Remembering a Champion

February 15th 1929 – November 29th 1975 Indy 500 Winner – 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans Winner – 1972 Formula One World Champion – 1962, 1968 Monaco Grand Prix Winner – 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969 Graham Hill, the most affable driver of arguably the most talented generation of drivers in the history of motorsport did not pass his driver’s test till the remarkable age of 24. After a stint in the Royal Navy and time spent as an engineer, Hill’s racing debut came at the wheel of aRead More
February 14, 1944 – September 11, 1978 Ten-time Grand Prix Winner Runner-up in F1 Championship 1971, 1978 Over the past 65 seasons, 846 drivers have competed in Formula One competition. Of those, only 32 have gained the title of World Champion. In order to be crowned champion, a driver must not only possess the talent and determination, but also have the circumstances put them in the right place at the right time. As you can imagine, the history books are filled with stories about drivers that probably should have beenRead More
August 26, 1946 – July 2, 1973 The auto racing history books are filled with stories of unfulfilled potential, with drivers having their lives cut short leaving a lingering series of ‘what if’ scenarios. Young men like Francois Cevert, Adam Petty, Greg Moore and more recently, Jules Bianchi, had yet to demonstrate how far their careers would take them before they were taken from us. None of those stories, perhaps, are as compelling as the story of David Earl “Swede” Savage Jr. who found himself in the lead of theRead More
December 14, 1954 – April 1, 1993 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion 5 NASCAR Cup Wins 1986 NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year How do you define a champion? Is it by the number of races a driver wins? The legacy they leave behind? Or is it the desire, dedication, and determination of the driver? Alan Kulwicki defined a champion his own way. Alan did not win often, turned down opportunities to drive for powerhouse teams, and ran with little to no factory support. Even with all of theseRead More
August 29, 1921 – December 23, 1990 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee When Wendell Oliver Scott, of Danville, VA, was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015, it marked the end of a long journey by the Scott family to see the driver given the respect that he deserved for his accomplishments. Unfortunately, the moment came 25 years too late for Scott himself to see it. When I was young, I had seen the film Greased Lightning. In fact, I watched it several times because HBO wouldRead More
April 18, 1942 – September 5, 1970 Formula One World Champion 1970 When I was a young person, I would often spend time reading books about auto racing and its rich history. I found the stories of the innovators that worked to make the cars faster to be particularly fascinating. What I really enjoyed, however, were the stories about the drivers. While other kids were reading comics about Batman or Superman, my superheroes were guys like Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Phil Hill and Jackie Stewart. I was particularity drawn toRead More
January 18, 1950 – May 8, 1982 Six time winner in Formula One Second in 1979 World Championship The year was 1979. I was twelve years old. The place was Watkins Glen International and the event was the Formula One Grand Prix of the United States. It was Friday afternoon and it was raining like crazy. My Uncle and I were wearing those one-dollar ponchos that fold up in your pocket. They didn’t help much; we were getting drenched. We were standing in a grassy section where we could get aRead More
January 22, 1971 – September 11, 1999 Scored a point in CART debut 3-time winner in F3000 (1998 at Spa, Nurburgring, 1999 at Monaco)  The motor racing world is one of enormous emotional toll.  Often times, its fastest rising stars are the ones that never get the chance to see how their careers would have ended had it not been for a freak accident.  Gilles Villeneuve, Stefan Bellof, Greg Moore and Jules Bianchi are prime examples of drivers that had much more to give the racing world but weren’t ableRead More
August 9, 1944 – August 1, 1980 Formula Two Champion – 1974 Monaco Grand Prix winner – 1978 Nearly every race fan has a favorite driver. But, with the nature of auto racing having multiple competitors and multiple series, a lot of us have several second-tier or third-tier drivers that we root for just as much as our favorite. For me, as a young person in the 1970s, my “second-favorite” race car driver was a guy named Patrick Depailler. There was a driver named Mario that occupied the number oneRead More