Friday, June 22, 2018

"Two-Time Indy 500 Winner" Dan Wheldon Born

June 22, 1978 - October 16, 2011
Dan Wheldon
(Photo;usatoday.com)
Born in Emberton, England.
Daniel Clive Wheldon was the 2005 IndyCar Series champion and a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, having won the race in 2005 and 2011. He took up karting at the age of four with funding from his father. He progressed through the junior ranks of motor racing during his school years. Moving to the United States in 1999, he spent several years in lower open-wheeled circuits, such as the US F2000 National Championship, the Toyota Atlantic Championship, and Indy Lights.

Wheldon died of injuries sustained after a collision during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on October 16, 2011. He was involved in a 15-car accident on the 11th lap, in which his car flew approximately 325 feet into the catch fence cockpit-first and landed back on the racing surface after his head hit a pole lining the track. The carnage and ensuing debris led race officials to almost instantly throw a red flag. Wheldon was extricated from his car by the Holmatro Safety Team and their Las Vegas-based colleagues and was airlifted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for his critical injuries. After interviewing the championship contenders, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard confirmed Wheldon's death in a statement to the press. He was 33 years old.

Vintage Racer Killed In High-Speed Crash At Mosport - June 22, 2008

June 22, 2008
(Photo;legacy.net)
(Photo;jalopnik.com)
Dino Crescentini was born in the Republic of San Marino but emigrated with his family to Michigan in the United States in the 1970s. In 1994 he participated in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, competing the bobsleigh event representing San Marino. He was not related to the another driver with the same name, Dino Crescentini, the Californian SCCA racer.

He started motor racing in the late 1990s competing in historic sports car events. He was killed during the 29th International Vintage Racing Festival held at Mosport Park during the Group6 race. His Wolf Dallara WD1 Can-Am car became airborne at high speed on the Mario Andretti straight. The car flipped end-over-end several times before hitting the wall. Crescentini was taken to Bowmanville hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The car once owned by Canadian industrialist and Formula One team owner Walter Wolf and driven in the 1977 Can-Am Series by the legendary Canadian Gilles Villeneuve.
(Photo;twitter.com)
Wolf Dallara Can-Am car driven by Gilles Villeneuve.

James Hunt Wins His First Grand Prix - June 22, 1975

June 22, 1975
James Hunt wins the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
(Photo; "James Hunt - Dutch GP 1976 crop mod" by https://commons.wikimedia)

It was the first GP win for Hunt and only GP win for Hesketh Racing. He finished fourth in the Championship that year, but Lord Hesketh had run out of funds and could not find a sponsor for his team. With little time left before the 1976 season, Hunt was desperately looking for a drive until Emerson Fittipaldi left McLaren and joined his brother's Copersucar-Fittipaldi outfit. With no other top drivers available, the team management signed Hunt to McLaren - in a deal brokered by Marlboro's John Hogan - for the next season on a $200,000 contract. Hunt immediately caused a stir by refusing to sign a clause in his contract which stipulated he wore suits to sponsor functions. Hunt wore T-shirt and jeans and was often barefoot for sponsor-led functions with world leaders, chairmen of businesses and media moguls.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

John Cannon Born In London, England - June 21, 1933

June 21, 1933 - October 18, 1999
 John Cannon 
Born in London, England.
A sports car racer who competed under the banner of Canada, he raced in the USRRC series, the Can Am Series and the L&M Continental Series (Formula 5000).

In the USRRC he drove for Nickey Chevrolet in a Dan Blocker, of Bonanza fame, sponsored Genie/Vinegaroon

(Photo: jimculp@live.com / ProRallyPix via photopin cc)
1965 Huffaker Genie Mk. 10
Tom Stephani drove this historic racer at the 2009 Pacific Northwest Historics. This is Dan Blocker's Nikcy-Vinegaroon. John Cannon drove this car to a win in the 1966 Las Vegas USRRC race.

