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  • #31
    Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

    To say that Unser himself gamed the system might be giving him too much credit.

    The entire Penske team went over their race strategy the day before the race and it specifically included taking advantage of the poorly defined definition of how to blend in during a caution when leaving the pits. Rick Mears got the same instructions and likely would have done the same thing that Unser did except that he went out of the race early after a pit fire in which he received burns.

    Team Penske has always pushed the rules and continues to do so today even under so call spec rules. More power to them if they can find an advantage that others overlook.
    I was simply quoting the poster above. I concur with your assessment.

    Tom Sneva's comments about not realizing how well Penske did small things until after he was fired and went to other teams, is very telling as well.
    "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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    • #32
      Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post

      I was aware of a drag racer named Danny Ongias when I was a kid.
      I was aware of a Indycar racer named Danny Ongias a little later on when I was a kid.
      My mind was blown when I found out they were the same person.
      I would have been surprised to find out there were two different persons named Danny Ongais

      Though, I was similarly surprised as a kid to learn that bandleader Guy Lombardo was the same fellow as hydroplane racer/Gold Cup winner Guy Lombardo. Despite the same name, and an uncommon name at that, it truly seemed inconceivable to me that the bandleader parents and grandparents tuned to each New Year's Eve had been a hydroplane racer.
      "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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      • #33
        However, there were TWO Peter Brock’s...

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        • #34
          His first ride

          Dode Martin and JIm Nelson's Dragmaster Dart-2

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          • #35
            Originally posted by flatlander_48 View Post
            However, there were TWO Peter Brock’s...
            There was (key word "was") two Bruce Jenners and both of them raced in the Trans-Am series in the 80's.
            "We let bygones be under the bridge..." AJ Foyt

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            • #36
              Originally posted by flatlander_48 View Post
              However, there were TWO Peter Brock’s...
              Yep, and two drivers named Al Miller*, two or maybe three drivers named Herb Hill, two drivers named Dick Fries, two drivers named Bill Cantrell, two drivers named Andy Hillenburg, three different drivers named Bill Scott and two other drivers named Billy Scott, three drivers named Bill(y) Foster, etc. These situations wreak havoc on sites like Racing Reference, where folks think they are one in the same, or can't separate them where careers overlapped.

              I get it with more common names, but it was a real surprise to find out that there were two people, from the same area, named Major Melton!

              *the real name of one being Kruloc
              "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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              • #37
                '70's, OCIR, Ongais shoeing for Mazmanian

                Lit the fuse, car jerked right

                headers hit the guard rail

                bounced him right back into track center

                ON THE GAS again

                other lane got loose

                Danny ftw

                drunk fans pour onto track

                fights with rentacops

                beat any F/C run I've ever seen



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                • #38
                  Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                  I would have been surprised to find out there were two different persons named Danny Ongais

                  Though, I was similarly surprised as a kid to learn that bandleader Guy Lombardo was the same fellow as hydroplane racer/Gold Cup winner Guy Lombardo. Despite the same name, and an uncommon name at that, it truly seemed inconceivable to me that the bandleader parents and grandparents tuned to each New Year's Eve had been a hydroplane racer.
                  Did not know that about Guy...

                  Back to Danny...I was told he didn't talk much to the media in part because his car owner Ted Field, of the Marshall Field family, was getting grief about the amount of money he was spending on racing...

                  FWIW, Ted later started Interscope Records and made a fortune...
                  Chicago Blackhawks done didn't do it again!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Hardscrabble View Post

                    Did not know that about Guy...

                    Back to Danny...I was told he didn't talk much to the media in part because his car owner Ted Field, of the Marshall Field family, was getting grief about the amount of money he was spending on racing...

                    FWIW, Ted later started Interscope Records and made a fortune...
                    Danny Ongais was known as The Silent Hawaiian long before hooking up with wealthy media-scion Ted Field. Ongais' teams didn't know much about their driver. This included such basic information as where their driver lived or details about his life away from the cockpit. Ongais' teams didn't contact him. He contacted them.

                    His aversion to the press notwithstanding, Ongais was a clever guy with a developed sense of humor. Ongais would talk, but rarely on the record (and he never said anything substantial when he did speak on the record); he never wanted to talk about anything other than racing in private, often confining his remarks to the current race; and he never freely spoke to anyone he didn't feel he could trust implicitly. It took a great deal of time and patience to earn the aloof Ongais' trust. Once earned, it was possible to share a beer with him so long as it was done away from the spotlight and that he was surrounded by others he could trust.

