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Trivia question i heard on the radio concerning replacement driver Indy 500

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  • #16
    The car swapping at the 1967 season finale at Riverside was bad, and it really got out of hand during the 1968 season. And, yes, that was when USAC put an end to it being done for points.

    Mario ran into the back of Pollard, who had been showing him the way around the track in the turbine, so he could get acclimated.
    "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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    • #17
      Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
      The car swapping at the 1967 season finale at Riverside was bad, and it really got out of hand during the 1968 season.
      'Hate to correct ya, but you made me look 'cause I didn't remember it that way and sho' 'nuff, there was only one replacement in '67; Foyt into McCluskey's Eagle.
      'S'allright, better times a long, long time ago.... wink.gif

      "Those were the days my friends. We thought they'd never end....."

      jimclark

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      • #18
        Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

        Skip Scott is a name I had totally forgotten about when it came to car swapping. Skip Scott was a top tier road racer and Riverside in 1968 was his only Indianapolis car start. I wonder if Ford was behind making him an Unser teammate? He had road racing ties to Ford/Holman-Moody. There must be a story as to why he got picked to drive for Bignotti in the second Retzloff Chemical Lola.
        That would be my guess.
        Real drivers don't need fenders!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jimclark View Post
          'Hate to correct ya, but you made me look 'cause I didn't remember it that way and sho' 'nuff, there was only one replacement in '67; Foyt into McCluskey's Eagle.
          'S'allright, better times a long, long time ago.... wink.gif
          D'oh! That is correct. That's what I get for going off the top of my head (which usually works pretty well). It was the '68 season where the car-hopping built over the season, reaching its zenith at Riverside. Which is what led USAC to say "enough!' It must have been fun to calculate the points with all of that going on.
          "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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          • #20
            Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

            Skip Scott is a name I had totally forgotten about when it came to car swapping. Skip Scott was a top tier road racer and Riverside in 1968 was his only Indianapolis car start. I wonder if Ford was behind making him an Unser teammate? He had road racing ties to Ford/Holman-Moody. There must be a story as to why he got picked to drive for Bignotti in the second Retzloff Chemical Lola.
            They wanted good road racers to get into the field to serve as "back up" cars. Jerry Titus was to serve the same role for Mario, but he was out of the race before Mario was!
            "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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            • #21
              Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
              They wanted good road racers to get into the field to serve as "back up" cars. Jerry Titus was to serve the same role for Mario, but he was out of the race before Mario was!
              Agreed. And I had to look this up but it turns out that Scott was driving for Lola importer Carl Haas in both USRRC and Can-Am at the time. Since Bignotti's 4WD Lolas also came through Haas it's likely that Haas may have also had something to do with Scott getting the back ride for Riverside.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by dalz View Post
                Apparently "relief drivers" were common in the race's very early days. A primary driver would get a break while someone else drove for a short stint. Cyrus Patchke drove Ray's car briefly during the inaugural 500. It doesn't seem like there was a formal limit on how much distance another driver could cover before he was a "co-driver". Maybe these interim drivers drove multiple cars?

                By the time the two races where co-winners happened, these early temp drivers weren't used anymore.
                How in the world did I never know that Harroun had a relief driver? Seems like Patchke would get more notoriety, or at least would be a common trivia question. Good stuff. Thanks for the info!

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                • #23
                  Cyrus Patschke (correct spelling) only comes up as Ray Harroun's relief driver in the inaugural 500-mile race, but he had a nice career of his own. I know some here like to believe auto racing began only upon completion of IMS, or even not until the creation of the 500-mile race, but Patschke was one of the top drivers in the early 24 hour races on the Brighton Beach horse track at Coney Island.

                  Kevin Triplett has recently written part one of his story (part 2 will arrive in the future): http://triplettracehistory.blogspot....-part-one.html

                  And, there is this rather colorfully written account by Spencer Riggs: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/a...-guts-no-glory
                  "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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                  • #24
                    Patschke was not the only uncredited relief driver to "win" the 500. Don Herr relieved Joe Dawson for 36 laps in 1912 and Norm Batten relieved Pete de Paolo for 21 in 1925.
                    "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                      Cyrus Patschke (correct spelling) only comes up as Ray Harroun's relief driver in the inaugural 500-mile race, but he had a nice career of his own. I know some here like to believe auto racing began only upon completion of IMS, or even not until the creation of the 500-mile race, but Patschke was one of the top drivers in the early 24 hour races on the Brighton Beach horse track at Coney Island.

                      Kevin Triplett has recently written part one of his story (part 2 will arrive in the future): http://triplettracehistory.blogspot....-part-one.html

                      And, there is this rather colorfully written account by Spencer Riggs: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/a...-guts-no-glory
                      Wow, thank you. Great information. I should've known to check the spelling.

                      So Patschke relieved both Harroun and Dawson in the first 500. I wondered if that sort of thing happened.
                      You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
                        Patschke was not the only uncredited relief driver to "win" the 500. Don Herr relieved Joe Dawson for 36 laps in 1912 and Norm Batten relieved Pete de Paolo for 21 in 1925.
                        Absolutely. Riggs definitely didn't get that part right in his rather colorful piece.
                        "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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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
                          Patschke was not the only uncredited relief driver to "win" the 500. Don Herr relieved Joe Dawson for 36 laps in 1912 and Norm Batten relieved Pete de Paolo for 21 in 1925.

                          In 1923, Howdy Wilcox (the 1919 winner) relieved eventual winner Tommy Milton for laps 103-149.


                          So relief drivers were used for the winning car in 1911, 1912, 1923, 1924, 1925, and 1941
                          Doctorindy.com

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