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  • Alex Morales Motorsports

    Poking around on Wikepida and it surprised me to find that there isn't an article for this team on there, despite the fact that the team was decently successful in the 1980's, winning a few races and running some pretty good drivers so I want to write a Wiki page for the team but surprisingly google searches don't bring up a heck of a lot about the team either, apart from the fact that Alex Morales died in 1988. Does anyone know of any good resources or just know a lot about the team that they would be willing to share ? Maybe we could make the Alex Morales Motorsports article a sort of Trackforum team effort.

  • #2
    I remember his Tamale Wagon sprint cars. Didn't Jimmy Sills drive for the Morales family quite often?
    Is it May yet?
    Take me back to a world gone away-James Pankow

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    • #3
      Originally posted by frodo13 View Post
      I remember his Tamale Wagon sprint cars. Didn't Jimmy Sills drive for the Morales family quite often?
      Yeah I have seen some references to the Tamale Wagons. I am just trying to piece together enough info to write a decent wiki article. I can dig out the race results from various sources but I just feel as though a team that won three races and employed the likes of Johnny Rutherford and Pancho Carter deserves a proper page, especially since the Machinists Union Team (which won shinola and ran for fewer seasons) has one lol

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      • #4
        Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post
        Poking around on Wikepida and it surprised me to find that there isn't an article for this team on there, despite the fact that the team was decently successful in the 1980's, winning a few races and running some pretty good drivers so I want to write a Wiki page for the team but surprisingly google searches don't bring up a heck of a lot about the team either, apart from the fact that Alex Morales died in 1988. Does anyone know of any good resources or just know a lot about the team that they would be willing to share ? Maybe we could make the Alex Morales Motorsports article a sort of Trackforum team effort.
        Admirable that you want to write a page on Alex Morales, but Wikipedia is about as accurate at times as a $3 watch.

        There is actually quite a bit out there about Alex. He raced in the late 20's, 30's and 40's. Ran a sprint car built by Roger McCluskey for Chuck Hulse, his cars were the Tamale Wagons after the family business. Had a hall of fame list of drivers. Ran championship cars until he passed away, won two CART races with Pancho Carter at Michigan in 1981 and Johnny Rutherford at Sanair in 1985.

        Google Alex Morales sprint car, click on the link to his profile at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, it has very good information.
        "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

        John Kennedy at American University 1963

        "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

        A. Lincoln

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Belanger99 View Post

          Admirable that you want to write a page on Alex Morales, but Wikipedia is about as accurate at times as a $3 watch.

          There is actually quite a bit out there about Alex. He raced in the late 20's, 30's and 40's. Ran a sprint car built by Roger McCluskey for Chuck Hulse, his cars were the Tamale Wagons after the family business. Had a hall of fame list of drivers. Ran championship cars until he passed away, won two CART races with Pancho Carter at Michigan in 1981 and Johnny Rutherford at Sanair in 1985.

          Google Alex Morales sprint car, click on the link to his profile at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, it has very good information.
          Ok thanks for the tip. There seems to be more about the sprint car side of the business than the Champ Car side which is more of what I am looking for.

          And Morales also won the 86 Michigan 500 with Lone Star JR

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          • #6
            Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

            Ok thanks for the tip. There seems to be more about the sprint car side of the business than the Champ Car side which is more of what I am looking for.

            And Morales also won the 86 Michigan 500 with Lone Star JR
            I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for. Morales had Jimmy Caruthers, Bobby Olivero, Billy Vukovich, Al Holbert, Roberto G. among his championship car drivers.

            https://database.motorsportmagazine....s/alex-morales
            "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

            John Kennedy at American University 1963

            "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

            A. Lincoln

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Belanger99 View Post

              Admirable that you want to write a page on Alex Morales, but Wikipedia is about as accurate at times as a $3 watch.

              Google Alex Morales sprint car, click on the link to his profile at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, it has very good information.
              Some of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame bios, particularly the early ones, are utter messes and should be re-written. Even a little bit knowledge of racing West of the Rockies would help greatly, as would using better sources. Or, at the very least, not using Lucero's Ascot book or anything by Joe Scalzo. Wikipedia is an improvement over some of their bios.

              AFAIK, Alex never raced himself. The "raced" in the NSCHoF bio I think is meant that he competed as a car owner, even though the wording makes it seem otherwise. The track referred to as site of the first race by a Morales car was Silvergate Speedway (one word, not two), located in San Diego and didn't open until 1933. If it was 1928 when he fielded his first car, it would have had to have been elsewhere. Silver Lake Speedway was near Everett, Washington. Ray Pixley might have been the first driver for Morales. If not the first, he certainly was one of the first. Both living in Orange County, it makes sense. There is a tidbit in a Coast Racing News issue from sometime in 1934 mentioning that Morales and Pixley were building a car in his garage in Orange County.