In the first year of the Can Am he was the top finishing Canadian propelled by a fourth place finish in the opening event at his home course, St Jovite. John duplicated that accomplishment in 1968 propelled by a famous win over the dominant McLaren team in a very wet race at Laguna Seca. In a three-year-old car, John lapped the entire field including the mighty Team McLaren of Denny Hume and Bruce McLaren. He also attained top Canadian status in 1973.

Cannon also ran in the Continental Series (Formula 5000). In 1969 he drove a F5000 Eagle for Malcolm Starr and won races at Riverside, Sears-Point and Mosport. In 1970 Starr Racing was merged into Hogan-Starr Racing Ltd, with team owners St Louis trucking magnate Carl Hogan and Malcolm Starr. Driving a McLaren M-10B (with an Al Bartz Chevrolet 302 engine), prepared by Tom Jobe and Bob Skinner (of drag racing "The Surfers" fame) Cannon won races at Riverside, Kent, Washington and Elkhart Lake, easily winning the L&M Continental Championship.

Cannon participated in one World Championship Formula One Grand Prix, on October 3, 1971 in the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. He finished 14th, thus he scored no championship points. He also participated in one non-Championship Formula One race, the Questor Grand Prix, finishing up in 12th.

Cannon also made 15 starts in the USAC Championship Car series while driving on a part-time basis from 1968 to 1974. His best finish was 2nd place in the second race at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in 1968. He also finished a career best 27th in series points that year. He also attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1970 and 1974 but failed to make the race both years.

He was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1993. His son Michael has built a career as a race engineer. During the 2006 season at Forsythe Racing in the Champ Car World Series he was race engineer for A. J. Allmendinger.

Ever active, John died in New Mexico, USA, from injuries received in the crash of an experimental aircraft.

"Dyson Racing Team Owner" Rob Dyson Born - June 21, 1946

June 21, 1946
Rob Dyson
(Photo;"Rob dyson crop" by Spyder Monkey - Own work)
Rob Dyson is a retired American sports car racing driver and current team owner. Dyson began competing in amateur SCCA competition in 1974 and began racing professionally in IMSA GTO and the Trans-Am Series in 1982. In 1985 be purchased a Porsche 962 from Bruce Leven and began racing in IMSA GTP.

In 1995 his team was the first to run the new Riley & Scott Mk III, refusing to run the Ferrari 333 SP, as he felt it would make the World Sportscar Championship a "spec series" if all major teams were running the car. Rob and his team with its R&S Mk III won the 1997 24 Hours of Daytona with an "all star" squad of seven drivers including sports car legends James Weaver, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, and Butch Leitzinger.

The Dyson team again won the race in 1999, this time without Rob Dyson as one of the drivers. The team later purchased Lola chassis and began racing in the American Le Mans Series, where it currently competes. Dyson retired from full-time racing in 2003 but continued to drive part-time until 2007.  Rob's son Chris Dyson drove for the team from 2001 to 2013.

Phil Parsons Born In Detroit, Michigan - June 21, 1957

June 21, 1957
Phil Parsons
(Photo; foxsports.com)
Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Parsons is a former NASCAR driver and owner of Phil Parsons Racing. He is also the younger brother of the late 1973 Winston Cup champion and former NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons.

During his racing career, he also embarked on a career as a racing TV commentator, providing color analysis for the Mizlou Television Network. Many of these shows can be seen on TV4U.Com. He is now a commentator for Fox Sports 1's coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He can also be heard as commentator for the DirecTV NASCAR Hot Pass during Sprint Cup races.

He was the starter waving the green flag for the 2007 Daytona 500. In 2008, he along with his wife Marcia became part owners of a new Nationwide Series team, MSRP Motorsports.

Lloyd Shaw Puts Jaguar On NASCAR Pole - June 21, 1953

June 21, 1953
In 1953, NASCAR opened up the Grand National race at Langhorne, Pennsylvania, to “foreign cars.” Lloyd Shaw from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, shocked everyone in qualifying, putting a Jaguar on the pole for the NASCAR stock car race at Langhorne, Pennsylvania, USA. Shaw qualified at 82.2 mph in the thirty-eight car field. Sadly, Shaw couldn't back it up in the race, finishing 23rd.

