’ showed up at NEMA’s weekend midget shows at the Seekonk, Mass., and Thompson, Conn., speedways. One John Taylor, Jr., sporting a long pony tail and Coke-bottle eyeglasses, was the center of attention until it was deduced the masquerader was many-time champion Drew Fornoro coming out of retirement. Why the Taylor name? Many years ago his midget-racing father-in-law Russ Klar used John Taylor as a nom-de-course when crossing association lines to drive in NASCAR.”