This Week in Racing History (May 20-26)

This Week in Racing History Michael J. Stucker May 20 Tom Sneva becomes the first man to average over 200 mph in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. His 4-lap avaerage is 203.620 mph and puts his Penske-Cosworth on the pole (1978). Jeff...

This Week in Racing History
Michael J. Stucker

May 20
Tom Sneva becomes the first man to average over 200 mph in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. His 4-lap avaerage is 203.620 mph and puts his Penske-Cosworth on the pole (1978).


Jeff Bagley dies in sprint car crash at Ascott Park in Gardena, California, USA (1989).


Jeg Coughlin Jr. sets an NHRA Pro Stock 1/4 mile ET record of 6.822 seconds at Englishtown, New Jersey, USA (2000).

May 21
Everette Douglas "Cotton" Owens, NASCAR racer, team owner, and innovator, born in Union, South Carolina, USA (1924).


Barney Oldfield drives a Hudson Super Six on a 1000-mile endurance run at Culver City, California, USA (1927).


Anthony Joseph Foyt Sr., father of the first man to win four Indy 500s, dies of cancer (1983).

May 22
Marvin Panch, with help from relief driver Richard Petty, drives a Plymouth Belvedere to victory in the Charlotte 600 NASCAR stockcar race in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (1966).

May 23
Fred Lorenzen drives a Holman-Moody Ford to victory in the World 600 stockcar race at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (1965).


CART Champ Car racer Bryan Herta born (1970).

May 24
Glenn "Fireball" Roberts is badly burned in a crash during the NASCAR World 600 stockcar race at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. He will die from injury related complications just over a month later (1964).


March F1 driver Ivan Capelli born (1963).


Altfrid Heger drives a BMW M3 to victory in the European Touring Car race in Anderstorp, Sweden (1987).


Al Unser Jr. beats Scott Goodyear by .043 seconds to win the closest Indianapolis 500 (1992).

May 25
Paul Andrews, Alan Kulwicki's NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief, born in Bangor, Maine, USA (1959).


Amadeo Gordini, founder of the Gordini marque, dies (1979).


USAC strips Al Unser Sr. of the previous day's Indianapolis 500 win because of a yellow flag violation and awards the win to Mario Andretti. Over three months later, the USAC Appeals Board reinstates Al's win (1981).

May 26
First 24-Hours of Le Mans race begins (1923).


Alberto Ascari dies in crash at Monza, Italy, while testing a Ferrari sports car (1955).


Rick Mears wins his first Indianapolis 500. First Indy 500 with Japanese driver (Hiro Matsushita), African-American driver (Willy T. Ribbs), and four members of the same family (Mario, Michael, Jeff, and John Andretti). Last Indy 500 for A.J. Foyt Jr. (1991).

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Series History
Drivers John Andretti , Jeg Coughlin , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Goodyear , Bryan Herta , Alberto Ascari , Mario Andretti , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Tom Sneva , Richard Petty , Marvin Panch , A.J. Foyt Jr. , Altfrid Heger , Ivan Capelli , Alan Kulwicki , Fred Lorenzen