The race was won by Dick Rathman in a Hudson, followed by Lee Petty and Jim Paschal in Dodge's. Herb Thomas was forth in his Fabulous Racing  Hudson.

Scott Kalitta Dies In Crash At NHRA SuperNationals - June 21, 2008

February 18, 1962 - June 21, 2008
Scott Kalitta
(Photo;pinterest.com)
Born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, USA.
He was the son of veteran NHRA driver and crew chief Connie Kalitta, and cousin of teammate Doug Kalitta. Scott competed in the Funny Car and Top Fuel classes in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. He had 17 career Top Fuel wins and 1 career Funny Car win, and at his death he was one of fourteen drivers to win in both divisions.

On June 21, 2008, Kalitta was fatally injured during the final round of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Kalitta's Funny Car was traveling at about 300 mph when the engine exploded in flames near the finish line. The parachutes were damaged and failed to slow the vehicle.
(Photo;flickr.com)
According to the New Jersey State Police official news release evidence discovered in Kalitta’s lane revealed that he had applied mechanical braking and maintained steering control of the vehicle throughout the 2235-foot-long “shutdown” portion of the racetrack. Post-crash examination of the vehicle further revealed the clutch system to be locked, maintaining engine power to the rear wheels. Witnesses and audio recordings reveal the vehicle’s engine was firing throughout the shutdown portion of the racetrack, which further reinforced the fact that the vehicle’s engine was still providing power for some period of time. Kalitta's vehicle reached the end of the paved race track and went through a sand trap at around 125 mph. The vehicle went over the concrete retaining wall. The vehicle continued forward and impacted a piece of heavy equipment, which was positioned outside the “run-off” area by the ESPN television crew.

This impact caused catastrophic damage to the vehicle and additional separation of chassis components and the vehicle’s engine. The largest portion of the race vehicle came to rest in a grassy area 250' south of the shutdown area. Scott Kalitta was contained in this portion of the race vehicle and had sustained fatal blunt force injuries. A review of information provided by Delphi, which was recorded by accelerometers, mounted to the Kalitta vehicle revealed multiple impacts producing over 100G, with some approaching or exceeding 200G. He was transported to the Old Bridge Division of Raritan Bay Medical Center and was pronounced dead on arrival.

He made his home in Snead Island, Florida, with wife, Kathy and two sons, Colin and Corey.
Connie Kalitta celebrates with his grandsons Colin and Corey

For more: "Remembering" Scott Kalitta

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

George Lynch Born In Miles City, Montana - June 20, 1918

June 20, 1918 - May 6, 1997
George Lynch
Born in Miles City, Montana, USA.
Enduring a rough childhood that saw his parents divorce, he was reared by his paternal grandmother in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, where Lynch bought a used open-wheel race car for $100 and began racing, even before obtaining his civilian driver's license.

Lynch's racing career spanned three decades, from 1935 through 1957. He completed over 300 races, primarily in open-wheel midget and sprint cars on small tracks primarily in the Midwestern United States. Lynch won few of his races but, in his own words, "pushed a lot of guys over the finish line." His aggressive driving style, characterized by bumping slower cars, earned him nicknames such as "Leadfoot Lynch" and "Red Devil."

The highlight of Lynch's career was his participation in the 1949 Indianapolis 500. He qualified in eighth position with a speed of 127.820 mph. He crashed into the wall on the first turn of the second lap and held the record for the shortest completed lap at Indy until 1964. Footage of Lynch's crash, along with other action from that race, was used in the 1949 motion picture The Big Wheel starring Mickey Rooney and Spring Byington.

After a failed attempt to qualify for the 1950 Indianapolis 500, Lynch continued racing in sprint and midget cars throughout the country, eventually bringing him to California. He participated in the 1951 Mexican Road Race (later Baja 1000) which was chronicled in the movie La Carrera Panamericana. He also participating in the newly formed National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, now known as NASCAR. Lynch officially retired from auto racing in 1957.

