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MAY 18

1886
Earl Cooper... Born ... AAA driver 1911 to 1927
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1951
Jimmy Davies was the winner of the AAA Midget race at the Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo,IN
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1952
Dick Rathmann drove the Walt Chapman Hudson Hornet to a then record setting 3rd straight NASCAR Grand National victory, winning the 100 mile race on the high banked 1/2 mile paved Dayton Speedway in Dayton, Ohio. Rathmann took the lead on lap 48 and led the rest of the way. It was the 4th win of the season for Rathmann. After the steering wheel fell off of his Plymouth, Ted Chamberlain drove the final 120 laps using just the steering nub (!). 14 of the 15 starters finished.
Bobby Grim was the winner of the IMCA Sprint Car race at the Champaign County Fairgrounds,Urbana, IL
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1958
Russ Klar was the winner of the ARDC Midget race at the West Haven Motordrome, West Haven,CT
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1961
Donnie Beechler... Born ... A former driver in USAC and the Indy Racing League. He raced in the 1998-2001 IRL seasons with 36 career starts, including 4 Indianapolis 500 showings.
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1962
Johnny Mackison won the Super Modified race over Dick Tobias, Leroy Felty, Lorenz Alwine and Neil Haight at the Williams Grove Speedway, Williams Grove, PA
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1963
Parnelli Jones won the Pole for the Indy 500 with a record speed of 151.153 mph .
Allen Heath was the winner of the CRA Sprint Car race over Bobby Hogle, Don Melton, Wayne Douglas and Louie Unser at the Ascot Park Speedway, Gardena,CA
Bobby Courtwright was the winner of the URC Sprint Car race over Jim Maguire, Dan Daniels, Hank Rogers and Lou Johnson at the Hatfield Speedway, Hatfield,PA
Gene Goodling won the Super Modified race at the Lincoln Speedway, Hanover,PA
Hank Arnold won the Super Modified race at the Manzanita Speedway, Phoenix, AZ
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1967
Mitch Smith won the Super Sprint Car race over Gus Linder, Ronnie Rough, Ted Wise and Hank Jacoby at the Selinsgrove Speedway, Selinsgrove,PA
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1968
Graham Hill is the first to break the 170 mph barrier in qualifying at Indy, and records a four-lap average of 171.208 mph in his STP-Lotus 56 turbine car, his fastest lap being 171.887 mph. Soon after, Joe Leonard improves on Hill's time and puts his own STP-Lotus 56 on pole, with a four-lap average of 171.559 mph, fastest lap 171.953 mph. These two gentlemen remain P1 and P2 on the final grid.
Bobby Hogle, in the Morales # 1, was the winner of the CRA Sprint Car race over Billy Wilkerson, Stan McElrath, Ned Spath and Jimmy Oskie at the Ascot Park Speedway, Gardena,CA
Ray Tilley won the Super Sprint Car race at the Lincoln Speedway, Hanover,PA
Ted Wise won the Sprint car race at the Morgantown Speedway, Morgantown, WV
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1969
Jigger Sirois waved off his qualifying attempt on the first day of qualifying for the Indy 500. Because of rain, no other cars attempt to qualify that day. If Sirois had not waived it off, he would have sat on pole. Sirois failed to qualify for that year's 500 and also failed six more times and never got to race in the 500.
