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"Your new swimming pool is sitting in the third turn."

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  • "Your new swimming pool is sitting in the third turn."

    Roger McCluskey was running in third place, one lap behind leader Parnelli Jones late in the 1963 500. As Parnelli took the white flag to start his last lap, McCluskey passed him to un-lap himself, but really nothing else to gain. McCluskey lost it in the third turn and dropped from a certain third place finish to 14. Supposedly one of the other drivers wives sitting in the stands with Mrs. McCluskey told her: "Your new swimming pool is sitting in the third turn."

    This isn't the best picture since it's an enlargement from a slide but it shows an interesting view of his spin and actually how close he came to taking Parnelli out, had Parnelli not been smart enough to back off from McCluskey and not fight him for that meaningless track position.
    1963 race 7c2.jpg
    Last edited by doitagain; 05-09-2019, 06:54 PM.

  • #2
    Great post. I'm pretty sure the story goes tthat some would say that McCluskey spun in Jones' oil.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by preacher View Post
      Great post. I'm pretty sure the story goes tthat some would say that McCluskey spun in Jones' oil.
      Except McCluskey was running in front of Jones when he spun, hence Parnelli going by as McCluskey was completely sideways. The track was very slick, no doubt as Jones and others had lost a lot of oil. I do wonder if the shine on McCluskey's tires is a reflection from the oil on them. It's amazing that Jones didn't lose it going that high. There was a lot of rubber besides the oil up there.

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      • #4
        Here is a shot of Jim Clark going by. Note that there is a Safety Patrol already standing by McCluskey's rr tire. Those were brave dudes back then, just as they are now. 1963 race 8.jpg

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 4 Corner Fan View Post

          Except McCluskey was running in front of Jones when he spun, hence Parnelli going by as McCluskey was completely sideways. The track was very slick, no doubt as Jones and others had lost a lot of oil. I do wonder if the shine on McCluskey's tires is a reflection from the oil on them. It's amazing that Jones didn't lose it going that high. There was a lot of rubber besides the oil up there.
          I'm tracking. There was oil. It may or may not been from Jones.

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          • #6
            No NEV !

            You can see the rooftops of the (relatively) new homes in Eagledale.
            "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
            ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


            Brian's Wish

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            • #7
              Who came out worse. McCluskey spinning. Or, Eddie Sachs getting punched in the nose.

              ==

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              • #8
                Since Sachs spun out, restarted then lost a wheel and hit the wall before getting punched in the nose, I'd say he came out worse.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 4 Corner Fan View Post
                  Roger McCluskey was running in third place, one lap behind leader Parnelli Jones late in the 1963 500. As Parnelli took the white flag to start his last lap, McCluskey passed him to un-lap himself, but really nothing else to gain.]
                  If he managed to unlap himself and get back in the lead lap, he had something to gain: a much coveted leather jacket !!!!!


                  The one that proved you were a member of the Champion 100 mp/h club.....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Indyote View Post

                    If he managed to unlap himself and get back in the lead lap, he had something to gain: a much coveted leather jacket !!!!!


                    The one that proved you were a member of the Champion 100 mp/h club.....
                    Back then he wouldn't have had to unlap himself as the race didn't end when the winner finished. At the time the race was allowed to continue for another 15 minutes after the winner had taken the checkered flag.

                    In 1964 MCA-TV broadcast the race live on closed circuit television and asked that the race end with the winner. Because of Champion and the drivers themselves a compromise was reached with the race being allowed to go on for an additional 5 minutes after the winner had finished. It actually ran a few minutes longer in 1964 and in some years after. I think the last year that anyone actually made the Champion 100 Mile an Hour Club was 1970 although Al Unser has always said that he never did get his jacket for finishing and winning the 1970 500.

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                    • #11
                      Yep. Listen to the old radio broadcasts and you can hear cars still running on the track as they are doing the Victory Lane interviews.

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                      • #12
                        In 63 the last driver to complete 200 laps was Ebb Rose in 14th place at an average speed nearly 11 mph slower than the winner's. At that speed he was around 12-13 laps down when Jones completed the race.

                        (I must correct my first post, McCluskey dropped to 15th place)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

                          Back then he wouldn't have had to unlap himself as the race didn't end when the winner finished. At the time the race was allowed to continue for another 15 minutes after the winner had taken the checkered flag.

                          In 1964 MCA-TV broadcast the race live on closed circuit television and asked that the race end with the winner. Because of Champion and the drivers themselves a compromise was reached with the race being allowed to go on for an additional 5 minutes after the winner had finished. It actually ran a few minutes longer in 1964 and in some years after. I think the last year that anyone actually made the Champion 100 Mile an Hour Club was 1970 although Al Unser has always said that he never did get his jacket for finishing and winning the 1970 500.


                          You're right, my bad....
                          Thanks for correcting me on this one.

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                          • #14
                            Donnie Allison and Al Unser did at least get some Champion 100 MPH patches not that long ago.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Indyote View Post



                              You're right, my bad....
                              Thanks for correcting me on this one.
                              I get years mixed up all the time myself. The rules have changed so much over the years it's easy to get confused.

                              And those photos of McCluskey sitting in the middle of the track are typical of how cautions were handled then. By the fact that there is already a Safety Patrol blue shirt standing by McCluskey's car it's probably that Clark (in the second photo) has already finished and is on his slow down lap. Notice that there is no safety truck in the photo and this is around a minute and a half after the spin. It's entirely possible that the car was simply pushed into the infield as much as possible while the race continued to go on. It makes you wonder if the caution light was turned on at all. If is was you can bet it wasn't on for long. It wasn't uncommon for the track to stay green for relatively minor incidents at that time; especially in the later laps.

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