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JANUARY 3

1915
Joe Sostilio ... Born ... Sostilio raced both sprint cars and midgets. He won the New England Dirt Championship in 1935, 1936 and 1938. He also won the Bay State Midget Racing Association Championship in 1947 and Eastern Sprint Car Championship in 1953. In 1949, he turned to Stock Car racing but still continued in open wheel racing. Between 1948 and 1950 Joe won seven races in AAA competition as teammate to Johnnie Parsons. Joe was 5th in the AAA Eastern Sprint Car Championship in 1952, he beat Tommy Hinnershitz to the title in 1953 and finished 6th in 1954. His best finishes on the Champ Car circuit were a 7th at Langhorne Speedway and another 7th at Darlington Speedway in 1954.
Bob Burman wins 50 mile race on the 1 mile dirt oval at Bakersfield Calif. Burman averaged 73 mph in a Peugeot.
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1918
Allen Heath ... Born ... West Coast open cockpit driver who raced for years, despite losing a hand in a racing accident.
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1926
Mike McGreevy ... Born ... Race car driver.
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1932
Coo Coo Marlin ... Born ... NASCAR driver and father of NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin
Ernie Triplett defending AAA Pacific Coast champ, drove his Miller to victory in the AAA Pacific Coast championship race at Bakersfield Calif. Earlier, 1928 Indy 500 winner Lou Meyer set a new qualifying record of 36.64 on the 1 mile dirt oval.
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1954
Bill Homier won the AAA Midget race at the Gardena Stadium, Gardena, CA .
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1956
Willy T. Ribbs ... Born ... Sports Car and Indy Car driver
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1959
Chuck Weyant won the 50 lap USAC Midget race at the Memorial Coliseum, Ft Wayne, IN.
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1960
Chuck Weyant won the 60 lap USAC Midget race at the Memorial Coliseum, Ft Wayne, IN. ( Click here for the race report. )
Bobby Allison won the Stock Car race at the Hollywood Speedway, Hollywood, FL. ( Click here for the race report. )
Bobby Marshman won the 35 lap TQ Midget race at the Island Garden, West Hempstead, LI. ( Click here for the race report. )
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1969
Michael Schumacher... Born ... Formula 1 driver
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1971
Jimmy Caruthers, driving the Bob Lockard # 69, won the 75 lap USAC Midget race at the Memorial Coliseum, Ft Wayne, IN.
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1980
Wally Meskowski... Died ... Sprint car builder and Indy 500 crew chief
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1982
Dick Pole won the 75 lap USAC Midget race at the Memorial Coliseum, Ft Wayne, IN. ( Click here for the race report. )
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1987
Buck Simmons won the Florida Governor's Cup Late Model Championship race at the Volusia County Speedway, Barberville, FL.
Jack Cook won the Red Eye 100 Late Model Championship race at the New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna, FL.
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1988
George Rice "Joie" Chitwood ... Died ... 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, was the COO for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in August of 2010 became the President of Daytona International 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.
Sam Isenhower won the 100 lap USAC Midget race at the Memorial Coliseum, Ft Wayne, IN.
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1999
Chuck Parsons... Died ... Sports car driver . Ran one USAC race at Riverside in 1967.
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2009
Sam McQuagg... Died ... Sam was the 1965 NASCAR Rookie of the Year. McQuagg began racing in the 1950s and entered his first NASCAR race in 1962. In 1966, McQuagg claimed his only NASCAR victory, winning the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway. In the 1965 Southern 500, McQuagg was involved in a spectacular wreck that sent Cale Yarborough tumbling over a guardrail. Footage of the crash was later used to illustrate the agony of defeat on "ABC's Wide World of Sports." McQuagg drove in his last NASCAR race in 1974 and worked as a corporate pilot until retiring in 1997.
Steve Kinser won the $50,000 Scott Darley Memorial Sprint Car race over Donny Schatz at the Parramatta City Raceway in Sydney, Australia.
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2010
Rick Ziehl won the 6th annual Roger McCluskey Classic wingless Sprint Car race. Dave Darland was second followed by Charles Davis Jr., RJ Johnson and Mike Spencer.
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