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Did every driver who ever took over a qualified driver's car start from 33rd?????

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  • Did every driver who ever took over a qualified driver's car start from 33rd?????

    Today I stumbled into a fact that had my mouth fell open.

    It is generally known that whenever a driver is replaced in a qualified car, the car is removed from its original qualifying spot and moved to dead last 33rd.
    But I think that, if I have worked things out properly, I have found an occasion that a driver who took over a car that was qualified by another driver but was permitted to start the race in the position in which the original driver had qualified.

    Without giving away yet who were involved and when, is this the only occasion that ever happened or did it happen more often, particularly before WW2?




  • #2
    Off hand, I do not know how often it happened, but it was the general rule for decades: the car qualifies, not the driver. I do remember (because I mentioned it recently during another discussion on another forum), that Herb Ardinger started fourth in one of the Novis in 1947 after Doc Williams qualified the car - it's the one example of a driver being listed in basically all statistics (even by Donald Davidson) as qualifying fourth and finishing fourth, even though he neither qualified nor finished at all. There were lots more: if I recall correctly, Joe Boyer even qualified twice without taking the start, and without the replacement driver going to the back of the grid. Few people realize that Louis Chevrolet qualiffied one of the Buicks for the inaugural '500', but didn't take the start. I think the first time a replacement driver went to the back of the grid was late fifties/early sixties - I want to say Dempsey Wilson?

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    • #3
      1957 - Dick Rathmann? He was mugged the night before the race and Johnnie Parsons took over his car. I believe he was not moved to the back of the field??
      Real drivers don't need fenders!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael Ferner View Post
        Off hand, I do not know how often it happened, but it was the general rule for decades: the car qualifies, not the driver. I do remember (because I mentioned it recently during another discussion on another forum), that Herb Ardinger started fourth in one of the Novis in 1947 after Doc Williams qualified the car - it's the one example of a driver being listed in basically all statistics (even by Donald Davidson) as qualifying fourth and finishing fourth, even though he neither qualified nor finished at all. There were lots more: if I recall correctly, Joe Boyer even qualified twice without taking the start, and without the replacement driver going to the back of the grid. Few people realize that Louis Chevrolet qualiffied one of the Buicks for the inaugural '500', but didn't take the start. I think the first time a replacement driver went to the back of the grid was late fifties/early sixties - I want to say Dempsey Wilson?
        I ran into the 1947 issue you mentioned today, be it because of an entirely different reason.
        Thanks for your input, same to Pelican.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post
          1957 - Dick Rathmann? He was mugged the night before the race and Johnnie Parsons took over his car. I believe he was not moved to the back of the field??
          The car started in the same spot (17th) in which Rathman had qualified. Yes, Rathman was "mugged" and was in no shape to race. There was a cover story put out in the papers at the time about some fan throwing a bottle at him but that's not what happened. Rathman brought on everything that happened to him by his own actions and paid the price. Enough said!

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          • #6
            Similar, but not the same, in 1971 John Mahler was replaced by Dick Simon after the former qualified and the latter did not. But, the sponsor was with Dick so he was in and John was out.

            Also, Scott Goodyear started two 500s for which he didn't qualify. In 1992 he was bumped but started the car qualified by Mike Groff. In '94 he was bumped again but started the car qualified by Davy Jones.
            The Ayn Rand of Indycar

            No one had to badge the Offy.

            Crapping all over threads since 2000.

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            • #7
              According to Donald, in 1940, Shortly Cantlon was "ill" on race morning, and replaced in the car by Babe Stapp (who was himself relieved). They did not move the car to the rear of the field back then. The car still started 12th.
              Cantlon supposedly was 'not in condition to drive'...implied that he had been drinking too much the night before, and according to Henry Banks was trying to sober up by downing bottles of 7-Up on race morning to no avail.
              Doctorindy.com

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              • #8
                Oh for a set of rule books....
                In 1938 at Springfield, IL, Cantlon qualified the Kimmel Miller at the next to slowest speed. Two faster cars dropped out prior to the start of the 100-miler, and Frank Brisko replaced Cantlon in the Kimmel. Brisko started in the 15th and last position, behind Floyd Davis who had a slower time in the Greenfield Spl.

