American open-wheel car racing
American open-wheel car racing known as Indy car racing, is a category of professional-level automobile racing in the United States and North America. As of 2019, the top-level American open-wheel racing championship is sanctioned by IndyCar. Competitive events for professional-level, single-seat open-wheel race cars have been conducted under the auspices of several different sanctioning bodies since 1902. A season-long, points-based, National Championship of drivers has been recognized in 1905, 1916, since 1920; the Indianapolis 500, which debuted in 1911, is the premier event of Indy car racing. The open-wheeled, single-seater cars have been similar to those in Formula One, though there are important differences; the fame of the Indianapolis 500 leads many to colloquially refer to the cars that compete on the American Championship circuit as "Indy cars." This form of racing has experienced high levels of popularity over the years in the post-World War II time frame. The "golden era" of the 1950s was followed by a decade of transition and innovation in the 1960s, which included increased international participation.
The sport experienced considerable growth and exposure during the rising popularity of the CART PPG Indy Car World Series in the 1980s and early 1990s. Two organizational disputes, in 1979 and 1996, led to a "split" that divided the participants among two separate sanctioning bodies. However, an official unification took place in 2008 that brought the sport back together under one single sanctioning body; the national championship was sanctioned by the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association. The AAA first sanctioned automobile motorsports events in 1902. At first it used the rules of the Automobile Club of America, but it formed its own rules in 1903, it introduced the first track season championship for racing cars in 1905. Barney Oldfield was the first champion. No official season championship was recognized from 1906–1915, single races were held. Official records regard 1916 as the next contested championship season. Years retroactive titles were named back to 1902; these post factum seasons are considered unofficial and revisionist history by accredited historians.
Racing did not cease in the United States during WWI, but the official national championship was suspended. The Indianapolis 500 itself was voluntarily suspended for 1917–1918 due to the war. In 1920, the championship resumed, despite the difficult economic climate that would follow, ran continuously throughout the Depression. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, all auto racing was suspended during World War II. From 1942 to 1945 no events were contested, banned by the U. S. government on account of rationing. Racing resumed in full in 1946; the 1946 season is unique, in that it included six Champ Car events, 71 "Big Car" races, as organizers were unsure about the availability of cars and participation. AAA ceased participation in auto racing at the end of the 1955 season, it cited a series of high-profile fatal accidents, namely Bill Vukovich at Indianapolis, the Le Mans disaster. Through 1922 and again from 1930 to 1937, it was commonplace for the cars to be two-seaters, as opposed to the aforementioned standard single-seat form.
The driver would be accompanied by a riding mechanic. The national championship was taken over by the United States Auto Club, a new sanctioning body formed by the then-owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony Hulman. Championship racing continued to grow in popularity in a stabilized environment for over two decades, with the two traditional disciplines of paved oval tracks and dirt oval tracks. During the 1950s, front-engined "roadsters" became the dominant cars on the paved oval tracks, while "upright" Champ Dirt Cars continued to dominate on dirt tracks. In the 1960s, drivers and team owners with road racing backgrounds, both American and foreign, began creeping into the series and the paved oval track cars evolved from front-engine "roadsters" to rear-engine formula-style racers. Technology and expense climbed at a rapid rate; the schedule continued to be dominated by oval tracks, but a few road course races were added to assuage the newcomers. Dirt tracks were dropped from the national championship after 1970.
During the 1970s, the increasing costs began to drive some of the traditional USAC car owners out of the sport. The dominant teams became Penske, Gurney, McLaren, all run by people with road racing backgrounds. There was a growing dissent between these teams and USAC management. Events outside Indianapolis were suffering from low attendance, poor promotion; the Indy 500 was televised on a same day tape delayed basis on ABC, most of the other races had little or no coverage on television. Towards the end of the decade, the growing dissent prompted several car owners to consider creating a new sanctioning body to conduct the races. Meanwhile, two events had a concomitant effect on the situation. Tony Hulman, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of USAC, died in the fall of 1977. A few months eight key USAC officials were killed in a plane crash. By the end of 1978, the owners had broken away and founded Championship Auto Racing Teams to wrest control of Championship racing away from USAC.
