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USAC, CART and Champ Car history


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#2501 Rob G

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 18:30



Errrr, don't Helio Castro Neves and Tony Kanaan qualify?

 

I think he meant those days.



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#2502 RA Historian

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 15:36

 But why were there almost no Brazil in IndyCar these days?

 

 

 

I think he meant those days.

Perhaps. I may have been thrown off by his use of the word 'these'. If so, apologies.



#2503 HistoryFan

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 21:52

yes, sorry, in those days.



#2504 ensign14

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 22:43

There weren't many non-US drivers at all then.  In fact, there weren't many new drivers.  Pretty much every Indycar race of the seventies was won by someone who started in the sixties - or earlier.  Sneva and Mears were the main exceptions.  Even Danny Ongais had a go in 1968.



#2505 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:58

yes but why?



#2506 B Squared

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 10:52

Wilbur Shaw's Champion 100-MPH Club jacket to be auctioned:

http://www.racer.com...to-be-auctioned


Final price $15,625

http://www.nationals...et-earns-15625/

#2507 Jim Thurman

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 19:47

yes but why?

 

That is rather self-evident.  Aside from the Indianapolis 500, U.S. Championship racing was almost entirely contested by U.S. drivers. There was no tradition of Brazilian drivers coming to the U.S. to race back then nor any connection for Brazilian drivers to aspire to.



#2508 HistoryFan

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:35

But I wonder that this championship was only contested by US drivers. I see no reason why. The cars were more powerful than the F1 cars...



#2509 D-Type

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 13:28

Well, for a start, remember that although Indianapolis has always professed to be international (after all the official name is the "International" Sweepstakes) the championship was/is the US National Championship.  For comparison, how many US, European, Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan, Japanese, etc drivers have competed in the Brazilian national championship?  Even now, on some US racing centred discussion groups it is not unusual to see complaints about foreigners competing in the various US racing series.


Edited by D-Type, 02 March 2014 - 20:28.


#2510 ensign14

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 13:45

yes but why?

 

The change to rear-engined cars.  Those who were already in Champ Car racing made the transition at the same time as the European drivers.  So they all muddled through together.  In the 60s and early 70s, there were no rear-engined feeder formulae to the USAC championship, as USAC took the enlightened decision to ban rear engines from sprintcars and below.  So the skills learned there were useless for Indycar - but very decent for NASCAR.

 

It is no coincidence that the two main graduates to the top level in the 1970s were Tom Sneva, who drove a rear-engined sprintcar before they were banned, and Rick Mears, who cut his open-wheel teeth in F5000.



#2511 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 20:19

The change to rear-engined cars.  Those who were already in Champ Car racing made the transition at the same time as the European drivers.  So they all muddled through together.  In the 60s and early 70s, there were no rear-engined feeder formulae to the USAC championship, as USAC took the enlightened decision to ban rear engines from sprintcars and below.  So the skills learned there were useless for Indycar - but very decent for NASCAR.

 

It is no coincidence that the two main graduates to the top level in the 1970s were Tom Sneva, who drove a rear-engined sprintcar before they were banned, and Rick Mears, who cut his open-wheel teeth in F5000.

 

 

Great point.  Sneva had raced nothing but rear engined super modifieds before he left the Northwest for USAC competition and Mears had also raced Formula Vee and Super Vee prior to F5000.



#2512 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 20:25

Well, for a start, remember that although Indianapolis has always professed to be international (after all the official name is the "International" Sweepstakes) the championship

was/is the US National Championship.  For comparison, how many US, European, Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan, Japanese, etc drivers have competed in the Brazilian national championship?  Even now, on some US racing centred discussion groups it is not unusual to see complaits about foreigners competing in the various US racing series.

 

Good point.  Sort of like some the British members here who gripe about this forum being too U.S.-centric?  ;)

 

Seriously, you will find those folks, they are out there, but please don't go by them.  Particularly if it's the forum I think you're referring to.  Some there are extremely provincial.  Those same people seem to feel the same about U.S folks from more than two states to either side :D

 

The exceptions were always the international drivers racing other events to gain oval experience to meet USAC criteria.



#2513 Lemnpiper

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 20:40

There weren't many non-US drivers at all then.  In fact, there weren't many new drivers.  Pretty much every Indycar race of the seventies was won by someone who started in the sixties - or earlier.  Sneva and Mears were the main exceptions.  Even Danny Ongais had a go in 1968.

 

  And many more drivers had Indy car careers  like Jim Rathmanns & Sam Hanks which featured longevity  over careers like Bill Vukovich's which got cut short  by an accident.

