50 Years Ago – October 19, 1960
The sports commission of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the world governing body of auto racing, announced that the Indianapolis 500 would no longer be part of the world driver’s championship. Instead, the Indianapolis race is now part of a six-event Intercontinental Cup Series that will debut in 1961.
25 Years Ago – October 23, 1985
Car builder and D Sports Racing National Champion Paul Decker received the prestigious President’s Cup during the SCCA Valvoline Road Racing Classic Awards Banquet Sunday night in Gainesville, Ga. The award, which annually recognizes the top SCCA club racer, was presented following the Runoffs weekend at Road Atlanta.
Countdown To 100
Al Unser, Sr. and Helio Castroneves each put together Indianapolis 500 victory records unmatched by any other drivers in in the history of the 500.
Unser, driving for Parnelli Jones, the 1963 Indy 500 winner, won the 500 in 1970 and 1971, and followed up the wins with a second-place finish in 1972.
Thirty years later, Helio Castroneves mirrored that feat by driving Roger Penske’s Team Penske entry to victory lane in 2001 and 2002 ,and second in 2003.
Even more amazing is the fact that those were Castroneves’s first three races in the Indianapolis 500.
Newsmaker – Kevin Harvick
NASCAR team owner Richard Childress named Kevin Harvick, a 25-year-old racer from Bakersfield, Calif., to drive the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet after Dale Earnhardt was killed in the 2001 Daytona 500.
“Dale Earnhardt and I talked about what would happen if I was in Africa and got run over by an elephant, or fell off of a mountain, or if something happened to him in whatever manner, what we would want and what we would want to do. And, it is to go on,” Childress said.
Harvick responded by driving the No. 29 Chevrolet to victory on March 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He also won later in the season at Chicagoland Speedway and finished ninth in points.
Chris’s Column – June 6, 2001
“Volunteer crews cleaning up the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day after the 500 collected 120 tons of trash, 30,00 pounds of aluminum beverage cans and 5 tons of cardboard! The energetic cleaners, members of civic units interested in raising money, did the work. A group of high school cheerleaders earned $4,000. The speedway never says how many seats it has, it is generally agreed there are 300,000, and all looked occupied on race day.”