It has been a long time since I’ve been to a sprint car race, but even in the Eighties when I went, drivers were protected by a full roll cage. This video shows just how tough these guys really were.
Long time Canadian racer Dave Boon tipped us off to this so perhaps I should just let him describe it:
Some incredibly good USAC late 50’s early 60’s open wheel footage. One heads up – it shows Sweikert’s fatal at Winchestor and it is damn hard to watch – on the upside they show Cotton farmer wrecking at Phoenix in 1960 and how he walked away is waaaaay beyond me.
Video after the break
Thanks to guys like Warwick Patterson and JF Musial we’ve become accustomed to seeing incredibly crisp and clear racing footage. This video contains some excellent vintage, on track footage that really shows the cars working. I particularly love the bit at 1:37 where the car has several inches of air under the left front tire. It is unusual to see vintage race footage this crisp.
Ed note: Brian Pratt from Burnaby BC added further info for those of us who aren’t old enough to recognize everyone in the video.
Some of the other guys (with question marks when I’m not sure):
0:30 — Jimmy Bryan (?) with cigar.
0:34 — Shorty Templeman
1:10 — A.J. Foyt
1:28 — Don Branson
1:37 — Jim Hurtubise
1:47 — Roger McCluskey
1:53 — Gary Bettenhausen (?)
2:16 — Parnelli Jones
2:26 — (I recognize him!)
2:44 — Cotton Farmer
3:10 — Gary Bettenhausen
3:23 — Jud Larson
3:32 — Rodger Ward (at left)
3:46 — Shorty Templeman
3:48 — Rodger Ward
3:55 — Jim Hurtubise
No guarantees I right with all of these. Looks like the footage is a
collection from various Dick Wallen videos.