 

   Plus drivers that had come up from racing in the USA series priot to 1968 had time to adjust to the rear engine cars, which when added to better safety  allowed the top drivers to hold onto the top rides for longer period of time . End result  was fewer US drivers gaining the experience to compete well at Indy since the new drivers literally had to perform well right out of the box or they were replaced.

 

 

    Nascar became a viable option  to many drivers  in lower level open wheel series ,since the "learning curve" wasn't so big  as well which allowed newer drivers to achieve success far quicker.

 

   Paul


Edited by Lemnpiper, 02 March 2014 - 20:41.


#2514 Bob Riebe

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:14

Lordy, it has been forty years now but AutoWeek & Comptetion Press back then has a large article about the missing generation of USAC drivers during the seventies.

 

You forget the SCCA, had rear-engined formula cars and while many drivers from that series did drive some races in Indianapolis cars they came and went while those who came up through USAC soldiered on for a long time.

 

You also forget or do not know, NASCAR was not anywhere near what it is now till approx. fifteen years ago when it went from being just another stock car series to the sole survivor, whilst road racing in the U.S. self-destructed.

 

Up to and into the nineties, the known names and even journeyman drivers interchangeing between stock car, oval and road racing was the norm, as were more than one weekly racing newspaper that made the unfamiliar familiar to their readers.



#2515 HistoryFan

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 16:30

Has anyone a list of all tubine engines in Indy?



#2516 E.B.

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 16:53

Not me.

But FWIW as a starting point, turbine cars appearing at Indy included (not pretending for one minute that this is exhaustive)the Kurtis that Henry Banks tried out in 1955, the John Zink Trackburner from 1962, the Jack Adams one from 1966 (and another in 1969??), the infamous Silent Sam that nearly won in 1967, the Lotus 56s and the Shelby cars from 1968.

#2517 D-Type

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 18:20

Has anyone a list of all tubine engines in Indy?

Which ones have you found out about already?

 

Does the Lear Vapordine count?  Did the engine ever get into the car?  And if so, did it ever get to Indy privately?  Wasn't there another steam car entered in the early days of the race?



#2518 HistoryFan

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 22:54

Not me.

But FWIW as a starting point, turbine cars appearing at Indy included (not pretending for one minute that this is exhaustive)the Kurtis that Henry Banks tried out in 1955, the John Zink Trackburner from 1962, the Jack Adams one from 1966 (and another in 1969??), the infamous Silent Sam that nearly won in 1967, the Lotus 56s and the Shelby cars from 1968.

Adams also had turbine projects in the 70s.



#2519 D-Type

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 00:25

Is that all you have managed to find out so far?



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#2520 HistoryFan

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 10:04

I'm just do research work for John Zink's car in 1961...

It's not so easy to find many details on the web without having good books for that.

I cannot see the problem to ask question for here, some of you can answer in 5 minute while I must research many days. If you think it's a problem, you don't have to answer that questions.  ;)



#2521 B Squared

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:22

I'm so sorry to see that Gary Bettenhausen has passed away. Robin Miller remembers his friend:

http://www.racer.com...by-robin-miller

GaryBIMS1972_zpsd4db13b3.jpg

#2522 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:11

Oh, that's a terrible downer on a Monday morning! If at all possible, he was an even greater legend in racing than his father. Condolences to the twins and everyone, and thanks for the memories, Gary :cry:



#2523 Henri Greuter

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:29

 

Oh, that's a terrible downer on a Monday morning! If at all possible, he was an even greater legend in racing than his father. Condolences to the twins and everyone, and thanks for the memories, Gary :cry:



Nothing to add to that other than that I feel likewise.
And, yes, still something to add after all.
Happy that I still met him, but remember how shocked I was what efforts he had to do to sign a picture for me. But thouhg circumstances were difficult for him, he still insisted on doing it for me after we had some thoughts about the day he drove that particular car. (The Wildcat he drove in 1980 when he finished third)
Made me wonder how he still could control a car at the speedway at all.

Rest in peace Gary.


Henri

#2524 JacnGille

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:54

I'm so sorry to see that Gary Bettenhausen has passed away. Robin Miller remembers his friend:
 

Sad news.



#2525 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 15:20

Very sad news, but thanks for the memories Gary.

 

As Henri implied, his abilities behind the wheel thoroughly disguised his disability outside of the car. A bit like Kubica - on the verge of the opportunity of a lifetime, but just couldn't resist indulging his passion for racing at whatever level, and ended up paying dearly for it.

