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1981 Pocono 500 Television Broadcast

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  • 1981 Pocono 500 Television Broadcast

    The 1981 Pocono 500 was one of the most interesting races in IndyCar's history. Due to a boycott by most CART drivers and teams, the race largely featured a mix of older Indy cars and dirt track Silver Crown cars. Ultimately, A.J. Foyt won the rain-shortened race after his main opponent, Tom Sneva, retired. This would be his final IndyCar win.

    Footage from this event has been nonexistent. The closest that there is to existing media from this race is various photos taken at it.

    However, the race was broadcast on Indianapolis television station WRTV on Saturday, July 11, 1981, nearly a month after the event took place. The person who sent me this listing claimed that, in other markets, the race aired on NBC affiliates. This would indicate that the race was syndicated, and perhaps aired at different dates and times on different networks and markets.

    I have read that USAC does have some footage of the race (perhaps the entire race) from a single camera that filmed the race. Is this the same footage?

    Does anybody remember this broadcast, let alone any details about it (such as who were the announcers and reporters and the group who produced it)?

  • #2
    You may wish to look up Don Ohlmeyer Productions. The did a lot of NBC work back then. They might be able to help you find what you are looking for.
    "Lead,follow or get the hell out of the way!

    Lee Iacocca

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    • #3
      The listing shows it airing on an ABC affiliate and doing some further checking in newspapers.com, I'm seeing listings on other ABC affiliates on July 11 and July 12.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by turbopanzer View Post
        You may wish to look up Don Ohlmeyer Productions. The did a lot of NBC work back then. They might be able to help you find what you are looking for.
        I have been told that the company who produced the broadcast is Championship Racefilms and the footage is currently owned by IndyCar.

        My question is if this is the same broadcast/footage that USAC apparently has?
        Last edited by Rhino Ryan; 08-02-2019, 01:08 AM.

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        • #5
          What I said on the other site is that Championship Racefilm produced A film of the race. I can’t tell you whether this is the film that appeared in the hour-long time slot or not.

          And I said the Museum owns the film. Not IndyCar.

          Just want to make sure what I said on the other site is accurately represented.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rhino Ryan View Post
            I have been told that the company who produced the broadcast is Championship Racefilms and the footage is currently owned by IndyCar.

            My question is if this is the same broadcast/footage that USAC apparently has?
            I do not know. That would be a question for the owners of the copyright. I simply offered a avenue for you to seek your information.
            "Lead,follow or get the hell out of the way!

            Lee Iacocca

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lotuspoweredbyford View Post
              What I said on the other site is that Championship Racefilm produced A film of the race. I can’t tell you whether this is the film that appeared in the hour-long time slot or not.

              And I said the Museum owns the film. Not IndyCar.

              Just want to make sure what I said on the other site is accurately represented.
              Forget raiding Area 51, we need to raid the Museums video archives!
              "We let bygones be under the bridge..." AJ Foyt

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              • #8
                This has long been a TF Holy Grail. Even a 5sec. Super 8 clip from the grandstand would be interesting. There has to be some footage somewhere. I wouldn't think after all these years that the people in charge of it would be embarrassed of it anymore.

                I've seen all the known photos from the internet, and I know of 2 more: one of Geoff Brabham (who gave Foyt a decent fight) making a pit stop in a publication at the time, and a nice shot of A.J.'s winning March 81C from a Valvoline ad in Autoweek.
                You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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                • #9
                  Here's a story about restoring Chip Mead's Eagle that has a pretty good reference to the Pocono race and several very interesting pictures.
                  You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                  Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

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                  • #10
                    I hope if there is footage of race that it is shared with people like us at some time. After all, this was AJ Foyt's last Indy Car win, which is historic. I'd like to see it.

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                    • #11
                      The USAC librarian responded to one of my posts about this race some time ago, and was adamant that they didn't have footage. This is the first I'm hearing that the IMS Museum actually has the film (and that there is film).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by openwheelr View Post
                        The USAC librarian responded to one of my posts about this race some time ago, and was adamant that they didn't have footage. This is the first I'm hearing that the IMS Museum actually has the film (and that there is film).
                        It's one reel, not sure yet if it's a finished "production" or it's raw but that's what it's marked.

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