Joe Saldana won the Sprint car race over Jan Opperman at the Eagle Raceway, Eagle,NE
Elmer Ruby won the Super Sprint Car race over Junior Ritchey, Ray Dovel, Johnny Grum and George Weaver at the Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown,MD
Jack Conely won the Super Modified race over Bentley Warren, Jim Shampine, Warren Coniam and Keith Andrews at the Pocono Raceway, Long Pond,PA
Frank Gorichky won the Super Sprint Car race over Gus Linder, Mitch Smith, Bobby Allen and Pete Swarmer at the Susquehanna Speedway, Newberrytown,PA
Russ Klar was the winner of the ARDC Midget race at the Thompson Int. Speedway, Thompson,CT
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1972
Jim Malloy... Died ... USAC driver 1950's , 60's and 70's. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1967-1972 seasons, with 61 career starts, including the 1968-1971 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 23 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1969 at Milwaukee. He also attempted to race in the 1966 Daytona 500 but only managed a 21st place finish in his qualifying race and failed to make the field. On Sunday Morning, May 14th 1972, he turned in a lap at 186mph and was going into the 3rd Turn when he lost control of the car. He had no time to apply the brakes and the Thermo King Eagle veered right and crashed almost head-on into the wall. There were skid marks for 75 feet and car parts scattered 150 yards away. A USAC official said it crumpled up the steering column and folded the tub right back into the rest of the car. It took more than 10 minutes to extricate Malloy, unconscious, fom the car. He had head injuries, fractures of both legs and hips, a broken right arm, and second-degree burns on his hands and feet. Never having regained consciousness, Malloy died four days later - five days before his 37th birthday.
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1973
Sheldon Kinser won the Sprint car race over Bobby Black and Butch Wilkerson at the Bloomington Speedway, Bloomington,IN
Mark Alderson was the winner of the NAMAR Midget race at the John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, PA. ( Click here for the race report. )
Billy Shuman won the USAC Midget race over Larry Rice, Pancho Carter, Billy Engelhart and Tommy Astone at the Kamp Motor Speedway (aka: Henry's Speedway), Oxford, IN. ( Click here for the race report. )
Lee Osborne won the Super Sprint Car race over Lynn Paxton, Kenny Weld, Van May and Rick Ferkel at the Williams Grove Speedway, Williams Grove,PA.
Jim Kirk won the Modified Stock Car race at the Reading Fairgrounds, Reading,PA. ( Click here for the race report. )
Red Farmer and Neil Bonnet each won 25 lap Late Model Stock Car races at the Birmingham International Raceway, Birmingham, AL. ( Click here for the race report. )
Dick Sutcliffe won the Super Sprint Car race at the Mid-America Fairgrounds, Topeka, KS. ( Click here for the race report. )
Lou Blaney won the Super Sprint Car race at the Lernerville Speedway, Sarver, PA. ( Click here for the race report. )
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1974
Tom Bigelow won the USAC Sprint Car race over Bill Puterbaugh, Chuck Booth, Don Nordhorn and Sammy Sessions at the Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis,IN
Kenny Weld, in the Bob Weikert # 29, won the Super Sprint Car race over Dub May, Ken Slaybaugh, Jay Myers and Jim Edwards at the Lincoln Speedway, Hanover,PA
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1975
Rollie Beale won the USAC Sprint Car race over Pancho Carter, Larry Dickson, George Snider and Lee Osborne at the Millstream Speedway, Findlay, OH.
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1980
Bobby Allison wins the Mason-Dixon 500 over Richard Petty at the Dover International Speedway, Dover DE
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1986
Geoffrey Bodine wins the Budweiser 500 over Bobby Allison at the Dover International Speedway, Dover DE
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1991
Hiro Matsushita becomes the first Japanese driver to qualify for the Indy 500, he qualified 24th.
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1994
Al Unser Sr. announced his retirement from auto racing, ending one of the greatest Indy Car careers of all time. With his win of the 1987 race, Unser became only the second man to win the Indy 500 four times after starting in the twentieth position. The next year he broke Ralph DePalma's seemingly unbreakable record for most laps led at the 500. His 1970 season was one of the greatest ever, as he won ten races on ovals, road courses and dirt tracks to capture the national championship. He won back-to-back Indy 500s in 1970 and 1971, and in 1978 he became the first driver to win the "Triple Crown" of Indy racing by placing first in the Pocono 500 and the California 500, as well as at Indy. In 1985, Al won his third and last national championship by edging his son, Al Unser Jr., by one point in the last race of the season. The win also made him the oldest Indy Car champion ever at age forty-six.
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1996
Scott Brayton, after winning the pole, died in a practice accident for the Indianapolis 500.
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1998
John Force set an NHRA Funny Car top speed record of 323.89 mph at Englishtown, New, Jersey.
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