50 Years Ago – July 13, 1960
Johnny Roberts, the 1953 NASCAR sportsman champion from Brooklyn, Md., roared to victory in the 50-lap modified stock-car feature at Alcyon Speedway in Pitman, N.J. The victory ended Al Tasnady’s streak of six-consecutive wins at the D-shaped dirt track as Tasnady settled for second with Bob Malzahn third.
25 Years Ago – July 17, 1985
Stock-car star Dick Trickle, his crew chief and three others escaped injury when their single-engine plane crashed on landing Sunday at the Wisconsin Int’l Raceway drag strip. The Piper aircraft, flown by Neil Jacobs, touched down at high speed and then veered into a guardrail and hit a pole.
Countdown To 100
Penalties in the Indy 500, while surprisingly rare, have had significance. In 1972, Jerry Grant was driving the race of his life and had just inherited the lead when he cut a tire on lap 188 and hurriedly pitted. He stopped in his teammate’s stall and wasn’t scored after that. He would have finished second, but got paid for 12th. In 1981, Bobby Unser was dominating the race but on a pit stop failed to “blend in” and passed several cars. The win was originally taken from him, but in October he was awarded the victory but fined $50,000. In 1995, Scott Goodyear was caught passing the pace car on the final restart. Black flagged, he refused and crossed the finish line first. He was penalized to 14th.
Newsmaker – Tim Richmond
The health of NASCAR Winston Cup star Tim Richmond made headlines throughout the 1987 season as the flamboyant racer battled what was reported to be pneumonia.
“It hate it, but it looks like I’m going to have to miss part of the season,” the Ashland, Ohio, native said in January.
Richmond was only able to drive the No. 25 Folgers Coffee Chevrolet in eight of the 29 races that season, and he scored victories at Pocono and Riverside.
In September, team owner Rick Hendrick announced Richmond had submitted his resignation and that Hendrick had hired Ken Schrader.
Richmond never drove in another NASCAR race and he died on Aug. 13, 1989, from complications related to AIDS.
Chris’s Column – September 2, 1987
“We’ve got to hand it to Charlotte Motor Speedway head ‘Humpy’ Wheeler. He just moved the track to another town so his new Speedway Club could get a liquor license. That’s right, CMS is no longer in Harrisburg, N.C., but rather in adjoining Concord. Through some slick maneuvering, 641 acres of the track’s 2,010 acres have been annexed by the City of Concord. This now permits the track — and its posh Speedway Club – to sell beer, wine and champagne.”