Lynch spent his remaining years in southern California as an auto mechanic, fisherman, and ambassador of auto racing. Lynch died in Los Angeles on May 7, 1997 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Luigi Fagioli "The Abruzzi Robber" Dies From Crash Injuries - June 20, 1952

June 9, 1898 – June 20, 1952
Luigi Fagioli
Born in Osimo, Ancona, Italy.
Nicknamed "the Abruzzi robber", he is currently the oldest driver to win a race in Formula One.

For 1952, Fagioli signed with Lancia to drive sports cars. Shortly after, while practicing for the Monaco Grand Prix, he had what appeared to be a minor crash: however, his internal injuries were such that he died in hospital three weeks later.

Luigi Fagioli ranks as one of Italy's greatest race car drivers, and has the second-highest percentage of podium finishes in the Formula One World Championship (85.71%), after "one-time wonder" Dorino Serafini.

(Photo;"L Fagioli" by Original uploader was Giorgio Gentili at it.wikipedia )
Luigi Fagioli statue in Osimo.

"2016 NHRA Funny Car Champ" Ron Capps Born - June 20, 1965

June 20, 1965
Ron Capps
(Photo;autoweek.com)
Born in San Luis Obispo, California, USA.
He is a NHRA Funny Car racer who drives the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger. Since he began driving funny cars, Capps has earned 52 NHRA national event wins and won his first NHRA Mello Yello Series Funny Car championship in 2016.

Capps drove for Don Prudhomme, who recruited him from Top Fuel dragsters, and later for Don Schumacher, winning twenty NHRA Funny Car national events and three Skoal Showdowns, coming second in the NHRA title race three times, twice behind John Force, once trailing teammate Gary Scelzi.

His best career elapsed time is 3.885 seconds on November 15, 2015 in Pomona, CA. His best career speed is 327.19 mph (526.56 km/h) on September 26, 2015 in St. Louis, MO.
(Photo;knowhow.napaonline.com)

"4-Time NASCAR Truck Series Champ" Ron Hornaday Jr. Born - June 20, 1958

June 20, 1958
Ron Hornaday Jr.
(Photo;alchetron.com)
Born in Palmdale, California, USA.
Hornaday is a four-time champion in the Camping World Truck Series, the 1997, 2005 Craftsman Truck Series Most Popular Driver, and the all time wins leader in series history with 51. He was a long-time driver in NASCAR's Winston West Series, and is a Featherlite Southwest Tour Champion. He was the 2000 Busch Series Most Popular Driver. On May 24, 2017, Hornaday was named in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Hornaday began racing in go-karts and motorcycles early in his career. Eventually, he moved up to race stock cars at Saugus Speedway. In 1992, he won his first championship in the Southwest Series as well as winning the Most Popular Driver award. He won the Southwest championship the next year as well, becoming the only driver to do so in series history until Jim Pettit won back to back titles in 2004-2005.

He was noticed by Dale Earnhardt while participating in the NASCAR Winter Heat Series on ESPN2. He made his Winston Cup debut in 1992 at the Save Mart 300K, where he started seventeenth but finished 32nd in Bob Fisher's No. 92 Chevrolet. He ran a total of 46 Cup races over a period of 11 years.

He is the father of former NASCAR driver Ronnie Hornaday, and son of the late Ron Hornaday Sr., a two-time Winston West Champion. He is currently a dirt Modified chassis builder, owning Hornaday Race Cars.
(Photo;alchetron.com)

"Petty Racing Clan Member" Ritchie Petty Born - June 20, 1968

June 20, 1968
Ritchie Petty
(Photo;reddit.com)
Born in Randleman, North Carolina, USA.
He is the son of Maurice Petty and nephew of Richard Petty. A former ARCA Racing Series driver, he competed in three NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in 1993 and one race in 1994 in the #53 Ford owned by his father. His best career Cup finish was a 25th at Talladega.