Championship Auto Racing Teams was formed by most of the existing team owners, with some initial assistance from the SCCA. Therefore, there were two national championships run each by USAC and CART; the Indianapolis 500 remained under USAC sanction. The top teams allied to CART, the CART championship became the more prestigious national championship. USAC
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company, best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title; the owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, Jim France has been CEO since August 6, 2018. The company's headquarters is in Florida. Internationally, its races are broadcast on television in over 150 countries. In the 1920s and 30s, Daytona Beach became known as the place to set world land speed records, supplanting France and Belgium as the preferred location for land speed records, with 8 consecutive world records set between 1927 and 1935.
After a historic race between Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton in 1903, the beach became a mecca for racing enthusiasts and 15 records were set on what became the Daytona Beach Road Course between 1905 and 1935. By the time the Bonneville Salt Flats became the premier location for pursuit of land speed records, Daytona Beach had become synonymous with fast cars in 1936. Drivers raced on a 4.1-mile course, consisting of a 1.5–2.0-mile stretch of beach as one straightaway, a narrow blacktop beachfront highway, State Road A1A, as the other. The two straights were connected by two tight rutted and sand covered turns at each end. Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, they used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads.
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine", this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations. The cars continued to improve, by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit; these races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, they are most associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced. Mechanic William France Sr. moved to Daytona Beach, from Washington, D. C. in 1935 to escape the Great Depression. He was familiar with the history of the area from the land speed record attempts. France entered the 1936 Daytona event, he took over running the course in 1938. He promoted a few races before World War II. France had the notion. Drivers were victimized by unscrupulous promoters who would leave events with all the money before drivers were paid.
In 1947, he decided this racing would not grow without a formal sanctioning organization, standardized rules, regular schedule, an organized championship. On December 14, 1947, France began talks with other influential racers and promoters at the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel at Daytona Beach, that ended with the formation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948; the first Commissioner of NASCAR was Erwin "Cannonball" Baker. A former stock car and open-wheel racer who competed in the Indianapolis 500 and set over one hundred land speed records. Baker earned most of his fame for his transcontinental speed runs and would prove a car's worth by driving it from New York to Los Angeles. After his death, the famous transcontinental race the'Cannonball Run' and the film, inspired by it were both named in his honor. Baker is enshrined in the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame; this level of honor and success in each diverse racing association earned Baker the title of "King of the Road".
In the early 1950s, the United States Navy stationed Bill France Jr. at the Moffett Federal Airfield in northern California. His father asked him to look up Bob Barkhimer in California. Barkhimer was a star of midget car racing from the World War II era, ran about 22 different speedways as the head of the California Stock Car Racing Association. Young Bill developed a relationship with his partner, Margo Burke, he went to events with them, stayed weekends with them and became familiar with racing on the west coast. "Barky", as he was called by his friends, met with Bill France Sr.. In the spring of 1954, NASCAR became a stock car sanctioning body on the Pacific Coast under Barky. Wendell Scott was the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR's highest level, he was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N. C. January 30, 2015. On March 8, 1936, a collection of drivers gathered at Florida; the drivers brought coupes, hardtops and sports cars to compete in an event to determine the fastest cars, best dr
Chevrolet, colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors. Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors founder William C. Durant started the company on November 3, 1911 as the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. Durant used the Chevrolet Motor Car Company to acquire a controlling stake in General Motors with a reverse merger occurring on May 2, 1918 and propelled himself back to the GM presidency. After Durant's second ousting in 1919, Alfred Sloan, with his maxim "a car for every purse and purpose", would pick the Chevrolet brand to become the volume leader in the General Motors family, selling mainstream vehicles to compete with Henry Ford's Model T in 1919 and overtaking Ford as the best-selling car in the United States by 1929. Chevrolet-branded vehicles are sold in most automotive markets worldwide. In Oceania, Chevrolet is represented by GM subsidiary, having returned to the region in 2018 after a 50-year absence with the launching of the Camaro and Silverado pickup truck.