 

I remember being quite shocked the first time I saw him out of the car, and had the chance to appreciate what he was dealing with.

 

Is that the end of the dynasty?



#2526 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 16:30



Is that the end of the dynasty?

 

Probably. I gather that the twins wanted to do it badly, but they'd never pass a physical (remember those thick, thick glasses they wore as teenagers). Merle's still alive (who'd've thought that back in '72?), and he has a son, too, but I never heard about him in connection with racing. But who knows, maybe the next generation... after all, that ol' German dickkopf must be in the genes!



#2527 B Squared

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 19:01

Mario donates his time for "Meals on Wheels." I like and appreciate this gentlemen more each day. Just as with Gary B., I was so lucky to watch him at his craft many times over.

 

http://photos.lehigh...e/index.html#/0



#2528 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 19:10

Thanks Brian - good stuff. I had never previously heard of 'shoofly pie' but Mr Google has now educated me.  I hope Mario enjoyed it.  :)



#2529 HistoryFan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:26

Has anybody a list with the seasons with most full-time-cars and the less full-time cars.

 

For 1997 to 2007 both series must be combined...



#2530 RA Historian

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 13:46

Is that ALL that you want?

 

You know, some poking around the internet and researching annuals and media guides will answer your questions.



#2531 Michael Ferner

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 15:41

Does anyone have a list of all lists requested by HistoryFan? I'm feeling a bit listless today...



#2532 HistoryFan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 16:43

Again, don't know where the problem is. I must search all races (I'm asking for full-time cars, so I must look every race since 100 years and more). Of course I could do that but with the big knowlegde here, someone has such a list and have just do see 10 seconds on his archive...  ;)  If you don't have that facts or you think that question is silly, you can ignore that question and spend time on things you do like  ;) If no one will answer, I have to do that days spending work.



#2533 Michael Ferner

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 18:30

Nein, Michael, I don't think there's a problem with that. Rather, it's a problem with this sort of listmania - I know, you do these lists for a publication of yours, and you may have gleaned from some of the threads in this forum that lists in general are not everybody's cup of tea. Still, it's not for us to be critical about it if your readers like them, but tell me, what's the use of such a list if you don't even do the research yourself? Basically, you are pretending to be a know-it-all, without the proper backup. Besides, we could be "selling" you any kind of crap, how are you going to know we don't? And that's just the "standing-tall" part of the problem...

 

Perhaps you should try to understand that "lists" are not history, and history cannot be represented in "lists". Lists can be fun, too, I know, I used to do hundreds as a teenager when I was bored. But luckily, I grew out of that. There is a place for lists in the context of, say, an historical essay, where you can drive home a point or two by using tables, graphs or even plain rankings. But first, you gotta have a point! And second, if you have to rely on others to provide the data, you're missing out on all the fun gathering same - you might even learn something!  ;)



#2534 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 20:49

Again, don't know where the problem is. I must search all races (I'm asking for full-time cars, so I must look every race since 100 years and more). Of course I could do that but with the big knowlegde here, someone has such a list and have just do see 10 seconds on his archive...  ;)  If you don't have that facts or you think that question is silly, you can ignore that question and spend time on things you do like  ;) If no one will answer, I have to do that days spending work.

 

Okay, I've been thinking about this reply for a while. It's been posted before by other people in differing ways here, but ultimately until you can give some direct answers, I think the reluctance to help here will still be there.

 

I'll start with the positives. I admire the fact that you're interested in a number of different facets of the sports history. Also, that you respect the knowledge of the people here, and finally, that you, as a non-native English speaker manage to make yourself mostly understood.

 

However, I think the crux to the matter here is,

1) what are you using the information for?

2) What is the blog, website or publication?

3) Do you give full credit for any help?

 

I think you need to answer these three questions and provide some kind of link, because to answer one of your questions about why someone can't reply with their findings by a 10 second search when you have to spend days.... let me ask the alternative - Why should I, to use an example, spend 15 years researching and spending a lot of personal time - and money - enhancing my website and to gain respect just to give an answer away, not knowing how that answer is going to be used?

One thing that has been suggested about you is that you take the information, translate it and then present it to your readers in your blog as your own work. If that's the case, you'll get nothing further than me other than what's already publically on the internet.

 

Also, as other people have said, TNF is not a vending machine. It's not "take, take, take, take". You need to give something back to us, something you've never done on this forum. New information, or credit in your blog, anything. Again, to use a personal example, I had to earn the trust of Indy historian Donald Davidson, and I only did that after years and years of hard research and getting the answers to the queries he asked me, proving myself. Now, he's available - but not on tap as it is only fair - for the odd query I fire at him and it's a benefical situation for both. I've worked very, very hard to get where I am as a younger researcher in the historic racing world, because I do things the right way, or try to. I learnt from my early days, took notice and changed some aspects of what I was doing so not to alienate anyone I think you need to take stock and do the same.

