Posted on: December 31, 2010
Gasoline Alley Unplugged
By: Donald Davidson
Rick Mears' Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Greatest 33 Photo Shoot
Rick Mears’ Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Greatest 33 Photo Shoot
Tagged as: Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 500, Penske Racing, race cars, Rick Mears
There are 14 comments for this post.
Mears winning the ’79 race was the 2nd time he surprised everyone that month. Tom Sneva was on the verge of becoming the first person to win the pole 3 years in a row when Mears took to the track late on Pole day. Rick got the pole and Sneva started in the middle of row 1. I also notice that the GOODYEAR on the tires is centered on the 3 visible tires in this picture. That’s got to be intentional. No stone unturned for the photo shoot.
PC6 no doubt
Donald, I just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed these photos and your reflections on each for the past few months, and hope they continue well into the new year. I would also like to say it’s great reading the fan’s posts as well, and thank them for their participation. Several of the regulars here, such as, “Racenutdon”, Tom Leister, DJ Blythe, and Dennis Johansen, have shared some great memories of their own, adding so much more to this forum. Thanks and Happy new Year to all!
I think Penske had PC-7′s for Bobby Unser, but Rick drove the PC-6 to the win. Was at that race, remember it well.
Al Unser led early in the race in the Chaparral – dropped out. Uncle Bobby took the lead and had everyone totally covered in the PC7 leading from lap 97 to 181 then he lost fourth gear and Rick took the lead and came home a winner…for at the time, Penske’s second Indy 500 win after Sneva taking second in 1977 and 1978.
Rick Mears driver, Roger “The Captain” Penske owner, what a team! (and remember Ricks second to Gordon Johncock in photo finish, could have been 5.
When it came to Indy, Rick was just a pure closer. His car was always best at the end and his pass in 1991 to win his fourth was breathtaking. Even when he finished second in 1982 was an insanely furious charge, that was just some great driving by Gordy to hold him off.
Pole day 1979 was my first trip to the Speedway. I can still hear Tom Carnegie’s voice “aaannnndddd Rick Mears is…ON THE POLE for the 1979 Indianapolis 500!” Wow what a day.
Rocket Rick was one of the greatest drivers ever to sit in a car at Indy. To me Rick was more than a driver he was a class act with the fans and still is around Gasoline alley.
Donald to you and your great staff who put this great blog together everyday…….Happy New Year!!!!!!!
and there in the background Vukovichs “grey mouse” . Waiting to takes its rightful place as the BEST of the top 33 with the memory of the giant who was its partner in making 500 history. The number 1 driver/car/mechanics combination ever to run at the Speedway. Jim Travers at the Hall of fame Induction ceremony 2010, “We could have won the 500 5 times in a row. I owe it all to our driver, Bill Vukovich”. he gave Bill all the credit.
No driver ever “backed” into victory lane at Indianapolis! If you need that explained to you……well, its all about what it takes to win the 500…….
To Michael lazorko…thank you for the kind words..Its a labor love.. I love the Speedway. Donald understands my passion well.
Donald: you said the car came from Arizona ? I thought Penske’s operation was back east ? If he has one in Arizona
do you know where it is located ?
Rick ( from Tucson, Arizona )
Fantastic info once again. For the person that asked about car coming from Arizona. Penske has a museum in Phoenix Arizona at one of his dealerships that is a must see if you are ever there.
Would like to know the 33 cars in this photo shoot. Wouldn’t it be great if the Public Relations people at Indy would let the fans know about something like this.
Let me know what you think?
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