In 2005, Chevrolet was relaunched in Europe selling vehicles built by GM Daewoo of South Korea with the tagline "Daewoo has grown up enough to become Chevrolet", a move rooted in General Motors' attempt to build a global brand around Chevrolet. With the reintroduction of Chevrolet to Europe, GM intended Chevrolet to be a mainstream value brand, while GM's traditional European standard-bearers, Opel of Germany, Vauxhall of United Kingdom would be moved upmarket. However, GM reversed this move in late 2013, announcing that the brand would be withdrawn from Europe, with the exception of the Camaro and Corvette in 2016. Chevrolet vehicles will continue to be marketed including Russia. After General Motors acquired GM Daewoo in 2011 to create GM Korea, the last usage of the Daewoo automotive brand was discontinued in its native South Korea and succeeded by Chevrolet. In North America, Chevrolet produces and sells a wide range of vehicles, from subcompact automobiles to medium-duty commercial trucks.
Due to the prominence and name recognition of Chevrolet as one of General Motors' global marques, Chevy or Chev is used at times as a synonym for General Motors or its products, one example being the GM LS1 engine known by the name or a variant thereof of its progenitor, the Chevrolet small-block engine. On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little, former Buick owner James H. Whiting, Dr. Edwin R. Campbell and in 1912 R. S. McLaughlin CEO of General Motors in Canada. Durant was cast out from the management of General Motors in 1910, a company which he had founded in 1908. In 1904 he had taken over the Flint Wagon Works and Buick Motor Company of Michigan, he incorporated the Mason and Little companies. As head of Buick, Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races. Durant planned to use Chevrolet's reputation as a racer as the foundation for his new automobile company.
The first factory location was in Flint, Michigan at the corner of Wilcox and Kearsley Street, now known as "Chevy Commons" at coordinates 43.00863°N 83.70991°W / 43.00863. Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six, was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following instructions from Louis; the first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was incorporated. However the first actual production wasn't until the 1913 model. So in essence there were no 1911 or 1912 production models, only the 1 pre-production model was made and fine tuned throughout the early part of 1912. In the fall of that year the new 1913 model was introduced at the New York auto show. Chevrolet first used the "bowtie emblem" logo in 1914 on The L Series Model, it may have been designed from wallpaper. More recent research by historian Ken Kaufmann presents a case that the logo is based on a logo of the "Coalettes" coal company. An example of this logo as it appeared in an advertisement for Coalettes appeared in the Atlanta Constitution on November 12, 1911.
Others claim that the design was a stylized Swiss cross, in tribute to the homeland of Chevrolet's parents. Over time, Chevrolet would use several different iterations of the bowtie logo at the same time using blue for passenger cars, gold for trucks, an outline for cars that had performance packages. Chevrolet unified all vehicle models with the gold bowtie in 2004, for both brand cohesion as well as to differentiate itself from Ford and Dodge, its two primary domestic rivals. Louis Chevrolet had differences with Durant over design and in 1914 sold Durant his share in the company. By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough with successful sales of the cheaper Series 490 to allow Durant to repurchase a controlling interest in General Motors. After the deal was completed in 1917, Durant became president of General Motors, Chevrolet was merged into GM as a separate division. In 1919, Chevrolet's factories were located at Michigan. Y. Norwood, Ohio, St. Louis, Oakland, California, Ft. Worth and Oshawa, Ontario General Motors of Canada Limited.
McLaughlin's were given GM Corporation stock for the proprietorship of their Company article September 23, 1933 Financial Post page
The Gurney flap is a small tab projecting from the trailing edge of a wing. It is set at a right angle to the pressure-side surface of the airfoil and projects 1% to 2% of the wing chord; this trailing edge device can improve the performance of a simple airfoil to nearly the same level as a complex high-performance design. The device operates by increasing pressure on the pressure side, decreasing pressure on the suction side, helping the boundary layer flow stay attached all the way to the trailing edge on the suction side of the airfoil. Common applications occur in auto racing, helicopter horizontal stabilizers, aircraft where high lift is essential, such as banner-towing airplanes, it is named for American race car driver Dan Gurney. The original application, pioneered by American automobile racing icon Dan Gurney, was a right-angle piece of sheet metal, rigidly fixed to the top trailing edge of the rear wing on his open-wheel racing cars of the early 1970s; the device was installed pointing upwards to increase downforce generated by the wing, improving traction.