                    Ted Field, on the other hand, was averse to the press because he said he was taught early on to fear for his safety and for the safety of his family. He maintained those feelings even when he attended public school. Field explained that "most of what I do isn't worth personal aggrandizement." Constantly surrounded by gun-toting bodyguards during his racing days, Field said he was always armed, including when he was in the cockpit. Born to privilege, Ted Field, considered to be the black sheep of the Field family, and his half-brother each inherited $260 million. According to testimony given in various entertainment industry disputes involving Field, he said he went broke in Hollywood, recovered to a degree but never in his post-racing career was worth as much as some claimed. He said there were times he lived off a relative's credit card.

                    The entertainment disputes included clashes involving Interscope Records.

                    Privately, the intense, enigmatic Field once said he agreed with characterization that the Field family was one of money, madness and mystery.

                    Field lost two fingers of one hand during a towing accident at Riverside. Two others were severely damaged. He walked around afterward with the damaged hand swathed in bandages. The injury added to his feelings of wanting to be left alone. Only after his racing career was well and truly over would he agree to remove the bandages and to display the damaged hand.

                    The beginning of the end for Interscope Racing took occurred when Field attempted to sue Porsche. Some of the team's equipment ended up padlocked at Vasek Polak's forcing the team to scrounge for cars. Polak controversially supported the idea of an Intercope-Porsche Indy car marriage.
                    Last edited by editor; 07-14-2019, 05:55 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Ryan Quesadilla View Post

                      There was (key word "was") two Bruce Jenners and both of them raced in the Trans-Am series in the 80's.
                      Then there was Bob Johnson and Bob Johnson from Ohio. One of Columbus Bob's and Marietta Bob's claims to fame was that they shared driving chores of the Confederate flag Corvette with Dave Heinz. The did not know each other beforehand.

                      Columbus Bob and Marietta Bob were not the only drivers named Bob Johnson.

                      Last edited by editor; 07-14-2019, 04:55 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by flatlander_48 View Post
                        Clearly they didn’t call him Danny OnTheGas for nothing. But, what always impressed me was how well he adapted to ovals and road courses coming from drag racing. He was just a natural. Still remember that ugly photo after his crash during the 500 with the front of the tub being ripped away...
                        Danny Ongais' speed in an Indy car was not due to him being a natural, according to experts. Rather, it was due to his love of oversteer. His preference for oversteer also was a reason he was involved in so many bad accidents. Ongais became accustomed to oversteer early in his career and saw no reason to change his driving style as he moved up. Veteran Indy car drivers tried to persuade him that oversteer was potentially lethal, especially on an oval. He wouldn't listen.

                        At times during his F5000 career, Ongais was considered by some competitors to be in over his head and worse than useless. Complaints were legion.

                        Ongais' speed left Al Unser frustrated and angry when they drove Indy cars for VPJ. Unser felt the Hawaiian was getting better equipment. Unser couldn't be convinced that Ongais' pace derived from his penchant for oversteer. Those feelings helped lead to Unser's departure from the team.
                        Last edited by editor; 07-14-2019, 05:16 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Independent of whether you favor understeer, neutral or oversteer, the more time you spend at the limits of your car increases the chances of something happening. However, some oversteer is usually the fast way around. To be a bit more precise, the real problem with oversteer on an oval is reacting by countersteering. That’s what causes nosing into a wall...

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                          • #43
                            After editor's interesting summary of Ted Field's racing era, I had to look him up. Today he's head of another entertainment company, and by most accounts, worth north of a billion, with the typical hardships of that amount of worth--business lawsuits, tax delinquency. He doesn't seem to be such a recluse anymore, being seen on red carpets and even giving the occasional interview. He's only 66, which makes him much younger than I thought he was during his Ongias partnership.
                            You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by editor View Post
                              Ongais' speed left Al Unser frustrated and angry when they drove Indy cars for VPJ. Unser felt the Hawaiian was getting better equipment. Unser couldn't be convinced that Ongais' pace derived from his penchant for oversteer. Those feelings helped lead to Unser's departure from the team.
                              The thing is, in order for Unser's opinion to be true, there would have to be a reason for favoritism. I'd be hard pressed to see what it would be beyond "Mom always liked you best...".

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by flatlander_48 View Post
                                Independent of whether you favor understeer, neutral or oversteer, the more time you spend at the limits of your car increases the chances of something happening. However, some oversteer is usually the fast way around. To be a bit more precise, the real problem with oversteer on an oval is reacting by countersteering. That’s what causes nosing into a wall...
                                We stand by our reporting.

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