Notice the placement of the fuel...
The car would have been front heavy at the start of the stint and rear heavy at the end. Kinda like an old roadster except backwards.
I bet it would hve been a handfull!
The rear tank would have been for the oil the Offy would consume during the race...
Not really. If you think about it, the tank's longitudinal orientation is like that of most mid-engine cars. The filler is mounted forward, that's all. Meanwhile, the tank's lateral location is more or less on the vehicle centerline -- which is good in that as the fuel is consumed, the car's lateral mass distribution does not migrate.
On the other hand, many other mid-engined cars, including the Thompson, employed a different weight distribution philosophy, with the tank mounted on the left side. With max fuel load and gross vehicle weight at the start of the race, the left-side weight percentage is also at maximum. As the fuel burns off and the car gets lighter, the lateral weight distribution heads toward neutral.
Really, these are both valid approaches as I see them, at least in terms of weight distribution.
The part I find disturbing about Smokey's "sidewinder," as he called it, was the extreme vulnerability of the driver. Smokey's thinking was that the majority of wall strikes are right-side first, which is one hell of a bet on a human life when you think about it. Also, what happens if the car is turned on the track and then T-boned by another car? People have excoriated Thompson for the lack of safety design in his Indy cars, but My God, look at this thing. By more current standards, it's an absolute deathtrap. And yet today, Thompson is treated as a pariah while Yunick is mythologized as a racing genius. Interesting, isn't it?