He field-tested it and found that it allowed a car to negotiate turns at higher speed, while achieving higher speed in the straight sections of the track. The first application of the flap was in 1971, after Gurney retired from driving and began managing his own racing team full-time, his driver Bobby Unser had been testing a new Gurney-designed car at Phoenix International Raceway and was unhappy with the car's performance on the track. Gurney needed to do something to restore his driver's confidence before the race and recalled experiments conducted in the 1950s by certain racing teams with spoilers affixed to the rear of the bodywork to cancel lift. Gurney decided to try adding a "spoiler" to the top trailing edge of the rear wing; the device was fabricated and fitted in under an hour, but Unser's test laps with the modified wing turned in poor times. When Unser was able to speak to Gurney in confidence, he disclosed that the lap times with the new wing were slowed because it was now producing so much downforce that the car was understeering.
All, needed was to balance this by adding additional downforce in front. Unser realized the value of this breakthrough and wanted to conceal it from the competition, including his brother Al. Not wanting to call attention to the devices, Gurney left them out in the open. To conceal his true intent, Gurney deceived inquisitive competitors by telling them the blunted trailing edge was intended to prevent injury and damage when pushing the car by hand; some copied the design and some of them attempted to improve upon it by pointing the flap downwards, which hurt performance. Gurney was able to use the device in racing for several years, he discussed his ideas with aerodynamicist and wing designer Bob Liebeck of Douglas Aircraft Company. Liebeck tested the device, which he named the "Gurney flap" and confirmed Gurney’s field test results using a 1.25% chord flap on a Newman symmetric airfoil. His 1976 AIAA paper "On the design of subsonic airfoils for high lift" introduced the concept to the aerodynamics community.
The Gurney flap was the first aerodynamic development made in automobile racing, transferred to aircraft engineering. Gurney assigned his patent rights to Douglas Aircraft, but the device was not patentable, since it was similar to a movable microflap patented by E. F. Zaparka in 1931, ten days before Gurney was born. Similar devices were tested by Gruschwitz and Schrenk and presented in Berlin in 1932; the Gurney flap increases the maximum lift coefficient, decreases the angle of attack for zero lift, increases the nosedown pitching moment, consistent with an increase in camber of the airfoil. It typically increases the drag coefficient at low angles of attack, although for thick airfoils, a reduction in drag has been reported. A net benefit in overall lift-to-drag ratio is possible if the flap is sized appropriately, based on the boundary layer thickness; the Gurney flap increases lift by altering the Kutta condition at the trailing edge. The wake behind the flap is a pair of counter-rotating vortices that are alternately shed in a von Kármán vortex street.
In addition to these spanwise vortices shed behind the flap, chordwise vortices shed from in front of the flap become important at high angles of attack. The increased pressure on the lower surface ahead of the flap means the upper surface suction can be reduced while producing the same lift. Gurney flaps have found wide application on helicopter horizontal stabilizers, because they operate over a wide range of both positive and negative angles of attack. At one extreme, in a high-powered climb, the negative angle of attack of the horizontal stabilizer can be as high as −25°; as a result, at least half of all modern helicopters built in the West have them in one form or another. The Gurney flap was first applied to the Sikorsky S-76B variant, when flight testing revealed the horizontal stabilizer from the original S-76 not providing sufficient lift. Engineers fitted a Gurney flap to the NACA 2412 inverted airfoil to resolve the problem without redesigning the stabilizer from scratch. A Gurney flap was fitted to the Bell JetRanger to correct an angle of incidence problem in the design, too difficult to correct directly.
The Eurocopter AS355 TwinStar helicopter uses
The characteristics of a production vehicle or production car are mass-produced identical models, offered for sale to the public, able to be driven on public roads. Legislation and other rules further define the production vehicle within particular countries or uses. There is no single fixed global definition of the term. In 1896 the term production car was used to describe a railway carriage that carried the scenery for an opera company; the earliest use of the term production car being applied to motor cars, found to date, was in a June 1914 American advertisement for a Regal motor car. The phrase was a shortened form of quantity-produced car; the phrase was used in terms of the car to be made in production, as opposed to the prototype. At that time production cars referred to cheaper vehicles such as Model T's that were made in large numbers on production lines, as opposed to the more expensive coach built models. Now the term has broadened to include vehicles that are hand assembled, or assembled on a production or assembly line.
