George Rice "Joie" Chitwood ... Born ... American racecar driver and businessman. He is best known as a daredevil in the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show. He was dubbed "Joie" by a track promoter and the name stuck. Chitwood started his racecar driving career in 1934 at a dirt track in Winfield, Kansas. From there, he began racing at tracks all over the United States mid-west and between 1940 and 1950 competed at the Indianapolis 500 seven times finishing fifth on three different occasions. He was the first man ever to wear a safety belt at the Indy 500. Chitwood also operated the "Joie Chitwood Thrill Show", an exhibition of auto stunt driving that became so successful he gave up racing. Often called "Hell Drivers," he had five units that for more than forty years toured across North America thrilling audiences in large and small towns alike with their death-defying automobile stunts. His show was so popular, that in January 1967, the performance at the Islip, New York Speedway was broadcast on ABC television's Wide World of Sports. On May 13, 1978, Joie Chitwood set a world record when he drove a Chevrolet Chevette for 5.6 miles on just 2 wheels. His sons, Joie Jr. and Tim both joined the auto thrill show and continued to run the "Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show" after their father's retirement. His grandson, Joie Chitwood III, is the COO for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chitwood's show was credited by Evel Knievel as being his inspiration to become a daredevil. Chitwood was frequently hired by Hollywood film studios to either do stunt driving for films or to act as auto-stunt coordinator. On a few occasions he appeared in a minor role, notably with Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck in the 1950 film about the Indy 500, To Please a Lady. In 1973, Chitwood is credited as a Stunt Coordinator for the hugely successful James Bond film Live and Let Die . He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.
Red Byron won the first post-war race on the 3.2 mile Daytona Beach & Road course, a 160 mile Modified race. Byron later became NASCAR's first GN champ.
Walt Ader wins the AAA Sprint Car race at the Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA. Joe Stanco was fatally injured.
Chuck Weyant wins the USAC Midget Car race at the Broadway Speedway, Knoxville, TN
Fireball Roberts passed Ford factory teammate Marvin Panch on lap 86 and drove to victory in the 150 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1 mile dirt Langhorne Speedway. Paul Goldsmith drove Smokey Yunick's Ford to second. Panch blew a tire and crashed on lap 113.
Elmer George( Indianapolis Speedway President Tony George's father) wins the USAC Sprint Car race at the Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta, GA
Dan Drinan...Born ... American sprint car driver from Indianapolis who failed on three separate attempts to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. His first attempt came in 1996, the first year that the Indy Racing League sanctioned the race. Drinan crashed his 1991 Lola chassis, the oldest chassis entered as a potential qualifier, during practice although it is unlikely that his outdated chassis and Buick engine could have produced the speed necessary to make the field. Drinan bruised his lung and fractured his foot in the crash. He returned in 1998 and his Mann Motorsports Dallara again failed to find the necessary speed to make the field. His final attempt was in 2000, when he was given an outdated Dallara and a small crew by Hemelgarn Racing, but the car never handled properly and Drinan again crashed during practice, preventing him from qualifying. Drinan continued to be a top level competitior in USAC sprint car and midget racing.
Bill Cantrell won the USAC Midget race at the Ascot Park, Gardena, CA. Parnelli Jones was second followed by Johnny Moorehouse, Mike McGreevy and A.J. Foyt.
Gary Wolford won the Stock Car race at the Silver Spring Speedway, Silver Spring, PA.
Chuck Hulse wins the USAC Midget Car race at Gardena, CA
Jeff Andretti ... Born ... American race car driver, with Italian heritage. He competed in CART, and was the series Rookie of the Year in 1991. From 1990 until 1994 he drove in the CART IndyCar series. He has driven in the Indianapolis 500 three times, with a best finish of 15th in 1991 in his first start at the track. In his second attempt at the "500" a year later in 1992, he became yet another victim of the infamous Andretti Curse at the famed race track when a right rear wheel came loose off his car at Turn 2 and crashed violently head-on into the wall, smashing both his legs. The accident pretty much hampered if not all together ended Jeff's career at least in terms of his competitiveness, since he was never the same again afterwards. He later managed however, to come back and race IndyLights for Canaska in 1995 and North American Supertouring Cars for Ford in 1996. Jeff made 3 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts in 1999 in the #94 EML Rockfort Entertainment Chevrolet. Jeff is the youngest son of the legendary Italian-born Mario Andretti, younger brother of Michael Andretti, and uncle of Marco Andretti. Jeff is the nephew of Mario's twin Aldo Andretti and cousin of Aldo's son's John Andretti and Adam Andretti . The Andretti family became the first family to have four relatives (Michael, Mario, Jeff, and John) compete in the same series (CART)
Bill Elliott drove his Ford Thunderbird to victory in the 500 mile NASCAR GN race at Darlington Raceway. Elliott led the final 36 laps and took the checkered 1.8 seconds ahead of Darrell Waltrip, who edged Tim Richmond in a great duel for second.
Bob Wearing Sr won the Late Model race, his son Bob Jr won the Modified Stock Car race and Ed Lynch Jr won the Sprint Car race at the Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
( Click here for the race report. )
Bob Davison wins the USAC Midget Car race at Gardena, CA and
Rob Hansen wins the USAC TQ Midget Car race.
Rusty Wallace wins the Valleydale 500 over Ernie Irvan at the Bristol Motor Speedway , Bristol, TN.
Terry Labonte wins the First Union 400 over Jeff Gordon at the North Wilkesboro Speedway , North Wilkesboro, NC.
Buck Baker... Died ... One of the greatest drivers in NASCAR's history. He was the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National Championship in 1956 and 1957. He was second twice (1955 and 1958) and finished in the top five on four other occasions. After his retirement in 1976, Baker opened up the Buck Baker Racing School, where Jeff Gordon drove his first stock car. His son, Buddy Baker is a 34-year Winston Cup veteran and now teaches at the school along with Buck's daughter, Susie Baker.
Bobby Labonte wins the Virginia 500 over Matt Kenseth at the Martinsville Speedway , Martinsville, VA.