 

If there is clear transparency about what you are doing, why you are doing it and if you answer all the queries put to you, which you often don't do (By this, when you say you've researched - where? Name sources? What have you looked at? 5 seconds search on Google is not "research".), then you will find people here will either provide the information, or try to help.

 

Hopefully this will explain why people do have a "problem" with you. This is trying to help you, not criticse you.

 

PS - the thing to remember with Indianapolis, and American racing history is the concept of "teams" isn't the same as it is with the World Championship. It doesn't quite really fit into a list, which is why you have to be careful with the quality of information



#2535 HistoryFan

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:39

Thank you for the answer, I will try to answer your questions:

 

1. The information for the most and least full-cars is just an information that I'm interested in. I noticed we have just 22 cars on the grid in the up-coming season and so I get interested in the numbers of full-car-season-entries. I don't have to publish the information anywhere.

 

2. I do just for fun a weekly eMagazin, from which I earned no money or something else. We do that just for fun and you can see it on www.formel-woche.de. Also, I will of course name the sources, but often I tried to get here some key words and will research on that. I will give an example: When I asked for interesting pre-war GP engines I do that because I respect your big knowledge and think that if you hear "interesting pre-war engines" you can say (ah Trossi-Moanco come to my mind because of...) and you just have to write one sentence. Than I used this information that the Trossi Monaco is an interesting one to research on that engine. I just wanted to know what is an interesting engine, and the question to why is something I will try to find out on the web and on some books (but I have just a few for the pre-war-years). I don't think it's a problem for asking such questions. As I said, if you think it's a problem, you don't have to answer them, just ignore them. I don't want anything bad.

 

And I think it's not right, that I just take, take, take, take and not giving something to TNF. But it's very difficult for me to give you anything, because you know much more than I do. I'm just a teenager and I'm still in the way to get some knowledge. I buy some books every months, but I earn no money (I'm just studying) and cannot buy all books at one time. But I also give something to TNF, perhaps something you are not interested, but for example at the almost-moves-thread: It was not started by me, there were some interested in before I joined and now I will give some new almost-moves when I was reading it. Of course you are not happy with all the almost-moves I mentioned, but in the thread were some not really "almost" moves before and my names I mention are just names I read. I have bought many newspapers (Motorsport aktuell, some Autosport) and also some year books (Prüller's GP story) and if I read an almost-move that is not mentioned yet in the almost-moves-thread I will write them down. That's just one example, but I will not ignore that I take let us say 95% and give just 5% to TNF, but that's only because I don't can give something. If I could I would do that.

 

And to the question: Yes I know the case "teams in IndyCar" but perhaps it's possible to find out full-time-entrants.


Edited by HistoryFan, 26 March 2014 - 09:42.


#2536 Michael Ferner

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 11:28

Thanks for that, Michael. And no, I'm not of the opinion that you only take, take, take - some of your threads actually started some pretty interesting discussions, which should not be ignored. Not everybody here needs to approve of everything you do, and the same goes for other contributors, too - some of those who are very critical of you don't have much of a "track record" themselves, and that without your age and language handicaps, so perhaps we need to relax a little bit. You're a member of this community for more than six years already, and if you're still a teenager, you must have started at a pretty young age - respect!! I don't think I'd have managed that when I was that young!

 

I think your attitude is in order, in that you are willing to learn, but you must realize that it takes more than the accumulation of data to understand history - without knowing at least a few reasons for and consequences of WW1, for instance, it's just a useless factoid to mention that it lasted from 1914 to 1918! Basically, that's the problem I see with your listmania - what you're asking for is a factoid version of history, which will benefit no one - you could (and should!) make better use of your time, and efforts!

 

For example, I took a peek at a couple of your e-zines, and glanced over an article mentioning the team of "Connaught Leo Francis" - these sort of things just go to show that you haven't got a clue about what you are writing. The fact that you don't know is nothing to be ashamed of, but to commit to it in writing is something you should try to avoid - you will regret it some day! There are no shortcuts in learning, and it will take time, but unless you understand the things you want to write about, you shouldn't even grab a pen (or boot your computer). A few basics can be googled, and the archive of TNF is a goldmine of information - USE IT!