The main criteria being. There is no fixed definition of the number of vehicles or the amount of modification allowed outside of motorsports or national regulations or laws that determine what is or is not a production vehicle. For example, Guinness recognises a modified 2-seat Jaguar XK120 as the world's fastest production car in 1949. In 2010 the Guinness Book of Records awarded the record for the ‘Fastest production car’ to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. In 2013 their decision was appealed on the ground that the Bugatti was a modified version - the limiter was turned off, a fact known in 2010. Guinness upheld the appeal and initiated a review of their production car definition, the outcome was that turning off the limiter was not a fundamental modification and the Bugatti record was reinstated. Guinness were reported in some sources as saying that at least 50 identical vehicles were needed to be made to constitute a production car but several models which were built less than 15 times got certified for production car records.
In February 2014, Road and Track wrote. There have been numerous disputes over what constituted production and modified cars when used in motorsports. Under Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the exact definition of what was a production car was unclear and controversial, which led to rules written in 1955. Although the term is defined for particular types of vehicles, that a certain number of a model must be produced in order to qualify as "production", it is another matter to enforce the rules. For example, the 1968 FIA rules state that "production" for sports cars need to have at least 25 identical cars produced within a 12-month period and they were meant for normal sale to individual purchasers. However, FIA rules tend to allow a degree of modification from the original. Another example is the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association, concerned with the speed of a vehicle; the Association uses its own definition of a production vehicle. The Association allows quite a high level of modification over the original.
In 2006 a Pontiac TransAm of John Rains Racing was classified as being the fastest production model with a top speed in excess of 297 mph. Road tests of the same type of car available from the production line were incapable of anything like this speed and Popular Mechanics referred to the car as production based, a more accurate description. A stock car, in the original sense of the term, is an automobile that has not been modified from its original factory configuration; the term stock car came to mean any production-based automobile used in racing. This term is used to differentiate such a car from a "race car", a special, custom-built car designed only for racing purposes; the actual degree to which the cars conform to standard model specs has changed over the years and varies from country to country. Today most American stock cars may superficially resemble standard American family sedans, but are in fact purpose-built racing machines built to a strict set of regulations governing the car design ensuring that the chassis, engine, etc. are architecturally identical on all vehicles.
For example, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series now requires fuel injection. The closest European equivalent to stock car racing is touring car racing. In the UK and New Zealand there is a racing formula called stock cars but the cars are markedly different from any road car one might see. In Australia there was a formula, similar to NASCAR called AUSCAR, but it has been ended, a form of touring cars has taken its place; the FIA Land Speed Records Commission has regulations governing series-production cars attempting land speed records under its 2014 Appendix D - Regulations for Land Speed Record Attempts. Series-production cars fall under rule D2.3.2 and state that they must be: Category B: Series-production Automobiles in production at the time of the application for the Record Attempt and either homologated by the FIA, or for which an application for homologation has been made to the FIA or recognised by the ASN of the country in which they are manufactured for National Records. The high level of modification allowed under these FIA's rules would tend to indicate that the cars are production based, rather than straight from an assembly line.
For example, Category B Group III had a Dodge Dakota with a top speed of 217.395 mph. Forums citing the
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside International Raceway was a motorsports race track and road course in the Moreno Valley area, a suburb just east of Riverside, California. Riverside was a dusty place, it was at times a dangerous place, yet it is remembered with affection by drivers and fans alike, as the home of road racing in southern California. It was considered one of USA's finest tracks; the track was in operation from September 22, 1957, to July 2, 1989, with the last race, The Budweiser 400, won by Rusty Wallace, held in 1988. After that final race, a shortened version of the circuit was kept open for car clubs and special events until 1989. In the beginning it was called The Riverside International Motor Raceway, it was built in early 1957 by a company called West Coast Automotive Testing Corp.. The head of West Coast Auto Testing was a man by the name of Rudy Cleye, from Los Angeles, who had raced in Europe; however the building of the raceway met with funding difficulties early on and a businessman by the name of John Edgar provided a much needed cash bailout.