              The part: "In the Thirties and Forties, Alex raced mainly at the American Legion-promoted dirt tracks at Ascot and Huntington Beach" needs a bit of clarifying. Morales fielded a car that ran at Legion Ascot, which became just Ascot after the Legion ceased promoting the races in 1933, so Morales mainly fielded cars after the Legion was no longer involved. (Legion) Ascot closed after January 1936. Huntington Beach was a Legion promoted track that opened in late 1946, but it was a 1/5-1/4 mile that ran midgets, hot rods and then jalopies. There were some CRA hot rod/roadster races there, but I wouldn't say that Morales ran the car "mainly" there.

              Alex Morales Sr. started selling tamales from a horse-drawn wagon, hence "Tamale Wagon." Tamale wagons were popular around Los Angeles in the early 1900s. Alex Foods XLNT brand tamales were familiar sights in frozen food sections of Southern California markets.

              I'm not aware of Jimmy Sills racing "The Tamale Wagon", but many drivers drove a race or two in Morales brothers owned cars.

              None of this is of any help on the Morales' team in CART, but there it is.
              Last edited by JThur1; 06-05-2020, 03:56 PM.
              "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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              • #8
                They were in charge of the Alfa Romeo program in 1989 before it was moved over to Patrick in 1990.
                Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post
                  They were in charge of the Alfa Romeo program in 1989 before it was moved over to Patrick in 1990.
                  Did the Morales team get sold to Pat Patrick? Or how did that transfer come about? I know that Alex Morales died in November 1988 (I found the LA Times obituary) so I would guess that his family decided not to continue ? Or did something else transpire in the process of moving the Alfa program to Patrick?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                    Did the Morales team get sold to Pat Patrick? Or how did that transfer come about? I know that Alex Morales died in November 1988 (I found the LA Times obituary) so I would guess that his family decided not to continue ? Or did something else transpire in the process of moving the Alfa program to Patrick?
                    Patrick sold everything to Ganassi. Patrick reformed a team to take over the Alpha Romeo program, and later the Firestone program.
                    The Ayn Rand of Indycar

                    No one had to badge the Offy.

                    Crapping all over threads since 2000.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DaveL View Post

                      Patrick sold everything to Ganassi. Patrick reformed a team to take over the Alpha Romeo program, and later the Firestone program.
                      Yes, but was the reformed Patrick team from 1990 a purchase of the Morales team or a brand new organization?

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                      • #12
                        These articles might help a little...

                        https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5285...atrick-racing/

                        https://www.newspapers.com/clip/52859947/

                        As we know, Ganassi took over basically all of the assets of "original" Patrick Racing. Including the Patrick Racing shop.

                        Patrick moved into the old Alex Morales shop...and it sounds like Patrick acquired the CART franchise that belonged to Morales. However the 89 Morales cars weren't used because Roberto and Al drove 90 Marches.


                        Doctorindy.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by frodo13 View Post
                          I remember his Tamale Wagon sprint cars. Didn't Jimmy Sills drive for the Morales family quite often?
                          Sorry, I was thinking of Ronnie Shuman. Ronnie won the 1989 CRA championship driving for Mr. Morales
                          Is it May yet?
                          Take me back to a world gone away-James Pankow

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by frodo13 View Post

                            Sorry, I was thinking of Ronnie Shuman. Ronnie won the 1989 CRA championship driving for Mr. Morales
                            No worries and no problem. Morales had many drivers in his sprint cars. I can't begin to remember all of them!
                            "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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                            • #15
                              I found an article on Alex Morales in the Los Angeles Times where he stated that he only attempted driving once, a roadster at Huntington Beach. He rolled the car, escaping uninjured other than being covered in dirt and mud. From there, he decided that once was enough and he walked away to concentrate on the mechanical end. That would have been the earlier Huntington Beach track, a 5/8 mile dirt oval that ran early roadster races in 1932. Some future Indianapolis 500 starters (and winner) are known to have raced there.

                              Morales also mentioned building his first bobtail roadster in 1929.

                              His goal with the Championship USAC/CART team was to employ Southern California drivers, which he did for years (Caruthers, Mosley, Olivero, Carter), but eventually he needed extra money from drivers who could bring sponsorship money, so Rutherford and Howdy Holmes drove for him.
                              "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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