50 Years Ago – September 7, 1960
Jim Gilchrist, 36, of Gardena, Calif., was killed Aug. 30 in the big car races at the Minnesota State Fair. Contact with another car sent Gilchrist’s racer over the outside wall where it flipped and burst into flames. A.J. Shepherd drove “Dizz” Wilson’s No. 71 to victory in the 20-lap feature.
25 Years Ago – September 11, 1985
Former USAC midget racer Mike Groff made it two straight in the Robert Bosch Super Vee Series Sunday with a wire-to-wire victory at the triangular .833-mile Sanair Super Speedway in St. Pie, Quebec. Davy Jones relentlessly pursued Groff throughout the 72-lap race, but had to settle for second-place money.
Countdown To 100
In its long history, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has taken many lives.
But aircraft accidents caused the demise of several drivers. Wilbur Shaw, Mack Hellings, Tony Bettenhausen, Jr., Eddie Johnson, Al Loquasto and Al Holbert were aircraft victims.
Highway accidents cost Bill Cummings, Johnny Mantz and Mike Mosely their lives.
Sammy Sessions perished in a snowmobile accident. Earl Devore and Norm Batten died on the SS Vestris in 1928. Batten, who had bravely driven his burning car at Indianapolis to a safe area to protect others, died aboard the Vestris trying to save someone’s life.
Newsmaker – Steve Kinser
Fourteen-time World of Outlaws sprint-car champion Steve Kinser’s move to Kenny Bernstein’s NASCAR Winston Cup team lasted just seven races in 1995, but the second-generation racer certainly didn’t let any grass grow under his feet.
With backing from Quaker State, Kinser quickly formed his own sprint-car team and returned to the World of Outlaws circuit May 12 at the Action Track in Terre Haute, Ind. He was back in victory lane just 10 days later and went on to win a series-leading 18 features.
Kinser rounded out the year by testing A.J. Foyt’s No. 41 Indy Racing League car at Walt Disney World Speedway, leaving fans to wonder where the sprint-car star would race in 1996.
Chris’s Column – August 30, 1995
“We know why Goody’s sponsors the August Winston Cup race at Bristol. It sells product. We awoke Sunday morning with our head still spinning after the dizzy pace of Saturday night’s rain-delayed ‘Wall of Death’ TV event. It reminded us of a nearby amusement park in the ’30s that offered Ethel Purtle, speeding around the 90-degree walls of a tiny wooden motordrome astride a motorcycle with a lion as her sidecar passenger.”