50 Years Ago – September 14, 1960
Billy Spade clinched the modified stock-car championship by finishing second to Jackie Reinhard in the 25-lap headliner Friday night at Freeport (N.Y.) Stadium. Spade’s No. 15 was not running well, so he switched cars with Jim Lacey, taking over the No. 50 for the feature. It was Spade’s second track title.
25 Years Ago – September 18, 1985
Jack Ingram became the first driver to win a NASCAR Busch Late Model Sportsman Series race using a V-6 engine when he edged Larry Pearson in the Coca-Cola 300 Sunday at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. Ingram’s Pontiac was less than foot ahead of Pearson’s Pontiac at the checkered flag.
Countdown To 100
A.J. Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 driving a front-engine roadster and a rear-engine car.
Foyt won two 500s driving front-engine roadsters — in 1961 and 1964. He later won two Indy 500s driving rear-engine cars —1967 and 1977. The 1977 Indianapolis 500 victory came in a Foyt-designed Coyote chassis powered by a Foyt V-8 engine. All four winning cars are on display in the Indianapolis Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
Foyt’s Indianapolis 500 career spanned 35 starts between 1958 and 1992 and included 17 top-10 finishes.
Newsmaker – John Force
John Force single-handedly squeezed the drama from the NHRA Funny Car season in 1996, crushing his opposition en route to his sixth Winston championship and becoming the first drag racer to win the prestigious Driver of the Year award.
Force, of Yorba Linda, Calif., set single-season NHRA records by winning 13 of the 19 races and appearing in 16 final rounds. He won 65 rounds of eliminations and sealed the championship at the U.S. Nationals in September, the earliest clincher of his career.
“To think that a guy who used to drive trucks for a living was voted the best driver in all of motorsports in 1996 is almost hard to believe,” said Force.
Chris’s Column – October 23, 1996
“When in Las Vegas we enjoyed meeting Miller Bros. Racing teammates Steve Knapp and Greg LeMond and their patron John Miller, owner of the Miller Milling Co. of Minneapolis. We jokingly asked how much spaghetti the one million pounds of pasta his company produces daily would make. PR man Scott Gates took it seriously and – after much calculating — writes that one 24-hour day’s pasta production would make 106,977,206 miles of spaghetti!”