Courtney Force Born In Yorba Linda, California - June 20, 1988

June 20, 1988
Courtney Force-Rahal
(Photo;Women Fitness)
 Born in Yorba Linda, California.
She currently competes in the NHRA. She currently drives the Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car for John Force Racing. She is the youngest daughter of 16-time NHRA World Funny Car Champion John Force and his wife Laurie.
Brittany, Ashley, John and Courtney Force

Courtney has two older sisters, Ashley and Brittany. Courtney Force was featured with her family on A&E's reality show Driving Force. She also has an older half-sister, Adria. Force attended Esperanza High School in Anaheim, CA, where she was a cheerleader. In 2009, she participated in the Ford Fiesta movement and won the Internet's most popular agent award. She is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton having majored in Communications.

On July 19, 2009, Courtney won her first national event in the Top Alcohol Dragster category at the 22nd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington. After her sister Ashley Force Hood announced her retirement from competitive racing, Courtney became the fourth driver for John Force Racing. On July 27, 2014 Courtney passed her sister for the record of most Funny Car wins by a female driver in NHRA history.

Force earned her NHRA competition drivers license in 2005 and her Alcohol-Fuel license in 2008. She began racing in Super Comp before graduating to Top Alcohol Dragster (TA/D), along with her sister Brittany, in 2008. She reached the final round twice in 2009, at Seattle and Pomona, picking up the victory in Seattle. Force has raced her sister Brittany on three occasions, beating her every time. She recorded a career best reaction time of .006 in the final event of 2009 at Pomona raceway.

Force's primary sponsor throughout her Super Comp career and first year of Top Alcohol Dragster was Brandsource. In 2009, Force picked up sponsorship by Sanyo, as well as Ford.

During the 2011 season, Force tested a Funny Car and earned her NHRA Funny Car license.

On January 10, 2012, it was announced that Traxxas would be the primary sponsor of Force's rookie season.

Force made her Funny Car debut at the 52nd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals. She qualified 12th with a 4.199 ET at 307.44 mph. In the first round of eliminations, she defeated Bob Tasca III after running a 4.204 ET at 309.27 mph. In the second round, she lost to teammate Mike Neff despite running a career best 4.143 ET at 313.88 mph.

During the second race of the season, the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, she took out her father in the first round.

On 5 August 2012, Force won her first FC race, by defeating Matt Hagan in the final round of The Northwest Nationals, at Seattle, Washington. She became the third woman to win in FC.[citation needed] Her older sister Ashley was the first, and Melanie Troxel second.[citation needed] Shirley Muldowney, won the IHRA Southern Nationals in 1971 driving a FC. At the banquet honoring the champions for 2012, Force walked away with the Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as Rookie of the Year.

To kick off the 2013 season, Force qualified in the number 1 position for the O'Reily Auto Parts Winternationals, becoming the first woman to do so. She would also go on to be the first female Funny Car driver to win that event, beating Ron Capps in the final.

At Kansas in 2014, Force achieved the 100th win by a female driver in NHRA by defeating Cruz Pedregon in the Funny Car final.
(Photo;usmagazine.com)
She is married to IndyCar racer Graham Rahal, who is the son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Michael Schumacher Wins Controversial US Grand Prix - June 19, 2005

June 19, 2005
Photo;en.espn.co.uk
The 2005 United States Grand Prix was one of the most controversial Formula One motor races in modern history. Out of 20 cars entered for the race, only the six cars from the teams using Bridgestone tyres (Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi) competed. The remaining fourteen entrants including Canada's Jacques Villeneuve, all using Michelin tyres, completed the parade lap (thus having technically taken part in the race, avoiding punishment), but retired to the pits before the race started. Following several tyre failures before the race, Michelin advised its seven customer teams that without a reduction in speed in Turn 13, the tyres provided for the race would only be safe for 10 laps. The situation was worsened by the 2005 Formula One rules, which forbade tyre changes during the race; and also by a resurfacing of the circuit, which resulted in greater tyre wear. Of the six competitors, Ferrari's Michael Schumacher was the eventual winner, with his teammate Rubens Barrichello finishing second.

