NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Driven to the Past

Driven to the Past: Pops & The “Other” Tommy Thompson

Sometime last year, our trivia guru here at Frontstretch asked a question about a former NASCAR driver with one win in, what is now, the Sprint Cup Series who had the same name as a current writer for this site. The answer was Tommy Thompson, and that brings up some memories …

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Driven to the Past: The Most Frightening Race on the Planet…

I hope all you stock car fans won’t get too mad at me for slipping into another memory about open wheel racing, but I like all types of racing, and I’ve been privileged to see some fantastic events. They hold a sprint car race at the Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind., on the night before the Indianapolis 500 which is called, appropriately, “The Little 500.” And if there are any questions, it’s two years older than the bicycle race using the same name over at Indiana University – so as far as I’m concerned, they had the name first.

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Driven to the Past: Just Thinkin’ & Rememberin’

I’m tired of hearing all these technical explanations about engine failures. It was much better when the driver and crew chief just said, “It blew up.” Besides, all of these technical terms are ignoring the real reason that the cars run. We suspected the truth back in the day, but I never heard it explained quite as well as an old mechanic did in telling my son about it one day. Forget all that stuff about pistons, rods, camshafts, crankshafts, bearings, etc.... What really makes a racing engine run is magic smoke.

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Driven to the Past: When it was a Lot More Fun…

ARCA has also progressed to the point where it is now a top-flight sanctioning body, and Marcum can be proud of what it has become. No more rolling into a track and letting the local officials handle things. One of my favorite memories of ARCA involves the last race on their schedule in the 1977 season. It was at Salem, and Moose Myers was leading the points by a slim margin, driving Jim Stovall’s No. 0 Chevrolet out of Fort Wayne, Ind. We didn’t have an ASA race that weekend, so I wandered over from Scottsburg to watch. That’s always been one of my favorite tracks, and it still is. I’d be there pretty often if I could still travel.

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