 

:)



#2537 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 20:47

History Fan, thank you, I appreciate your honesty and clarifty. I'm even more impressed by your language skills considering your age and well done on being interested in the sport and sticking with it at such a young age.

 

I do agree with Michael Ferner though - try to understand a bit more about what you're asking/writing about, because I've found, that if you do, you get more enjoyment out of it. I don't know anything about engine design, but by understanding the lives of the engine designers and what made them special, I'm learning.

 

I'll try and help now I know what you're using it for.. if I can of course.



#2538 ReWind

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 18:25

Honesty?

HF claims to be "just a teenager" but his profile says he is 23 years old.

 

Are his research skills not even sufficient to find out his own age?

 

Don’t let him fool you!



#2539 E.B.

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 19:11

If it turns out the discrepancy is due to the effects of extensive intergalactic travel then I think an apology is due.

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#2540 HistoryFan

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 16:59

I'm 23 years old, but I'm still studding and think I'm a teenager.



#2541 B Squared

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:06

The old Speedway Holiday Inn across 16th Street from IMS on the day after the 1965 race, wishing congratulations to Jim Clark.

SpeedwayHolidayInnJimClarkcongrats_zpsad

#2542 Racerbo

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:00

I am a model builder specializing in 1:43rd scale models of Indy Cars. My interest is primarily in the 1980s and 1990s which in my opinion were great decades for Indy Car racing with a great diversity of drivers and cars. At the moment I am researching some of the "lesser" Lola T-900s that were raced in the 1985 season, and while there are tons of photos of the Beatrice and Domino's cars I find it difficult to find photos of some of the other cars raced. I have trawled the internet and found quite a few photos there, but I still need more photos of some of the cars in order to decorate the models correctly. In particular, I am looking for photos of the #2 Skoal Bandit car raced by Tom Sneva at some events where he preferred the Lola over his normal Eagle; the #36 Pace Electronics car driven by Dennis Firestone and Jim Crawford; and the #38 Circle Bar car driven by Chet Fillip. If anybody in this excellent forum has any photos or know of other forums or websites that could be a source of photos, I would most certainly appreciate any help.

 

Bo



#2543 D-Type

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 22:25

Try asking this question on the Trackforum website.  Those guys live and breathe Indy history.  If they don't know, nobody will



#2544 jj2728

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:44

I am a model builder specializing in 1:43rd scale models of Indy Cars. My interest is primarily in the 1980s and 1990s which in my opinion were great decades for Indy Car racing with a great diversity of drivers and cars. At the moment I am researching some of the "lesser" Lola T-900s that were raced in the 1985 season, and while there are tons of photos of the Beatrice and Domino's cars I find it difficult to find photos of some of the other cars raced. I have trawled the internet and found quite a few photos there, but I still need more photos of some of the cars in order to decorate the models correctly. In particular, I am looking for photos of the #2 Skoal Bandit car raced by Tom Sneva at some events where he preferred the Lola over his normal Eagle; the #36 Pace Electronics car driven by Dennis Firestone and Jim Crawford; and the #38 Circle Bar car driven by Chet Fillip. If anybody in this excellent forum has any photos or know of other forums or websites that could be a source of photos, I would most certainly appreciate any help.
 
Bo


This one?
18_zpscf4bb395.jpg

Copyright JAG

#2545 Racerbo

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:23

This one?
18_zpscf4bb395.jpg

Copyright JAG

Thanks for posting the photo, jj2728, it's the right year, the right team, and the right driver, but unfortunately the wrong car. Sneva alternated between the Eagle GC85 in the photo and a Lola T-900 througout the 1985 season. There didn't seem to be any system to when he drove which car, however. He was in the Lola at Portland, Sanair, Phoenix and Laguna, if that helps!

 

Bo



#2546 Marc Sproule

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:03

my stats from flickr tell me i've been getting some hits from this thread so i thought i'd let people know that there have been a lot of addtiions since i posted in this thread. quite a few of them are indy car snaps......

 

https://www.flickr.c...681980@N03/sets



#2547 E1pix

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:03

Love the Holiday Inn shot, Brian.

#2548 HistoryFan

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 21:15

Wow what a great race with a lot of records:

 

- It was the first Montoya IndyCar win since 2000 - that must be a record. Would be nice to know the drivers which have also long gaps between IndyCar wins. I will try to search a little bit, if nobody has that information.

 

- It was the first Montoya IndyCar pole since 2000 - same here.

 

- It was the fastest 500-mile-race (before it was Fontana 2002), but just the third fastest IndyCar race ever. Which two were faster?

 

- We have no the 7th different winner in 7 races - that could also be a record, couldn't it?