This action prevented any halt in the track's construction. The first weekend of scheduled races in September 1957, a California Sports Car Club event, John Lawrence of Pasadena, lost his life. Lawrence, a former Cal Club member, piloting a 1500 cc Production champion, went off at Turn 5. With no crash barrier in place, no rollbar on the car, Lawrence's MGA went up the sand embankment rolled back onto the track. Though Lawrence survived the incident, appeared only injured, he died at the hospital of a brain injury; the second major event at the track, in November 1957, was a sports car race featuring some of the top drivers of the day, including Carroll Shelby, Masten Gregory and Ken Miles. Another driver entered was an inexperienced local youngster named Dan Gurney, offered the opportunity to drive a powerful but ill-handling 4.9-liter Ferrari after better-known drivers such as Shelby and Miles had rejected it. Shelby spun and fell back. Gurney led for much of the event. Shelby, driving furiously to catch up overtook Gurney late in the race and won.
Gurney's performance caught the eye of North American Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti, who arranged for Gurney to drive a factory-supported Ferrari at Le Mans in 1958 launching the Californian's European career. Footage exists of classic races like the 1986 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix in which the Chevy Corvette of Doc Bundy, attempting a three-wide pass, hit the Ford Probe of Lyn St. James and the Jaguar of Chip Robinson at Turn 1. St. James' car caught Chip Robinson nearly cartwheeled into the crowd. St. James survived Robinson escaped uninjured within the track bounds; the track was known as a dangerous course, with its long, downhill back straightaway and brake-destroying slow 180-degree Turn 9 at the end. During the 1965 Motor Trend 500 NASCAR race, Indycar great A. J. Foyt suffered a brake failure at the end of the straight, shot off the road and went end-over-end through the infield at high speed. Crash crews assumed Foyt was dead at the scene, until fellow driver Parnelli Jones noticed a twitch of movement.
Ford factory sports car driver Ken Miles was killed there in a testing accident in August 1966 when his Ford sports car prototype became aerodynamically unstable and flew out of control at the end of the back straight. In December 1968, American Formula 5000 champion Dr. Lou Sell crashed and overturned in Turn 9 on the first lap of the Rex Mays 300 Indianapolis-style race, suffering near-fatal burns. In January 1967, Canadian driver Billy Foster crashed at Turn 9 during a practice-session just prior to the start of qualifying for the Motor Trend 500 NASCAR race; these accidents and others caused track management to reconfigure Turn 9, giving the turn a dogleg approach and a much wider radius. In January 1964, Riverside claimed the life of 1962–'63 NASCAR champion Joe Weatherly, who refused to wear a shoulder harness and wore his lap belt loosely. Weatherly died when he lost control entering Turn 6, hitting the steel barrier broadside and had his head snapped out the window against the barrier.
In 1983 Turn 9 was the site of the only fatality in IMSA GTP history. In the 1983 Times Grand Prix, Rolf Stommelen's Joest-constructed Porsche 935 lost its rear wing at the Dogleg and hit two freeway-type barriers sending it into a horrific roll at Turn 9. Of the entire road course races run at RIR, there was one, run in a counter-clockwise direction, sometime around 1960. In 1966 Dan Gurney tested his first Eagle racing car on a shorter, counter-clockwise version of the track tailored for his car's Indianapolis-specific left-turn oiling system; the test caused Gurney to ask track president Les Richter to hold an Indianapolis-style race there. From 1967 to 1969 the Rex Mays 300 served as the season-ending USAC Indianapolis-car race. ESPN taped the June 12, 1988, Budweiser 400 race at RIR and caught racer Ruben Garcia crashing hard off turn 9 and his car went through two cement barriers before coming to rest near a catch fence where fans were sitting, he was not injured and neither were the race fans.
