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Jerry O'Connell Racing

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  • Jerry O'Connell Racing

    As I'm writing up my short history of the McLaren M24, I'm trying to include "snapshots" of the some of the teams that ran them over the years. What can you all tell me about Jerry O'Connell Racing?

    I know the basics (I think). The team was actually owned by Jud Phillips, but O'Connell was the financial backing. He owned a trucking company and his in-laws owned the Mayfair Packing Company out in Fresno. Sugaripe was one of their brands.

    They got into IndyCar around 1970 and closed down in 1981.

    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Real drivers don't need fenders!

  • #2
    I seem to recall reading that O'Connell bought some equipment from Jim Hayhoe and that's what he came to Indy with in 1970. The first Sugaripe Prune specials weren't the best looking cars (IMO) but they were clean.

    O'Connell's team was never a high dollar operation but they were usually competitive. Billy Vukovich stayed with them quite a while until moving on, won a race and had some high point finishes. Mike Mosely drove for them and won for them as did Tom Sneva. They partnered with Parnelli to get Cogan his first Speedway ride, but I think by that time with the big money starting to take over, the O'Connell's seemed to fade away.

    The story I like best about the team is that in 1975, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, and Mario Andretti all drove the Sugaripe Prune Spl.
    "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


    • #3
      The Donald Davidson interview with Jud Phillips in the 81? 82? Hungness Yearbook is wonderful.
      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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