Posted on: November 15, 2010
Gasoline Alley Unplugged
By: Donald Davidson
Dan Gurney, Rodger Ward, Jim Hurtubise and Bobby Marshman
Tagged as: Bobby Marshman, Dan Gurney, IMS, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 500, Jim Hurtubise, racing blog, Rodger Ward
There are 17 comments for this post.
Amazing pictures and great stories as always Donald. Glad IMS has such a great Historian and ambassador
One picture is worth a thousand words. Those were the days my friend I thought would never end.
I remember how Tom Carnegie made both the announcements and the hush that came over the crowd. It was almost like everyone just wanted to be left with thier thoughts. Great picture.
A very well told story. Donald, what gret passion and emotion….
Donald, Sid, and Carnegie are/were not simply announcers…they too were all storytellers and spoke from their heart and souls…passionate, emotional, deeply devoted to auto racing and great ambassadors to the sport. This series gets me started each day…
Thank you Donald–your insight is priceless.
This picture illustrates to me how tight a fraternity that racing has been and continues to be. After a very dark day for the Speedway and racing I see four competitors finding solace in each other. This photo reminds us of how dangerous racing was and if not for IMS, how dangerous it would continue to be.
As I hear of all the challenges that the NFL is having with head injuries I often think they should talk to the medical staff at IMS and learn about how driver safety has been improved over the years. Much of what racing has taught us about head and neck injuries can help with some of challenges that the NFL faces today.
what year donald??
Look at those driving suits? Those guys were warriors. Bravery and love of the sport were 2 qualitys of that era.
A rough and tragic start for our first Race Day huh? At least you could see something, News was slow to filter down to the South Chute Infield on the fence. I remember the first lap; the aerial ‘bombs’ that followed the field around the track were totally unexpected. No, really they scared the hell out of me! Finally some one said they were just big fire-crackers, & not to worry… Then some one else noticed the enormous plume of black smoke & fire from the Northwest area. We all KNEW that was not firecrackers. Unfortunately, it must have taken the Public Address an hour to come back on and tell us what everyone else in the world seemed to already know. Never again have I gone to a race without an AM Radio. When Stan Fox’s car was broken in half I had to tell Ron Hemelgarn what happened because no one would say anything on the PA & I was the only one with a AM Radio in his pit. Thank Goodness things have improved with all the new technology and other sources of seeing the forest despite all of the trees!
I could sense that this was from ’64 before listening to Donald’s commentary. The looks on the faces of Dan Gurney and Bobby Marshman tell the story–peering back down the straightaway toward the fourth turn and the accident scene. Very grim, pensive. And, Herk’s hands are not mangled. This might be the last photo of Hurtubise before that terrible crash the following week, at Milwaukee? Two years later Dan experienced the same kind of thing only he was right in the middle of that first lap melee at the start of the ’66 race. Fortunately, only a cut thumb on A.J. Foyt was the only injury sustained in that pile up. Elimination of gasoline and going to rubberized fuel cells probably saved a few lives that day.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. Iwas at the track with my dad and close freinds. My Dad was a big fan of Eddie Sachs. It was the only time in my life that I saw my Dad cry.
I read somewhere that in the lead up to the ’64 race, Jimmy Clark told Dave Mc Donald to “walk away” from the racecar. All the drivers knew it was a handful to drive.
Then the world lost Bobby Marshman at Phoenix during a tire test. That was really tough. He would have been USAC National Champion and probably would have been hired by Chapman and Lotus F1 and certainly would have driven LeMans like Foyt, Gurney, Mario, McCluskey, Ruby, Bucknum etc.
My second 500…25 years old….married to race driver Chuck Arnold…worked in Roger Ward’s office. Knew all these guys…sat in the stands, horrified and crying. 70 years old now, and it still makes me cry. Fantastic pic.
1964 was the first race I attended. I have been to 49 races since then. During the 1964 race I was sitting in what I think was section H. When the cars came by the first time I thought ” I have never seen speeds like this.” the next time by I saw a car explode off the inner wall. He slid across the track and right in front of me I saw a car (Sacks) hit the first car (McDonald). I also saw a car go over the two cars. Coming to a stop in front of me was beautiful purple and red car belonging to Ronnie Duman. His car caught fire. They didn’t put out his fire for some time. Now this is where I am not sure about this fact. I think they took Eddie’s car off the track across from the accident and I think they overed the car with him still in it.
A fact about Jim’s accident at Milwaukee involved AJ Foyt and Rodger Ward. Jim was flown to the Army Burn Hospital in Texas.
Hey, Don—-I’m sure you know by now, but you are correct about that car to the far left of the shot. You can see the number 51 clearly on the left side of the rear cowling, meaning that it was the Pure Oil Firebird Special that started in the middle of the front row and , as you said, took off into the lead but sheared off an oil line under the car from going too low in one of the turns to get around some back markers. I never did understand why most drivers treated the 500 like it was a 30 lap sprint race and took unbelievable chances to get ahead way too early.
You mentioned that this was a week before Herk was burned at Milwaukee. I thought that you’d mention that Bobby Marshman died later on that year from burns received at a practice crash at Phoenix.
Let me know what you think?
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