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  • seventy-three

    This is kind of a question for those who were there, or knew how it went. So much is made of 1973's tragedies, Pollard, Turin(sp?), Savage....and the Walther crash

    Or the rain...

    But aside from all that how was the actual race? From the limited footage I've seen, it seems like it was pretty competitive, with a lot of lost engines(was that due to big boost and even bigger wings?)
    Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

  • #2
    I doubt anyone who was still there on Wednesady even cared. Probably werent really paying much atttention.

    Just watching the laps click off to half + 1

    Ive only been at one race where there was a fatal crash during the race and no one really paid much attention after that.

    It wasnt announced until after the race but everyone there was able to put 2 and 2 together

    It was all so unimportant

    Im guessing it was more a case of lets get this sh*t over one way or another so everyone can just go home
    Live like Dave

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KevMcNJ View Post
      I doubt anyone who was still there on Wednesady even cared. Probably werent really paying much atttention.

      Just watching the laps click off to half + 1

      Ive only been at one race where there was a fatal crash during the race and no one really paid much attention after that.

      It wasnt announced until after the race but everyone there was able to put 2 and 2 together

      It was all so unimportant

      Im guessing it was more a case of lets get this sh*t over one way or another so everyone can just go home

      I was not at the race, I was only 9 years old at the time and in school, but from my observations of the home movies I have, the professional film I have seen, and from what I have read and heard about the race, the race was very competitive before the Savage wreck. It was a very competitive race between Savage , Al Unser, and Bobby Unser. At the time of the accident, Al was leading with Savage and Bobby following close behind. When the race resumed after the Savage accident, Al took off before his engine failed. It pretty much became a race for survival after that with Johncock leading most, if not all, of the remaining laps. There were only 10 cars running when the red flag came out at lap 133. One can only wonder how many cars would have made it if the race ran the full distance. Again, I was not there so if this does not match what people saw that were actually at the race, please let me know. Thanks.
      www.firstturnpro.com

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      • #4
        I made all three days.
        Started off pretty good. Unser was leading when Swede went in for a pitstop. He had been running fairly well. He was in a hurry because Bunser was closing on him to put him a lap down after the pitstop. When he came out, Bunser was right on him.
        I still think that Swede forgot that when he added 40 gallons of fuel, the car would be 250 pounds heavier. I think Swede stuffed the Eagle into Four like he had just done moments before, and she just responded differently. It was again one of those long, slow accidents that seem to take forever.

        I took a picture of the accident and you can see Bobby driving through the red cloud.
        Everybody up in four knew it wasn't going to be a good ending. It was announced though that Swede appeared to be ok. Burnt badly but going to live. There was a collective sigh. I don't think we were immediately told via the PA that Armando Teran was killed by a fire truck running up the pits the wrong way. I have heard that the fireman driving the firetruck was never the same afterwards.
        Soon the rain came and everyone went home.
        We left Chicago the next day and drove down to the track. We had the radio on listening to the race. They got everything ready and even made it to the third turn on the pace lap before the cloudburst came again. We turned around in Layfayette and went home.

        On the third day the weather looked pretty good so we left early and drove back to Indy. The track was a ghost town. By then, all the yellow shirts had used up all their vacations and were not there. There was no enforcement of anything. You could go anywhere you wanted. We watched what was to be the rest of the race from the upper deck in the first or second rows, right accross from the S/F line.
        The crowd was the smallest I can ever remember, maybe 50k all together, in a place that held over 400k....

        The race was anticlimactic. You are right, we all just wanted it to be over. I really can't tell you much about the rest of the race, it has been 37 years.
        I have posted the picture before so I'm sure everybody has seen it. If some one wants I can post it again...

        ZOOOM
        "Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"
        James Hurtubise, June, 1964

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        • #5
          I was there for all three days and I remember the smell more than I do the Race. It was the only time in my 55 years at Indy that I thought about not coming back for '74, but I did and I'm glad that I did.
          Watching Swede Savage roll down the track was awful, just plain awful!
          Have a very blessed day!

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          • #6
            It was a watershed Indy 500 for me, graduated from HS a month later. I can remember trying to explain what happened in my english class with a sympathetic teacher who was originally from Terre Haute. Off to Maritime Academy in the fall and basically lost track of Indy car racing for the next 4 years. A.J. winning in '77 was my reengagement, then CART being formed in '79 my turnoff. Hasn't been the same since. Oh, Tony Hulman, where art thou?
            I'll see YOU at the races!

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            • #7
              I was there all three days, it was to the point of get all this over with and hopefully they would change the rules to reduce power and slow the cars down. They did and made much better racing for years to come.
              "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

              "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

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              • #8
                I made day 1 and day 3.

                I can't respond to the original question because unfortunately one of my only memories of it are of Armando flying past me.

                ...---...

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                • #9
                  I want to be clear I didn't mean to dredge up old wounds, But the field was so fast that year....

                  I draw a comparison to 82(yes I know there is a coincidence that Johncock won both)

                  But both years the field was fast, sadly we lost a driver in the lead up to the race and the original start was marred by an accident. and remembering that Savage didn't necessarily die of his injuries....it seems 73 as a race wasn't as bad as it's written in history...
                  Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

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                  • #10
                    The best thing about the '73 race was the '74 race.
                    "George Bignotti's Sinmast Wildcat (Designed by Bob Riley); delicately built, carefully prepared and boldly driven by Gordon Johncock." -- Keith Jackson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BSJracing View Post
                      it seems 73 as a race wasn't as bad as it's written in history...
                      I was only 8 and nowhere near Indiana, but even I remember how bad Indy '73 was.

                      Doesnt matter how comeptitive the race was at times.

                      The race sucked.
                      Live like Dave

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                      • #12
                        I've got the whole race on radio, all three days now. As it was going on, it didn't seem that the full affect of the tragic circumstances was even close to realized yet. They were experiencing the race just as we do every year. Looking back at it almost 40 years later, you have trouble remembering that it started out just like it does now. For 11 months, people waited in great anticipation. For three weeks, they watched practice and time trials. They watched the cars go faster than they ever had before. They went to the parade. They camped out across the street. They partied on 16th Street and Georgetown. They woke up and it was raining (we've been there before, that's no biggie). They watched the bands march around on race morning. They heard Jim Nabors sing.

                        The race itself was somewhat interesting, for a while. Johncock was probably the best car anyway, he didn't luck into it. It's not like he was leading at the right time when the yellow came out for rain.

                        The 1973 race was tragic in hindsight. I think by Wednesday night, people really started to realize how bad it was.
                        Doctorindy.com

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                        • #13
                          I was there but I was still 3-4 months away from my ninth birthday so my perspective may not be the best. I was giddy about being there because it was my first race after several years of staying with Grandpa and listening on the radio a block from the North 40. I very clearly remember the looks on the faces of my parents, aunts & uncles, and other adult strangers when the race was over. Nobody appeared to be bummed about the race being rain-shortened. All appeared to be glad it was put out of it's misery.
                          Center Grove Trojans
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                          Center Grove Jr. Trojans
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                          • #14
                            One thing that I remember was the roar of the crowd, that is the ones that were still there, when the Race hit 101 laps! It was like the weight of the world had been lifted. We didn't have to come back.
                            Have a very blessed day!

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