Discover the momentous motor sports events that took place this weekend in history ……..
1911: The eighth Glidden Tour ended in Jacksonville, Florida, US and was won by a Maxwell driven by a team of drivers from Tarrytown, New York. A Reo truck that followed the cars with baggage and spare tires was fitted with pneumatic tires, the first time they were ever installed on a motor truck.
1954: The Lancia D50 made its racing debut at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Alberto Ascari qualified the car in pole position, but retired early due to clutch and oil seal problems.
1958: Junior Johnson edged Fireball Roberts by a whisker to win the NASCAR Grand National season finale at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway (Georgia, US). Lee Petty captured the championship by 644 points over Buck Baker.
2001: Greg Biffle survived a green-white-checkered overtime finish, holding off Jack Sprague in the Chevy Silverado 150 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Phoenix International Raceway, Arizona, US. Biffle, who led 79 of the 159 laps, finished just .542 seconds ahead of Sprague, who paced 66 laps. Rick Crawford ran third. Biffle followed the win with a triumph at Phoenix the following day in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Barring a return to the truck series, which he hasn’t competed in since 2004, it will stand as Biffle’s final win on the tailgate tour.
1902: Vincenzo Florio in a Panhard 40HP (5 minutes 21 seconds) won the Padova – Bovolenta race followed by Vincenzo Lancia in a Fiat 34HP and Luigi Storero in a Fiat 12HP.
1946: The first major post-World War II race, the revived Pena Rhin Grand Prix staged in Barcelona, Spain, was won by Giorgio Pelassa in a Maserati 4CL.
1957: Buck Baker (cover image) wrapped up his second straight NASCAR Grand National championship campaign by wheeling his Chevrolet to a win in the 250-lap season finale at Central Carolina Fairground in Greensboro, North Carolina, US. Baker beat Marvin Panch by 760 points in the title hunt with his 10th win of the season.
1963: Team Lotus driver Jim Clark won the first ever Mexican Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 1963 Formula 1 season, and secured tyre supplier Dunlop their 50th Fastest Lap and 50th Grand Prix victory. The race also marked Graham Hill’s 50th Formula 1 GP. Hill finished 4th behind his team-mate Richie Ginther, tying both BRM drivers at 29 points in the fight for runner-up spot behind already crowned champion Jimmy Clark. This was also the only World Championship Grand Prix where a car raced with the number 13 until Pastor Maldonado selected the number as his permanent race number in 2014.
1977: Tony Hulman passed away in Indianapolis, Indiana after 32 years of presiding over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hulman purchased the dilapidated Indianapolis Motor Speedway from a group led by World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker immediately after World War II. Influenced by three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw (who became the track’s president in the early years of the Hulman regime), Hulman made numerous improvements to the track in time for the race to be held in 1946. Following Shaw’s death in a plane crash on October 30, 1954, Hulman stepped into his soon-to-be-familiar role as the “face” of the Speedway. He followed the tradition of launching the Indianapolis 500 with the command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” Into the 1970s, despite the fact he’d given the command so many times before, he would always practice it extensively beforehand, and on race day, he would invariably pull a card containing the famous words: “GENNNNNTLEMENNNNN, STARRRRRT YOURRRRRR ENNNNNNNGINES!” from the pocket of his suit as he stepped to the microphone. Luke Walton, who with Wilbur Shaw had founded the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, was for many years a sportscaster and worked annually with Hulman (and later with Mrs. Hulman) to ensure each word was delivered with the proper emphasis. His family took on the responsibility of preserving his vision and the heritage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hulman’s wife, Mary Fendrich Hulman, became chairman of the board, while longtime family friend Joseph R. Cloutier was named president.
1996: Bobby Hamilton drove the Petty Enterprises Pontiac to victory in the Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Arizona (US). It was the first NASCAR Winston Cup victory for Petty Enterprises since 1983.
1997: Bobby Hamilton drove past Ricky Craven with 16 laps to go, landing his second triumph in NASCAR’s premier series by winning the ACDelco 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham. Hamilton, who drove the Petty Enterprises No. 43, finished .941 seconds ahead of runner-up Dale Jarrett while Craven settled for third place. Jeff Gordon finished fourth while Dick Trickle took fifth on his 56th birthday.