                In 1959 at Springfield, Jud Larson qualified the Bowes in second. Jud then suffered what was thought a heart attack in the pits and taken to the hospital. Bobby Grim replaced Larson and kept the outside front row slot.

                1961 USAC Stock car race Springfield, Il-Eddie Meyer qualifies his stock car, turns it over to Elmer Musgrave and Musgrave starts 26th in the 30 car field.

                1964 USAC Stock Car race Indiana State Fairgrounds. Foyt's Nichels Didge blows an engine, teammate Len Sutton qualifies dead last, Nichels team at first tries to swap out the doors on both cars, USAC catches them. Foyt is placed in Suttton's car and wins from dead last.

                I have other boxscores from the 40's thru 60's I will look at, but it is hard to say when this became a rule, and that it was consistently enforced.
                "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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

                  There was a cover story put out in the papers at the time about some fan throwing a bottle at him but that's not what happened. Rathman brought on everything that happened to him by his own actions and paid the price. Enough said!
                  Wait...what?

                  Now you got me wondering just what really happened here...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Martyj View Post

                    Wait...what?

                    Now you got me wondering just what really happened here...
                    The story I've heard is that he showed up with a swollen eye race morning and was unable to properly get his helmet on. The track medics then parked him. One story was that he was hit by a rock thrown by a kid, but according to DD the more likely cause was that he was partying the night before the race and while attempting to woe a young woman, encountered her angry boyfriend who punched Rathmann in the face.
                    Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                    • #11
                      1960 Jimmy Daywalt declared his car unsafe. Dempsy Wilson took over the ride. Daywalt was 26th moved to 33 with Wilson.
                      "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
                      body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting
                      "...holy $^!+...what a ride!"
                      >

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaveL View Post
                        Similar, but not the same, in 1971 John Mahler was replaced by Dick Simon after the former qualified and the latter did not. But, the sponsor was with Dick so he was in and John was out.

                        Also, Scott Goodyear started two 500s for which he didn't qualify. In 1992 he was bumped but started the car qualified by Mike Groff. In '94 he was bumped again but started the car qualified by Davy Jones.
                        Adding to that:

                        In 1981, Wally Dallenbach proxied for Mario but Mario started 31st due to Tim Richmond replacing George Snider in a slower car (32nd)and Jerry Sneva being DQ'd out of the field , replaced by the late Jerry Karl (33rd).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MDCSWildcats86 View Post

                          Adding to that:

                          In 1981, Wally Dallenbach proxied for Mario but Mario started 31st due to Tim Richmond replacing George Snider in a slower car (32nd)and Jerry Sneva being DQ'd out of the field , replaced by the late Jerry Karl (33rd).
                          Yes. Because of rain washing out the first weekend of time trials Mario couldn't hang around to qualify the second weekend due to F1 commitments. It was for the same reason in '78 that Mike Hiss qualified his car.
                          The Ayn Rand of Indycar

                          No one had to badge the Offy.

                          Crapping all over threads since 2000.

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                          • #14
                            Without wanting to offend anyone woho already replied in this thread and maybe to people still looking for other occasions, so my apologies for that in advance.

                            My OP question was probably not clear enough.

                            I was primarily interested in driver changes with the car being retained in the original starting position.
                            There were, as already mentioned several occasions when drivers were changed and moved into 33rd spot but because of events taking place after that particular driver swaps that mandated other drivers to be put into 33rd instead and the swapped driver moving up in the field after all and thus not starting 33rd.

                            But I did not have these occasion in mind when I wrote my OP. So I hereby apologies for not being clear enough in my description.

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                            • #15
                              I was possible, if another driver got replaced, after the first replacement.

                              For example, if a car had a driver replacement on Wednesday before the race, they would be removed from their spot and put in 33. Now if on Thursday a different car had a driver replacement, or back then a car substituted with the same driver, that driver/car would be put in spot 33, and the previous drivers would all move up, including the replacement driver who was put at the back on Wednesday who would start 32.
                              Where are the Indy 500 winning cars? Visit -> http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

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