It is fitting that, with the NASCAR boys hitting their first road race course of the season out in Sonoma, that I should write about THE PIONEER OF THE ROAD RACE RINGERS! Dan Gurney began his lifetime journey into racing way back in 1958 at the age of 17. Gurney won races in Indy Car, NASCAR, Can Am, and the Trans Am series. Dan was the first of three men to win races in Formula 1, NASCAR, and Indy Car. He is in great company with that statistic, the other two gentlemen sharing in that category are Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya.!
Gurney’s foree into NASCAR came in 1962 when the legendary Wood Brothers hired him to race one of their cars at the old Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, CA. Four of Gurney’s five NASCAR victories came at the Riverside track for the Wood Brothers.
Not only was Dan Gurney an accomplished race car driver, he was equally successful as a car owner, aslo as an inventor. Back in 1965 Gurney partnered with another American car icon, Carroll Shelby, forming All American Racers. The first venture was into Indy Car racing, but Gurney’s first love was road racing and soon he was to venture into Formula 1 racing with his new organization.
In 1967 Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt captures the 24 hours of Le Mans, surprising the entire racing word! with that victory, Gurney grabbed the magnum of champagne and sprayed all who were close by, thus stating a tradition that still lives on today!
These are just a few of the innovating things that Dan Gurney was involved in through his lifetime involvement in motor racing.
So now you know just exactly who was “THE ORIGINAL ROAD RACE RINGER”!
TILL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!