Monday, June 18, 2018

"Former Indy 500 Pole Sitter" Cliff Bergere Dies - June 18, 1980

December 6, 1896 - June 18, 1980
Cliff Bergere
(Photo; pinterest.com)
Born in Toledo, Ohio, USA.
Bergere did stunt driving for movies, including the 1923 film The Eagle's Talons, before embarking on a racing career. From 1927 to 1947, he started the Indianapolis 500 16 times, missing only the 1930 race. He started the race from the front row three times and won the pole in 1946; at age 49, he was the oldest pole winner ever. He finished third in 1932 and 1939 and completed the 1941 race without making a pit stop, finishing fifth.

Bergere died on June 18, 1980 in Dade City, Florida.

Denis Hulme Born In Motueka, New Zealand - June 18, 1936

June 18, 1936 - October 4, 1992
Denis Hulme
Born in Motueka, New Zealand.
Hulme was nicknamed 'The Bear', because of his gruff nature and rugged features. He won the 1967 Formula One World Drivers' Championship for the Brabham team. Between his debut at Monaco in 1965 and his final race in the 1974 US Grand Prix, he started 112 Grand Prix, resulting eight victories and 33 trips to the podium. He also finished third in the overall standing in 1968 and 1972.

Hulme showed versatility by dominating the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) for Group 7 sports cars. As a member of the McLaren team that won five straight titles between 1967 and 1971, he won the individual drivers’ championship twice and runner-up on four other occasions.

Following his Formula One tenure with Brabham, Hulme raced for McLaren in multiple formats, Formula One, Can-Am, and at the Indianapolis 500. Hulme retired from Formula One at the end of the 1974 season but continued to race Australian Touring Cars.

During his career, Hulme drove the most powerful cars of his era. He raced in F1, F2, Indycars, Saloon/Touring Cars, CanAm and endurance races, all during the same season. After retiring from F1, he even drove in truck races.

A favourite event of Hulme's was the Bathurst 1000, held at the famous Mount Panorama track in Australia. In the 1992 event he was driving a semi-works supported BMW M3 for the Benson & Hedges Racing when after complaining over the car-to-pits radio of blurred vision, originally thought to be because of the heavy rain, Hulme suffered a massive heart attack at the wheel while driving along the high-speed Conrod Straight. After veering into the wall on the left side of the track at about 140 mph, he managed to bring the car to a relatively controlled stop sliding against the safety railing and concrete wall on the right side of the track. When marshals reached the scene they found Hulme still strapped in. He was taken from the car straight to Bathurst Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.

Hulme was named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year in 1967, the 1967/1970/1974, winner of the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, the New Zealand Motorsports Wall of Fame in 1994, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1998 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Schumacher, Barrichello Complete Ferrari Sweep In Montreal - June 18, 2000

June 18, 2000
Michael Schumacher wins the Air Canada Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. Teammate Rubens Barrichello finished 0.174 seconds behind to complete the Ferrari 1-2 sweep.

Al Herman Dies In Multi-Car Crash - June 18, 1960

March 15, 1927 – June 18, 1960
Al Herman 
(Photo; www.statsf1.com)
Born in Topton, Pennsylvania, USA.
Herman drove in the American Automobile Association and United States Automobile Club Championship Car series, racing in the 1955-1957 and 1959-1960 seasons with 11 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in each of those years. He finished in the top ten 3 times, with his best finish in 7th position, in the 1955 Indianapolis 500, earning him Rookie of the Year.

Herman died in West Haven, Connecticut as a result of injuries sustained in a midget car crash at the West Haven Speedway. Herman was involved in a multi-car crash on the first lap of the feature race and his car rolled.

