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What was it that made rick mears so good on ovals?

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  • What was it that made rick mears so good on ovals?

    What was it that made rick mears so good on ovals? I've heard some people say that what helped him on ovals was stuff that he learned from racing out in the desert.

    It seemed like in most oval races rick was always or seemed like he was always 1 of the guys you had to watch out for on raceday.

    Wasn't rick also good on road courses i've heard some people say that after his crash at sanair in 1984 that he wasn't as good on road courses as he was prior to his crash.

  • #2
    Penske

    Not taking anything away from Rick. One would have to be foolish to not wonder if he would have performed as well if he hadn't been driving for Penske for the vast majority of his career in Indycars.
    kwetcherbetchen

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    • #3
      Long time ago, when Mr. A.J. Foyt was still in his prime, a study was conducted. The good drivers had exceptional vision.

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      • #4
        Penske-maybe the reason Rick still works with the team to this day. But its possible that the offroad racing helped aswell as Jimmie Johnson also comes from offroadracing.

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        • #5
          Patience. He always worked with the car and never tried to do more with it than it was capable of. And other than possibly Sanair and his last Indy start; he never put himself in a position to get caught out by someone else's mistake.

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          • #6
            Never overdrove the car, was a thinker, and always kept himself in good position.

            Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.
            "I kill for the code to disarm this mess..."

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            • #7
              GBS

              "Gear Brains & Sack"
              "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

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              • #8
                I have another question? If rick mears had came along in like 1988 or 1989 or even the early 90's. Is it possible rick may not have gotten the ride with penske?

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                • #9
                  People often forget that before his injury in 1984, he was a pretty good road racer, too.
                  Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marc P. Gregoire
                    Never overdrove the car, was a thinker, and always kept himself in good position.

                    Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.

                    I'd add to that that he fully understood that you do not win a race in the first 50 laps, but you damn well can loose it in the first 50 laps.
                    Whoever said nothing was impossible obviously never tried slamming a revolving door.

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                    • #11
                      Before Rick smashed his feet at Saniar he had a serious F1 test with Brahbam and did well enough for Bernie E to offer him a ride. Before his first Indycar ride(w/Bill Simpson) Rick had done alot of SCCA roadracing in Formula Vee,Supervee and F5000. Cool thing about Rick is that he says he started his racing career in slot cars, just like me!
                      Last edited by fatlantic; 02-27-2008, 10:28 PM.
                      Racing is life,everything that happens before or after is just waiting.

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                      • #12
                        Didn't he win an SCCA national title before running in USAC/CART? I want to say it was in formula ford, but my memory fails me.
                        I ain't quiet, everybody else is too loud.

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                        • #13
                          Before rick was injured did he seriously think about going to formula one or did he want to stay where he was at?

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                          • #14
                            Rick might have won a west coast SCCA regional championship in FV, but I do not believe that he ever competed at the "National Championship" Runoffs. I do not think he ever raced a Formula Ford. Dennis Firestone was the westcoast FF god back then.
                            Racing is life,everything that happens before or after is just waiting.

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                            • #15
                              Talent.

                              Anyone that thinks Rick wouldn't have done well without Penske, well...

                              Rick was quite a good road racer until his foot injuries, as fatlantic mentioned he raced FV, FSV and F5000. IIRC, he won divisional titles in two different classes his first year in SCCA racing.

                              I still remember reading about him when he ran a '57 Chevy on the (then) 1/4 mile paved Bakersfield Speedway. Roger was track champ, Rick in the top 20 in points.

                              There was that hot July night when Pop Mears, Roger and Rick got into a brawl in the stands with Jim Ward and company.
                              Last edited by JThur1; 02-28-2008, 05:33 AM.
                              "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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