This Week in Racing History (May 14-20)

This Week in Racing History May 14 Mario Andretti wins the pole for the Indy 500 with a speed of 165.899 mph (1966). Tom Sneva turns the first official 200 mph lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he runs the first of four...

This Week in Racing History

May 14
Mario Andretti wins the pole for the Indy 500 with a speed of 165.899 mph (1966).


Tom Sneva turns the first official 200 mph lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he runs the first of four qualifying laps at 200.401 mph. His four-lap average falls to 198.884 mph (1977).

May 15
Vanwall Special debuts at Silverstone, in England, with Alan Brown at the wheel. The car DNFs in the final with a broken oil pipe (1954).


Lotus-Fords qualify 1-2-3 for the Indy 500, with A.J. Foyt on pole (1965).


Gordon Smiley dies in practice crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianpolis, Indiana, USA (1982).

May 16
Ralph Hepburn dies in practice crash at Indianapolis (1948).


Jim Clark wins the pole for the Indianapolis 500 driving a Lotus-Ford. First rear-engined car to sit on Indy pole (1964).


Stevie Reeves born (1967).

May 17
Jochen Rindt drives an F2 Brabham-Cosworth to victory in the London Trophy Race at Crystal Palace, in London, England (1964).


Janet Guthrie becomes the first woman to pass the Indy 500 rookie test (1976).


Pole sitter Scott Brayton dies in practice accident for the Indianapolis 500 (1996).

May 18
Ralf Kelleners born (1968).


Jim Malloy dies from injuries suffered in crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway four days earlier. He is the 33rd driver to be killed at Indy (1972).


Hiro Matsushita becomes the first Japanese driver to qualify for the Indy 500. He qualifies 24th (1991).

May 19
Willy T. Ribbs becomes the first African- American to qualify for the Indy 500. He will start 29th (1991).


Indycar driver Troy Ruttman dies of lung cancer (1997).

May 20
Drag racer Tom Hoover born (1941).


MCA-TV, who provide closed-circuit TV coverage of the Indy 500, announce they will pay $100 to the fastest driver at Indy between 4:00 and 6:00 PM on May 21, 22, and 23. A.J. Foyt wins the first $100 and Gordon Johncock the last (1969).


Kurt Johnson runs the first NHRA Pro Stock sub-7 second 1/4 mile with a 6.988 second pass at the Mopar Parts Nationals (1994).

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Stucker

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Series History
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Ralf Kelleners , Mario Andretti , Jim Clark , Tom Sneva , Janet Guthrie , Willy T. Ribbs , Gordon Johncock , Stevie Reeves , A.J. Foyt , Jochen Rindt