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Sprint Cars & Champ Cars The big brother(s) to the midget these open wheel beasts have a rich heritage in our auto racing memories.



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Old 05-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
Mitch G.
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Default Brave!

The age old argument, "The guys today ain't as brave as those old boys", vs. "The young guys today are going so fast the old guys just could not cut it today".
Well, take this into account, these images are from the web site www.coastal181.com from their picture of the day thread. I'd say these guys from the 1920's are the bravest of the brave, just imagine driving one of those cars, on one of those tracks....at that speed. Most the new kids would pee their pants just trying to drive one of those old cars.


That board track in Kansas City makes me nervous just looking at the picture.
Here is your typical Frank Miller creation from the 1920's, so if Duray averaged 148+ mph average, what was his top speed, in that car, on those tires, wearing those clothes, can you imagine?

Last edited by Mitch G.; 05-02-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
carl s
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Default Re: Brave!

When you drive one of these pre-war cars 50 mph feels like 100.

And as for pre-war accidents, here's a present day example of a low speed tip over (only a broken collar bone)
Courtesy of the VSCC (World's oldest Vintage Group) at Oulton Park Event UK.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brave!

The big things to remember about the board tracks:
1. After they got a couple of years old, there were BIG knot-holes; kids would break in under the track and could stick their heads out through them!
2. Splinters up to SIX INCHES long would get flung up by leading cars and drivers would have them impaled into their arms!

TALK ABOUT BRAVE!!!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brave!

I agree those guys were what real bravery was all about! I'm in awe looking at the old racers! They knew that every time they climbed in the car could be their last, but their passion and love for what they did justified it in their minds. As a current day racer, I'm thankful every time I climb in the car for all the safety innovations, but I don't think I am brave enough to do it without those innovations. THEY WERE BRAVE!!!

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Old 05-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #5
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Brave!

Yeah, and I'm not running down the guys who race today, I remember when I was running midgets and knowing my own limitations. I know I could not run a car into a corner like Mike Gregg or Sleepy Tripp could, I just could not do it. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, or Steve Kinser etc., etc. are a special breed, I just don't know how many modern day guys, if transported back in time, would jump into a Miller race car in the late 1920's and run it as hard as those guys did back then. Always a interesting topic of discussion.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brave!

It is interesting. Back when I raced in the early 70s, I felt, then, that those cars were somewhat safe, although guys still got hurt and even parished, every year, racing sprints, midgets and supermodifieds. I have been going to races for 60 years, since I was 5. I certainly have seen some horrible wrecks and drivers actually coming out of the car on to the track. It takes concentration and the strong desire to race, I think, to be a driver. No matter if it was 60 years ago or today; like any sport, there are super stars and local heros who have a natural ability. I wasn't one of those guys, but I loved it just the same. One thing, for sure, is the cars today are safer and faster than anything before.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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Sprint cars today faster, not so much as you believe. A friend of mine has a sprint car world record he set in 1955 and still holds it. The fastest 50 miles in a sprint car race.

Ralph Ligouri still holds the world record he set at Langhorne. He averaged 109 mph for 50 miles. I don't care when your running, but when you average 109 mph , your flying.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Brave!

Brave men raced in Sydney Australia also. Back in the 1920s a speedway opened that no-one down here had seen the like before. Many American came and raced at the approx 1 mile Maroubra Speedway, or its correct name Olympia Motor Speedway.
Here's a link to see more.....



http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...aWs5MSEe6MQcHQ

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Old 11-20-2013, 06:46 AM   #9
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That place in Australia seems to have had great safety too. The people sitting on the outside of the track, wow. Great view though.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for that great piece of history. Enjoyed it. Interesting shape to the track.
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