50 Years Ago – September 28, 1960
USAC Competition Director Henry Banks and driver representative Rodger Ward visited Charlotte Motor Speedway this week and expressed a keen desire to conduct a 100-mile National Championship race at the nation’s newest superspeedway during the 1961 season. Banks said the Indy roadsters “can run with ease” on the high-banked 1.5-mile track.
25 Years Ago – October 2, 1985
Mark Passerrelli posted two feature victories and claimed the series championship as the South West Independent Midget Series wrapped up its season with races at four tracks in Oklahoma and Texas. Kevin Doty and Rick Bussell were the other winners in what turned out to be the end of the SWIMS tour.
Countdown To 100
Twice in the history of the Indianapolis 500 the same top three starters (the front row) were the same two years in a row. In 1940, Rex Mays, Wibur Shaw and Mauri Rose started one-two-three. In 1941 Rose, Mays and Shaw started one-two-three. It is interesting to note that in 1940 the finishing order was Shaw first, Mays second and Rose third. This is the only time the starting front row finished in the top three. The second time the front row repeated itself was 1971 when Peter Revson was on the pole, Mark Donohue second and Bobby Unser third. The same three started on the front row in 1972: Unser, Revson and Donohue started one-two-three.
Newsmaker – Jack Hewitt
Jack Hewitt added the capstone to his brilliant open-wheel racing career on Saturday night, Sept. 26, 1998, when he won each of the four feature events during the USAC 4-Crown Nationals at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.
After becoming the first driver to sweep the event in its 18-year history, Hewitt said, “It’s a fairy tale night. Snow White and Cinderella got nothin’ on me.”
Hewitt started the evening by winning the UMP modified feature and then emerged from a terrific battle with Tracy Hines and Dave Darland to win the USAC midget main. The USAC sprint-car feature saw Hewitt win from the 10th starting spot and he led every lap of the USAC Silver Crown nightcap.
Chris’s Column – December 2, 1998
“Talk about being picky. Scott Bloomquist journeyed from Tennessee to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago to pick up his $40,000 Hav-A-Tampa late-model series champion’s check, but didn’t stay over for the Saturday 60-lap Dixie Speedway race that paid $6,000 to win. He told Rick Minter of the Atlanta newspapers, ‘I don’t race for $6,000 much anymore. I try to stick to races that pay at least $10,000 to win.’”