Frank "Rebel" Mundy Born in Atlanta, Georgia - June 18, 1918

June 18, 1918 - May 15, 2009
Frank "Rebel" Mundy
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Born as Francisco Eduardo Menendez. He competed in the American Automobile Association stock cars, winning the 1955 national championship, before the series changed to United States Auto Club sanction. He also raced in NASCAR's Grand National and won three races under that sanction. Mundy attempted to qualify for the 1954 Indianapolis 500 but did not make the field. His career spanned from 1949 to 1956.

Mundy started at the pole position only to find himself finishing the race in 82nd place at the 1951 running of the Southern 500.One of his accomplishments was winning the 1955 running of the Southern Illinois 100. Frequently seen in rides owned by Carl Kiekhaefer, Mundy's seven-year career would involve him racing in classic races like the 1956 Southern 500 where he finished in 38th place out of 70 competitors. He would also be seen racing at Lakeview Speedway in Mobile, Alabama.

Mundy died May 15, 2009, at the age of 90.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Donnie Allison Claims First NASCAR Grand National Victory - June 17, 1968

June 17, 1968
Photo;donnieallison.com
Donnie Allison drives a Ford to his first NASCAR Grand National victory, at Rockingham, North Carolina, USA. Allison, finished two laps ahead of brother Bobby, in second place. 

J.J. Lehto Involved In Fatal Boat Crash - June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010
J.J. Lehto
(Photo: Mulsanne via photopin cc)
Jyrki Järvilehto, better known as "JJ Lehto" is a former Formula One, CART and ALMS series driver. He is also a 2-time winner of both the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

On June 17, 2010, Lehto was involved in a boating accident in Ekenäs. The accident happened when the boat carrying Lehto and his friend, whose identity was not released, hit the base of a bridge in a canal. Lehto was injured and the other man was killed in the accident. Lehto had been drinking throughout the day and was heavily intoxicated at the time of the accident.
(Photo; By Motopark (Own work)
In January 2011, Ilta-Sanomat reported that the police investigations had concluded that no one besides Lehto could have been driving the boat at the time of the accident. Lehto faced charges of negligent homicide, reckless driving and driving under the influence. Regardless of the pending trial, Lehto made a return to sportscasting on the Finnish sports-channel UrhoTV, commentating on a DTM event. On December 14, 2011, the District Court found Lehto guilty of drunk sailing and negligent homicide, and sentenced him to two years and four months in prison. Lehto however appealed the decision, and in November 2012, the Court of Appeal cleared him of all charges relating to the accident, finding the evidence regarding who had been driving the boat inconclusive.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"The Flying Scotsman" Ron Flockhart Born - June 16, 1923

June 16, 1923 - April 12, 1962
Ron Flockhart
Born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
He participated in 14 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, achieving one podium finish and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race twice.

Flockhart started competing in 1951 in a Joe Potts Formula 3 car. He purchased the famous ERA R4D from Raymond Mays and in 1953 had a very successful season, beating one of the works BRMs at Goodwood. He achieved podium finishes at Goodwood, Charterhall, Snetterton and Crystal Palace, as well as several hill climb successes.

In 1956, driving for the Scottish team Ecurie Ecosse, he won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, sharing an ex-works Jaguar D-type with Ninian Sanderson. The following year he won again for the same team, this time sharing with Ivor Bueb, setting a distance record of 2,732.8 miles.

Flockhart took up flying so he could get quickly to the European racing car circuits. Through his love of flying, and his passion for speed and setting records, Flockhart decided that he would attempt to set a speed record for a petrol-engine powered flight from Sydney to London. It was this quest to set a world record that lead to Flockhart's death. On April 12, 1962, while on a test flight in preparation for the record attempt, Flockhart crashed in poor weather near Kallista, Victoria, and was killed.

Michele Alboreto Leads Ferrari Sweep Of Canadian GP - June 16, 1985

June 16, 1985
Michele Alboreto drives to victory over teammate Stefan Johansson for a Ferrari sweep at the Labatt Grand Prix of Canada on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec.