50 Years Ago – August 31, 1960
Starting from the rear of the 38-car field, “Iggy” Katona drove a 1960 Ford to victory in Sunday’s 500-lap late-model stock-car race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. This was the eighth annual 500, but the first at Eldora after seven years at nearby Dayton Speedway.
25 Years Ago – September 4, 1985
Renault, the French auto-making giant whose financial problems have been a source of trouble for that country’s socialist government, last week announced it will pull out of Formula One racing at the end of the season. However, the company still plans to supply its V-6 turbo engines to F-1 customers.
Countdown To 100
A.J. Foyt started a record 35-consectutive Indy 500s. Some other drivers had different ideas about the Memorial Day classic. The 1947 strike by ASPAR complicated things for speedway management and they needed drivers to fill the field. They found Cy Marshall and Roland Free. Both drivers had made just one previous start — 17 years earlier in 1930. The kicker was that Free was driving the car Billy Arnold won with in 1930. Free and Marshall hold the record for most years between starts and Free’s ride is the oldest car ever to compete in the 500. In another connection to the 1930 race in 1947, Shorty Cantlon, who was second that year, lost his life in a crash in 1947 when he tangled with Bill Holland, who was lapping him.
Newsmaker – Bob Newton
Bob Newton, founder of Hoosier Racing Tire, was in the news throughout 1994 as his company went head-to-head with corporate giant Goodyear in NASCAR’s top two series.
With Geoff Bodine as the company’s lead driver, Hoosier-shod cars claimed 12 Winston Cup poles and Bodine won four races, including the Winston Select all-star event.
But the financial strain of competing against Goodyear eventually proved too costly and Hoosier returned to its racing roots in the short-track arena.
After the season finale, Newton said, “Our effort in NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series racing has been rewarding for us, but we remain a family-owned company that relies totally on income from the sale of racing tires to remain profitable.”
Chris’s Column – January 19, 1994
“The legacy of the late Mickey Thompson, former land speed record holder and creator of stadium off-road racing, was enhanced recently when the plastic, water-filled containers used at MTEG events were scheduled for public showing Jan. 20 at California’s Anaheim Stadium. This barrier is now being adopted for lifesaving applications for the general public. At Anaheim, Mickey’s son Danny will drive into a barrier at 60 mph in a dramatic display of its resiliency.”