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Tom Sneva

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  • Tom Sneva

    Thought this might be the place to ask.

    After parting company with Penske in 1978, I know Tom drove for Jerry O'Connell in the Sugaripe Prune-sponsored car in '79. What were his teams and sponsors over the next two seasons, before the Texaco Star era?

    Reason I ask is two-fold. One, I am trying to complete historical Indycar carsets for a racing sim, and two, in leafing through my Indy 500 yearbooks I found a series of B/W pics of Sneva's 1980 Phoenix Cosworth hitting the wall at IMS in practice, and it did NOT look like the yellow "Bon Jour Jeans" paintjob on the backup McLaren he used in the race that year. In fact, a description in that book said it was red and blue. Did Sneva have a regular sponsor/paint scheme in '80? Did it change throughout the year? How about 1981? I know that at both Indy and Michigan in '81 he drove the "Blue Poly" special....Pocono too, I think.

    Would love to get some pics of Sneva's cars in the 1980-81 time frame, if anyone knows of a good source.


  • #2
    motorsport.com career statistics on Sneva by Phil Harms

    Tom remained with O'Connell through Phoenix '81. He started '80 unsponsored, then Sugaripe inexplicably returned for Indy and was still on the car when he won Phoenix at year's end. He began his stint with Bignotti-Cotter at Indy '81, then was unsponsored everywhere except the 500-milers until Texaco first appeared at Watkins Glen.

    There are some good shots of both Sugaripe chassis (none of "O'Connell") in the Kirby-produced '81 (actually '80) CART Yearbook I have at home, but I don't have an '82 ('81) edition.

    The former shows the "Old Hound" McLaren M24 was all yellow with small Sugaripe decals on the engine cowling (the size and placement similar to how Cogan's "unsponsored" Phoenix ran at Indy the following year). The Phoenix-winning Phoenix was red and yellow with Sugaripe in large letters on the sidepods. In neither case was a Sugaripe logo visible from the front of the car.
    Last edited by theunions; 08-05-2003, 11:48 PM.


    • #3
      it's absolutely insane that tom was sponsorless back then! i had forgotten about that. my memory does not serve me well with the CART years due to my selective viewing of that series and lack of motorsports press at the time (i couldn't find NSSN anywhere or their address to subscribe...ah the world pre-internet...) but what exactly happened with sneva per his career? after he parted ways with bignotti, that seemed to be about it as far as his "good years" went.


      • #4
        When did the association with Tyler Alexander and Teddy Mayer start? Was that just the 84 season? Was Bignotti still involved in 84?
        "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MichaelP
          When did the association with Tyler Alexander and Teddy Mayer start? Was that just the 84 season? Was Bignotti still involved in 84?
          In terms of team ownership, yes, 1984 only, while Bignotti-Cotter began their relationship with Guerrero.


          • #6
            Mayer Motor Sports

            theunions, Teddy ran Mayer Motorsports out of the McLaren Engines Building in Livonia, Michigan for the cars of Tom Sneva and Howdy Holmes.
            "I may never have won a race, but I have never lost a party" Delma Cowart


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