After 14 years of NASCAR as a driver and a car owner, Richard Childress won his first NASCAR race in 1983, when Ricky Rudd drove his #3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet to victory in the 1983 Budweiser 400k. From 1981 until 1987, NASCAR's championship race was at Riverside; the USAC Championship Trail held their season ending race from 1967 to 1969. Riverside was home to track announcer
Carroll Hall Shelby was an American automotive designer, racing driver, entrepreneur. Shelby is best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and Mustang for Ford Motor Company, which he modified during the late 1960s and early 2000s, he established Shelby American Inc. in 1962 to manufacture and market performance vehicles, as well as Carroll Shelby Licensing in 1988 which grew into Carroll Shelby International. Carroll Shelby was born on January 11, 1923 to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, his wife, Eloise Shelby in Leesburg, Texas. Shelby suffered from heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and experienced health complications from this throughout his life. Shelby's education as a pilot began in the military at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center known as Lackland Air Force Base, in November 1941. Shelby was married a total of seven times. Shelby's first wife was Jeanne Fields, their daughter Sharon Anne Shelby was born a year on September 27, 1944. Shelby and Fields had two more children -- Patrick Bert.
They divorced in February 1960. Although the marriage was happy, it began to break down due to his extramarital affairs, which he admitted. Late in his first marriage, Shelby embarked on a long-running passionate affair with Jan Harrison, an actress, although he still loved his first wife, the marriage had ended following years of infidelity. In 1962, Shelby married actress Harrison before the marriage was annulled the same year, his third marriage, which he entered into as part of a deal with a New Zealand woman to get her into the United States, lasted only a few weeks before ending in divorce. His fourth marriage, to a woman named Sandy, lasted less than a year before ending in divorce. After 28 years single, Carroll married Cynthia Psaros, formally a Beauty queen, her father, a retired Marine colonel and fighter pilot, was quite enjoyable to Carroll. During this marriage, Carroll received his long-awaited heart transplant, their marriage lasted only a few years before ending in divorce. He married Lena Dahl, a Swedish woman whom he met in 1968.
She died in a car accident in 1997. It was his only marriage which did not end in annulment, or separation. Shelby married his final wife, Cleo, a British former model who drove rally cars, in 1997, just four months after the death of his sixth wife, she was 25 years his junior. They were in the process of getting a divorce when he died in 2012. Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willys automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, he graduated from Wilson in 1940. He was enrolled at The Georgia School of Technology in the Aeronautical Engineering program. However, because of the war Shelby did not go to school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot, he graduated with the rank of staff sergeant pilot. Subsequently, he had short stints as an oil-well roughneck and as a poultry farmer prior to his racing career. Starting out as an amateur, Shelby raced a friend's MG TC and borrowed Cad-Allards, he recalled that the combination of the small English Allard and American V-8 power inspired his creation of the AC Cobra.
His great success racing the Allards led to invitations to drive for the Aston Martin and Maserati factory teams in the mid-to-late 1950s. Driving for Donald Healey in a modified and supercharged Austin-Healey 100S, he set 16 U. S. and international speed records at the Bonneville salt flats. He drove in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race in a specially prepared Ferrari 375 GP roadster, to a record run of 10:21.8 seconds on his way to victory in 1956. He was Sports Illustrated's driver of the year in 1956 and 1957, he competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races. The highlight of his race driving career came in 1959, when he co-drove an Aston Martin DBR1 to victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. During this race he noted the performance of an English GT car built by AC Cars, known as the Ace. Three years the AC Ace would become the basis for the AC Cobra. After retiring from driving in October 1959 for health reasons, he opened a high-performance driving school and the Shelby-American company.
He obtained a license to import the AC Cobra, a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, which AC had designed at Shelby's request by fitting a Ford V8 to their popular AC Ace sports car in place of its standard AC six, Ford Zephyr or 2-liter Bristol engine. Shelby remained influential with Ford manufactured cars, including the Daytona Coupe, GT40, the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. After parting with Ford, Shelby moved on to help develop performance cars with divisions of the two other Big 3 American companies and Oldsmobile. Ford provided financial support for AC's Cobras from 1962 through 1965 and provided financial support for the Ford GTs, first with John Wyer's Ford Advanced Vehicles in 1963 and with Shelby American from 1964 through 1967. In the intervening years, Shelby had a series of ventures start and stop relating to production of "completion" Cobras — cars that were built using "left over" parts and frames. In the 1960s, the FIA required entrants to produce at least 100 cars for homologated classes of racing.
Shelby ordered an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion th