17-18 April: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

Discover the most momentous motor sports events that took place this weekend in history ……

~17 April~

1932: Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 won the Monaco Grand Prix at Monzae by just 2.8 seconds from the privateer Alfa of Rudolf Caracciola, who, despite having a contract for 1932, was not yet part of the official works team. Caracciola might have had an opportunity to pass Nuvolari for the lead, after the Italian’s car developed fuel pick-up issues, but he decided instead to remain behind the Alfa Romeo team leader. The 1931 Monaco Grand Prix runner-up Luigi Fagioli completed the podium in third for the Maserati team.

1952: Marshall Teague, who ranked sixth in the NASCAR Grand National points standings, was stripped of all points when he quit NASCAR and joined the rival AAA tour. Teague drove in the AAA Stock Car division and had his eyes peeled for a possible ride in the Indianapolis 500.

1955: Tim Flock took the lead when Herb Thomas’ Chevy blew an engine with 10 laps to go, cruising to victory in the 100 mile NASCAR Grand National race at the Montgomery Motor Speedway, Alabama. Flock led laps 10 through 174 on the 1/2 mile dirt track before Thomas got by for the lead. Flock’s Kiekhaefer Chrysler 300 finished 4 laps ahead of the Olds of Joel Million.

1965: Dick Hutcherson held off the repeated challenges of fellow Ford driver Ned Jarrett to win the 100 mile NASCAR GN race on the 1/2 mile dirt Greenville-Pickens Speedway, South Carolina. It was the first career GN win for Hutcherson.

1965: With a time of 9.97 seconds during a meet in York, Pennsylvania, Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick became the first NHRA Funny Car driver to run the quarter-mile in under 10 seconds.

1966: Jim Paschal took the lead when Richard Petty blew his engine with 53 laps left and went on to win the NASCAR GN ‘Gwyn Staley Memorial 400’ on the 5/8 mile paved North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Carolina. Paschal’s Friedkin Plymouth finished 6 laps ahead of G.C. Spencer’s independent Plymouth.

1967: In news that stunned that NASCAR circuit, defending champion David Pearson announced he was leaving the Cotton Owens Dodge team. Getting together in 1963, the combination of Owens, Pearson and Dodge were one of the most formidable in NASCAR GN history. In a little more than four seasons, they scored 27 wins, 20 poles and 32 top three finishes, including 15 wins en route to the 1966 championship.

1971: Jackie Stewart scored the first ever win for the Tyrrell marque at the Spanish Grand Prix – cover image. It was only the fifth race Tyrrell entered with its own 001 chassis and another seven wins would follow that year, a total seven by Stewart and one by Francois Cevert. All this success would culminate in Team Tyrrell winning the Constructors World Championship in its first full season in Formula 1 with its own car.

1976: Over 50,000 people attended Santa Pod’s 10th anniversary Easter meet starring the legendary Don Garlits in his 1975 car, the Swamp Rat# fueler. For the first time in Europe there was an eight car top Fuel entry. Garlits had mechanical problems and qualified no.5 with a 6.89/215mph. No.1 qualifier was Peter Crane in the ‘Stormbringer’ with a 6.21/215 mph pass. Garlits and Crane met in the first round of eliminations, Garlits pulled a red and Crane became the first person outside the U.S. to run into the fives with a 5.97 run. Clive Skilton beat Crane in the semi finals but Crane still managed a 6.03 to back up his record. After the meeting Cranes car was subjected to long and exhaustive tests to make sure that everything was 100% legal and there was no device or mechanism to cheat. Santa Pod had offered a £1000 payout for the first five second run and they carried out the tests before paying up.

1977: Cale Yarborough routed the field, winning the NASCAR GN ‘Southeastern 500’ at Bristol International Speedway, Tennessee by 7 laps. Yarborough put his Junior Johnson Chevy on the pole and led 495 of the 500 laps. Dick Brooks finished 2nd in the Donlevy Ford with Richard Petty’s Dodge 9 laps back in 3rd.

1983: Darrell Waltrip led 245 laps to win the Northwestern Bank 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. It was the first of six wins for Waltrip that season. He led the final 106 laps en route to a commanding victory over Bobby Allison.

1983: Alain Prost won the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in his Renault, won from his pole position in a time of 1:34:13. He also set fastest lap of the race.

1994: At the Pacific Grand Prix at Aida, Benetton driver, Michael Schumacher set the fastest lap on the way to his victory in a time of 1:46:01. Gerhard Berger, in his Ferrari and starting from the 5th position, was second, 1:15 behind Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello was third 1 lap down. Pole sitter, Ayrton Senna was out in an 1st lap accident.

1999: Jimmy Hensley passed Stacy Compton with 37 laps to go and went on to win the NAPA 250 at his home track Martinsville Speedway.

2004: Rick Crawford held off Dennis Setzer in a green-white checkered finish to pick up his first short-track victory in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Crawford bounced back from an accident in Atlanta, which he suffered a fracture to his left foot, to pick up his third career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors (Craftsman) Truck Series victory.

2005: Greg Biffle was forced to start from the rear of the field in a backup car after a practice crash, but he worked his way back to the front and went on to win the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle started the race from the 41st position and once in front, dominated the day leading 219 of the 334 laps. He passed Casey Mears with 23 laps to go after a final round of pit stops and then went on to become the ninth different driver to win in the nine NASCAR Cup races held at Texas.

2009: Greg Biffle won the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 to give Roush Fenway Racing its 100th NASCAR Xfinity (Nationwide) Series win. Biffle’s teammate Carl Edwards came into the race as the series point leader and looked like he was in control of the race early. Edwards led 79 of the first 97 laps until engine woes sidelined his hopes of winning and sent him to the garage.

2011: Jimmie Johnson got a last lap push from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. to edge Clint Bowyer at the finish line to tie the closest finish in NASCAR history in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson and Earnhardt rocketed past the leaders on the final lap of the race with Johnson nipping Bowyer by .

2016: Carl Edwards led 276 laps from the pole to win the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It marked Edwards’ 26th (of 28) career win and fourth at Bristol and it came in what turned out to be his final season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Edwards’ teammate Matt Kenseth led 142 laps, but had a right-front tire issue and finished 36th.

~18 April~

1900: The Long Island Road Race was won by Anthony L Riker driving his special low-sprung Riker Torpedo electric vehicle. The 50-mile race was held on Merrick Road from the Springfield Boulevard intersection in Queens to Bablyon in Suffolk County and back. It was the fourth automobile race ever held in the United States and according to The New York Times, it was “the first automobile 50-mile race ever run in America.”

1925: Renato Balestrero driving an OM 665 won the first Tripoli Grand Prix, held on a racing circuit outside Tripoli, the capital of what was then Italian Tripolitania.The final Tripoli Grand Prix took place in 1940.

1928: The Hispano-Suiza driven by Charles Weymann and Robert Bloch defeated the Stutz Black Hawk driven by Tom Rooney and Gil Anderson in a match race staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

1938: Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh, better known as Prince Bira of Siam (now Thailand) or by his nom de course B. Bira, won the second. Campbell Trophy at Brooklands, driving a ERA B-Type.

1949: Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Maserati 4CLT/48 won the Paul Grand Prix.

1954: Herb Thomas dived underneath his brother Donald with 34 laps to go and held on to win the 100 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1 mile dirt Orange Speedway, North Carolina. Donald was leading on lap 65 when he had to swerve around a flipping car. Running several lengths behind, Herb used the opportunity to grab the lead. The brothers Hudson Hornets ran nose to tail the remaining laps with Herb edging Donald by a car length.

1956: The non-Championship Aintree “200” Formula One race at Aintree (England) was won by Jean Behra in a Ferrari 246.

1958: The Corvette Stingray made its debut at the President’s Cup Race at Maryland’s Marlboro Raceway.

1960: Glen Wood scored his first career NASCAR GN win, leading all 200 laps on the 1/4 mile paved Bowman-Gray Stadium oval, North Carolina in his Ford.

1960: The 8th Glover Trophy, run to Formula One rules held at Goodwood Circuit, England. The race was run over 42 laps of the circuit, and was won by the British driver Innes Ireland in a Lotus 18.

1965: Taking the lead when a blown tire sent Marvin Panch into the wall with 11 laps to go, Junior Johnson won the NASCAR GN ‘Gwyn Staley Memorial’ on the .625 mile paved North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina.

1965: Jud Larson drove the Watson car to victory in the USAC Sprint Car feature on the high banked 1/2 mile dirt Eldora Speedway, Ohio, US.

1968: Bobby Isaac won the 100 mile NASCAR GN race on the 1/2 mile dirt Columbia Speedway, South Carolina, US. It was Isaac’s first win since February 1964. Isaac took the lead on lap 15 and led the rest of the way.

1971: In the Spanish Grand Prix held at Montjuich Park, Jackie Stewart took his Tyrrell from 4th on the grid to win in a time of 1:49:03. Pole sitter, Jacky Ickx, set the fastest lap in his Ferrari on the way to his second place finish, 3.4 seconds behind Stewart.

1971: Not only was it the first IMSA race held at Virginia International Raceway, it was the first race for IMSA’s Grand Touring class. It was hoped that the new subcompact Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega would make their road racing debuts in the event, but none entered. 24 cars and an estimated 10,000 spectators were on hand for the inaugural event of the new series.

1992: Tommy Houston started last in the 30-car field and overcame a record 26 cautions to win the Mountain Dew 300 at Hickory (North Carolina, US) Motor Speedway, marking his last victory in what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Houston, who was three laps down at one point in the race, led 41 of the 300 laps to edge Bobby Labonte by three-tenths of a second. Chuck Bown finished third.

1993: Rusty Wallace won the First Union 400 to setup for a season sweep of North Wilkesboro Speedway. Wallace led the final 102 laps and took the victory by 1.7 seconds over Kyle Petty.

1999: In a field of Panoz GT’s, Audrey Zavodski won the inaugural Women’s Global GT Series race, run at Road Atlanta in Georgia. Kiki Wolfkill was second with eventual inaugural series champion, Cindi Lux, third.

1999: John Andretti captured his second NASCAR Cup Series win in the Goody’s Body Pain 500 at Martinsville Speedway driving the No. 43 for Richard Petty. Andretti passed Jeff Burton in Turn 4 with four laps to go and went on to take the checkered flag.

2004: Rusty Wallace ended a 105-race winless streak when he drove his Miller Lite Dodge to victory in the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace held off a charging Bobby Labonte down the stretch to score his first win since California Speedway in 2001. It was the Hall of Fame driver’s 55th and final NASCAR Cup Series win.

2009: Mark Martin won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona, and became the first 50-year-old to claim victory at a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Sprint Cup race since Morgan Shepherd did so at a race in Atlanta in 1993, renewing hope for senior citizens everywhere. Besides Martin and Shepherd, only two other drivers age 50 or older have won NASCAR championship events. Mark Martin was born on January 9, 1959, in Batesville, Arkansas, and starting racing cars as a teenager. Continue Reading →

2015: Joey Logano rolled to a dominating victory in the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Logano led every lap in his No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, notching his second win of the season.

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