Archive for the 'Motorsports' Category

FIRST SPEEDWAY RACE ON THIS DAY IN 1909

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The first race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of
the world’s most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500.

Built on 328 acres of farmland five miles northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana,
the speedway was started by local businessmen as a testing facility for
Indiana’s growing automobile industry. The idea was that occasional races
at the track would pit cars from different manufacturers against each other
and after seeing what these cars could do, spectators would presumably
head down to the showroom of their choice to get a closer look.

The rectangular two-and-a-half-mile track linked four turns, each exactly 440
yards from start to finish, by two long and two short straight sections. In that
first five-mile race on August 19, 1909, 12,000 spectators watched Austrian
engineer Louis Schwitzer win with an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour.

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Louis Schwitzer (1880 – 1967) winner of the inaugural
race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.        

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posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,AUTO RACING,HISTORY,Inaugural,Motorsports,NEWSPAPER and have No Comments

FIRST DAYTONA 500 WINNER ON THIS DAY

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On this day in 1959, Lee Petty defeats Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish at
the just-opened Daytona International Speedway in
Florida to win the first-ever Daytona 500. The race was so close that Beauchamp was initially named the
winner by William France, the owner of the track and head of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). However, Petty, who was
driving a hardtop Oldsmobile 88, challenged the results and three days later,
with the assistance of news photographs, he was officially named the champ.

There was speculation that France declared Beauchamp the winner in order to intentionally stir up controversy and generate publicity for his new race track.

Today, the 200-lap, 500-mile Daytona 500 is one of auto racing’s premiere
events and the first race of the NASCAR season. France, a gas station owner
and racing promoter, officially co-founded NASCAR in Daytona Beach in
1948.

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Lee Arnold Petty (March 14, 1914 – April 5, 2000)

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Johnny Beauchamp
(March 23, 1923 – April 17, 1981)

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William Henry Getty France (September 26, 1909 – June 7, 1992)

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Lee Petty’s 1959 Oldsmobile Super 88 in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

  

 

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posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,Automobiles,Awards,DEBUT,HISTORY,Motorsports,NASCAR and have No Comments

RACING LEGEND ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

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Scott Pruett - racer, book writer and winemaker

Scott Donald Pruett will be 58 years old March 24.

(AP) – American motorsports legend Scott Pruett will hang up his fire suit for the
last time after the Rolex 24 at Daytona this month.

The 57-year-old started racing karts at age eight and hasn’t stopped since. His
near five-decade career has spanned NASCAR, Indy car and most notably
sports car racing, where he found the most success.

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Besides being a race car driver, Scott is a successful vineyard
owner and children’s book author.

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posted by Bob Karm in CURRENT EVENTS,Motorsports,Race car driver,Retirement,THEN AND NOW and have No Comments