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DECEMBER 13th



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DECEMBER 13

1918
Bill Vukovich ... Born ... Before he began Indy racing, Vukovich drove midget cars for the Edelbrock dirt track racing team. He raced on the West Coast of the United States in the URA, and won the series' 1945 and 1946 midget car championships. Vukovich won the 1948 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Gilmore Stadium, and six of the last eight races at the stadium track before it was closed for good. He won the 1950 AAA National Midget championship. In 1952, his sophomore year in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 500-Mile Race, he quickly moved up from his starting position in the middle of the third row to take the lead, and led 150 laps in dominant fashion before suffering steering failure on the 192nd of the 200 laps. He returned to win the race in consecutive years, 1953 and 1954. He led an astounding 71.7% of laps that he drove in competition at the track, and remains the only driver ever to lead the most laps in the race three consecutive years. He was killed in a chain-reaction crash while holding a 17-second lead on the 57th lap of the 1955 Indianapolis 500. Vukovich was exiting the second turn, trailing three slower cars driven by Rodger Ward, Al Keller, and Johnny Boyd when Ward's car swerved as the result of a strong gust of wind. Keller, swerving into the infield to avoid Ward, lost control and slid back onto the track, striking Boyd's car and pushing it into Vukovich's oncoming path. Vukovich's car struck Boyd's, became airborne, and landed upside down after going over the outside backstretch retaining wall and somersaulting several times, killing him. His son, Bill Vukovich II, and his grandson, Bill Vukovich III, also competed in the Indianapolis 500, with Vukovich II taking second in 1973, and Vukovich III being named Rookie of the Year in 1988. Vukovich was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1990. ( Click here for A Report On The Accident That Killed Bill Vukovich In The 1955 Indianapolis 500-Mile-Race. )
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1946
Mike Mosley... Born ... USAC/CART driver from 1967 to 1983. Mosley died in an off-road vehicle accident.
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1959
Jim Lacy won the TQ Midget race at the Island Garden , West Hempstead, Long Island, NY. ( Click here for the race report. )
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1986
Ken Schrader won the 100-lap USAC Midget race at the Horizon Arena, Rosemont,IL. Nick Fornoro Jr was second followed by Barry Reed, Rich Vogler, Terry Wente, Tom Bigelow and John Andretti.
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1992
Page Jones won the Midget race at the Manzanita Speedway (1/3d),Phoenix, AZ. Mark Passerrelli was second followed by Sammy Swindell, Craig Keel and Fred Tegarden.
Steve Kinser won the World of Outlaws Sprint Car race over Sammy Swindell, Jac Haudenschild, Johnny Herrera, Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith at the Manzanita Speedway (1/2d) ,Phoenix, AZ.
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2006
Bobby Santos III , in the Carl Edwards # 99, won the PRA / Champ Car race over Bobby East, Teddy Beach, Chet Fillip, and Dave Steele at the USA International Speedway,Lakeland, FL.
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