Indianpolis Speedrome Figure-8 endurance race report

Indy's Bobby Douthitt Cashes In $25,000 Payoff in 25th Annual World Championship 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race When the Indianapolis Speedrome announced the first 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race "they" said it couldn't be done. "They" said you...

Indy's Bobby Douthitt Cashes In
$25,000 Payoff in 25th Annual World Championship 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race

When the Indianapolis Speedrome announced the first 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race "they" said it couldn't be done. "They" said you couldn't get a bunch of Weekend Warriors to keep their cars running that long. "They" said you couldn't add cars to the field as cars drop out. "They" said you couldn't get racers from all over the country to run at a little fifth-mile bullring.

"They" were wrong.

Twenty-five years after crowning Greenfield IN's Jim Fox the "King of the Crossover" the stands at the Indianapolis Speedrome are packed and the finest Figure-8 drivers and cars in the country fill the pits. The biggest purse in Figure-8 racing history was paid out and Indy's Bobby Douthitt took home $25,000 after capturing the biggest win of his career.

Douthitt ran strong all evening hounding early race leader and defending champion Bruce Tunny until a crossover collision knocked Tunny from the show. Fairland IN's Danny Turner enjoyed his best finish in his twenty-second World Championship with a second followed by three-time race winner Wayne Arnold of Indy. Early leader's of the chase included six-time champ Jack Dossey, Jr., fast qualifier Fred Bear, Jr. and the Speedrome's "Man without Fear" Bill Tunny, Jr.

Louisville KY's Artie B. Ware capped a phenomenal season of special races by capturing the prestigious Sonny Eaton Memorial Award for the top rookie. Mooresville IN's Donnie Garrigus Sr., the Sonny Thompson Memorial Award for the best improvement in position after starting 30th and taking 10th. Jeff Shackleford received a special $100 bonus from Kenny's Auto Sales for the best finishing Speedrome Stock Class driver.

Highlight of the event was Don Eslick of Snohomish WA who flipped his car near the halfway mark but later returned to the chase. Six-time World Champ Jack Dossey, Jr. was trailered after contact as was pole-sitter Bear, Bruce Tunny and others. Former winner Mike St. John was had massive rear brake problems that led to a black flag as the rotors glowed cherry-red in the Hoosier Evening. The rear of the car burst into flames as St. John exited the track sending crew members scrambling.

Douthitt completed 435 laps in his marathon with a seven lap advantage over Turner at race's end.

An emotional Douthitt credited Chief Mechanic Chip McCord for the hard work that put him in the Winner's Circle, "I wouldn't be here without him and all the time he put into this car. He's stuck with me through the good and the bad and we finally got some good."

-IS-

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