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Greg Weld - RIP


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#1 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 20:11

Sad news just coming in:-
http://www.kansascit...ory/733202.html

:(

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 20:43

And out of the midst of the grief, I note that there's some nasty comments on the blog with that news item!

Some people just can't forgive or forget, I guess...

#3 Jim Thurman

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 21:12

Sad. Well, at least Greg made it to an "oldtimers" gathering recently, which was big news as he hadn't been seen at those sort of gatherings. I saw some pictures taken at the event and he seemed to be enjoying himself and many seemed quite pleased to see him.

On top of being a standout Sprint Car driver, there is some interesting trivia around his Champ Car racing.

He drove the last Novi, attempting to qualify it at Indy in 1966.

In 1969, there were five dirt races on the USAC Championship schedule...Greg Weld was on the pole for four of them :eek: (and the other one he did not compete in!)

Also in 1969, at Milwaukee, the race was red flagged on lap 2 after a large pile-up coming onto the backstraight that was triggered by a suspension failure on Art Pollard's car. Pollard took over Weld's car on the restart...and went on to win the race.

#4 fines

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 22:07

... and Greg never got the credit he was due as a co-winner!

RIP, Greg! Too young to die, for sure... :cry:

#5 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 18:27

Sorry to hear about Greg Weld, a very interesting & gutsy guy, a real Sprint car racer. Fascinating to watch him in action, something I was very fortunate to be able to catch on several occasions. I had forgotten how close we were in age, however.....

#6 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:55

Something else overlooked is Greg Weld was a true "whiz kid", having success locally around Kansas City before heading off to IMCA. Winning the Knoxville Nationals at 19, taking the USAC Sprint Car championship to the final race as a 21 year old "rookie" (Johnny Rutherford edged him) and winning the USAC Sprint Car championship at the ripe age of 23. I've seen a fair number of Sprint Car Hall of Fame members in action, but, sadly, I never got to see Greg Weld race on dirt.

Link to a very good rememberance by Robin Miller:

http://auto-racing.s...ring-greg-weld/

#7 fines

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 15:09

Re "whiz kid", yes, but he disappeared almost as fast. What happened to him, old man syndrome at thirty?

#8 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 16:34

Weld's relative youth was part of what got my attention at the time -- he was scarcely older than I was and he was taking on the pros and beating them. This was when anyone under 30 was considered as being "young" in that line of work. And, he was very impressive to watch on dirt. I only got to see him a few times, but he just "looked good" on the track. He was very quick. Only spoke to him maybe once, seemed an okay guy. As to what happened, a good question, since it was pretty much a case of he was there and then he wasn't.

#9 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 17:41

Michael, Don...

Robin Miller covers this in his piece to a degree. The growth of Weld Wheels led to him cutting back his schedule before he was 30. His last race was a USAC Sprint race in 1974, where he finished 2nd to Foyt.

Yes, he seemingly was "there and gone". Essentially, five years on the road to the top and only about nine overall in top level racing, retiring at 31...but keep in mind how long he'd been racing by the time.

I have to wonder if there was a bit of "burn-out" too, I don't know. As Don mentions, this was an era when drivers that were the new, young stars were rarely inside of their late 20's (for example, Rutherford was 27 when he edged Greg Weld for the 1965 title). Brother Kenny was racing heavily through the 1970's, a standout in Sprints and on the Eastern modified circuit.

The story of the championship battle in that final round at Ascot is something in itself.

He had become something of a recluse, so it came as great surprise when he turned up at the Jungle Park Reunion last September with the Leffler/Dunseth sprint car (which I've read he helped restore). But, to sort of correct my earlier post, I've learned he made it to at least one or two more "old timer" gatherings this year, including being a speaker at the big annual shindig at Indianapolis (the Bench Racing Weekend).

#10 fines

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 17:46

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
His last race was a USAC Sprint race in 1974, where he finished 2nd to Foyt.

Jim, you're not, per chance, ignoring everything outside USAC, are you?;)

Then tell me who finished 6th in the 1976 Knoxville Nationals, will you? :p

#11 Jim Thurman

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 16:56

Originally posted by fines

Jim, you're not, per chance, ignoring everything outside USAC, are you?;)

Then tell me who finished 6th in the 1976 Knoxville Nationals, will you? :p

No, Michael I wouldn't do that ;)

I was quoting the following passage in the Robin Miller piece:

"...driving became less and less a priority for Greg, who finally quit in 1974 after running second to A.J. Foyt at the Fairgrounds in a sprinter."

#12 RStock

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 19:42

Greg Welds own words about choosing buisness over racing from his National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Bio .

As young as he was , the disciplined and educated Weld had also matured , personally and professionally . He had married a young woman named Marilyn and they lived in Kansas City where he had invested his own winnings in a factory to build lightweight 12 spoke "Weldwheels" for racing and street use . Said Greg later " I wanted to be in buisness more than I wanted to be a racer."



Link to NSCHoF

http://www.sprintcar.../Inductees.aspx


The Bio's are all pdf files , you'll have to find the one you want and click on it to download .