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September 10, 1950 – A new diesel speed record
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September 10, 1950 – A new diesel speed record

Jackson at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his Cummins Special in 1950. (IMS) Jimmy Jackson drove his #61 Cummins Diesel Special to a new diesel land speed record of 165.23 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on this day in 1950. Nicknamed the Green Hornet by Jackson, the car had a 401ci (6.6L) six-cylinder Cummins JBS 600 truck engine. It was outfitted with supercharger mounted in front of the engine that was coupled directly to the crankshaft. Jackson ran the same car in the 1950 Indianapolis 500, but was forced to drop out after 50 laps due to mechanical issues. Like diesel? Check out this story about the first diesel road trip.
July 26, 1998 – Disaster strikes at Michigan International Speedway
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July 26, 1998 – Disaster strikes at Michigan International Speedway

On lap 175 of 250 of the CART series U.S. 500 on this day in 1998 Adrian Fernandez hit the wall at Michigan International Speedway, causing a tire and suspension parts to break loose and fly into the crowd. The wreck resulted in the deaths of three fans. An additional six people suffered injuries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnHpeP4s5L4 Adrian Fernandez 1998 wreck at Michigan International SpeedwayTop: Moment of impact. Image courtesy ESPN Fernandez's car hit the wall going upwards of 200 mph. The race was placed under caution but was not stopped, much to the dismay of reporters covering the event. In an effort to prevent further tragedies the fencing was extended to 17 feet high around any grandstand areas.
June 21, 1947 – The first post war Mille Miglia
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June 21, 1947 – The first post war Mille Miglia

The Mille Miglia was an open road endurance race that took place in Italy 24 times from 1927 to 1957. It was on this day in 1947 the first post WWII race took place. The race was won by Italians Clemente Biondetti and Emilio Romano who drove an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Berlinetta Touring. The races began in 1927 when Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti, along with a group of investors, established the race because they were upset about the Italian Grand Prix being moved from their home town of Brescia. The designed a figure-eight type course that ran approximately one thousand miles on public roads. One thousand miles in Italian is “Mille Miglia,” although the first race was actually 1,005 miles. The first event started with 77 racers, of which 51 made it to the finish line. Coming in first...
June 13, 1953 – Tony Rolt  and Duncan Hamilton win 24 Hours of Le Mans, apparently drunk
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June 13, 1953 – Tony Rolt  and Duncan Hamilton win 24 Hours of Le Mans, apparently drunk

Duncan Hamilton driving the Jaguar C-Type after winning the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. One of the most fantastic tales in auto sports history was born on this day in 1953 when British racers Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Jaguar C-Type, drunk. That's the legend, anyway. The story goes that Hamilton and Rolt had been disqualified from the race before it began due to practicing with the wrong number on their vehicle. Figuring they would no longer be busy for the next 24 hours, they headed to a local waterhole. After a few pints, Jaguar team manager Lofty England found the boys at the bar and let them know he had got them reinstated in the race. So they stumbled back to the track and off they went. As it would go, 24 hours later, they won. The tale is up ...
April 20, 2008 – Danica Patrick becomes first woman to win IndyCar race
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April 20, 2008 – Danica Patrick becomes first woman to win IndyCar race

When the checkered flag flew at the Indy Japan 300 on this day in 2008 Danica Patrick was the first one across the finish line, making her the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race. Patrick began her career in kart racing before moving to Formula Fords in the UK. She moved back to the USA to start her Indy career where she was named the Rookie of the Year in 2005 for both the Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. Patrick has had a diverse career working as a driver, model and advertising spokeswoman. Her life in the driver’s seat has put her on many different tracks in numerous types of automobiles. She has raced, quite successfully, in Indy, which also included a 3rd place finish at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, and in NASCAR. In 2013 she became the first female to...
April 15, 1975 – IndyCar racer Paul Dana is born
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April 15, 1975 – IndyCar racer Paul Dana is born

IndyCar racer Paul Dana was born on this day in 1975 in St. Louis Missouri. Before Paul became a racecar driver he went to school for journalism, graduating from Northwestern University. He would have automotive related articles published in AutoWeek, Sports Illustrated and Maxim. Paul’s career prior to jumping in the driver’s seat full time also included working as a mechanic, driving instructor, private racing teacher and a PR & marketing representative.  Paul won his first races in 1996 while working as a mechanic at Bridgestone Racing School. In 2005 Paul suffered a spinal fracture while running practice laps for the upcoming Indy 500, which would have him out for the rest of the season. Following his recovery he returned to the series to race for Rahal Letterman Racin...
April 13, 1931 – American racing great Dan Gurney is born
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April 13, 1931 – American racing great Dan Gurney is born

On this day in 1931 American race car driver Daniel Sexton Gurney was born in Port Jefferson, New York. Gurney would move to California as a teenager, quickly getting caught up in the hot rod culture that had taken the state by storm. By 1958 he would be on the fast track to the racing hall of fame. Gurney competed quite successfully in multiple disciplines of auto racing. He took home first place trophies in Sports Cars in 1958, Formula One in 1962, NASCAR in 1963, and Indy Car in 1967. He was the first of only three drivers to accomplish such a feat. Gurney is also credited with a few other important racing traditions and inventing some critical components. After taking home the gold at the 1967 24 hours of Le Mans with A.J. Foyt, he sprayed champagne from the podium, starting a...
April 8, 1916 – Auto racing pioneer Bob Burman dies in wreck
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April 8, 1916 – Auto racing pioneer Bob Burman dies in wreck

Daredevil. Racer. Pioneer. These are all things that describe Bob Burman, one of auto racing's early heros. He participated in many significant automotive events in the early 20th century, including winning the Prest-O-Lite Trophy Race in 1909 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the precursor to the Indy 500. Unfortunately, his love for racing is exactly what would kill him. Burman died on this day in 1916, at age 31, when he crashed his open-cockpit Peugeot on a track in Corona, California. The wreck also took the life of his riding mechanic, Erick Schrader, an on-duty policeman, and the lives of three spectators. Another five fans suffered serious injuries. Above: Bob BurmanTop: Louis Chevrolet & Bob Burman in the Buick Bugs of 1910 Leading up to that fateful wreck, Burman has...
March 25, 1982 – Danica Patrick is born
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March 25, 1982 – Danica Patrick is born

By Zach Catanzareti. Danica Patrick, one of the most successful woman in automotive racing, was born on this day in 1982. Patrick got her start in racing at age 10 after getting behind the wheel of a competition go-kart. She has since raced in numerous circuits, including Indy, starting in 2005, and top tier NASCAR beginning in 2013. A prominent highlight of her career is a win at the 2008 Indy Japan 300. This represents the only female win in the IndyCar Series. Patrick is also the only woman to win the pole position for a NASCAR race, which she did for the 2013 Daytona 500. Check out the video below featuring a selection of highlights from her racing career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixEu3c02x5A
March 14, 1914 – NASCAR great Lee Petty is born
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March 14, 1914 – NASCAR great Lee Petty is born

The patriarch of the Petty racing family, Lee Arnold Petty, was born on this day in 1914. Petty got a late start in racing, first taking the wheel in professional competition at age 35. Soon after getting a taste for the dirt, he participated in the first sanctioned NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His beginnings did not foreshadow the success he would find on the track. During that race on June 14, 1949, Petty drove a 1948 Buick Roadmaster that he borrowed from his neighbor. He informed the neighbor that the prize money he'd earn would cover any damages the car may incur during the race. Petty rolled the car. Petty rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s as one of NASCAR’s early superstars, even winning the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. During his NASCAR career he would rack ...

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