Saturday, May 16, 2015

INDY 500: Tres Legenditos' - 2013 IMS Legends Day Autographs - Group 2

Inside flap of 2013 IMS Program's front cover with Phil Giebler ’07 ROY, Scott Harrington and Mad Max Papis's autographs. (The Tomaso Collection)
Out of this grouping of nine; No. 9, Number 9, Number Nein? Hya! The three I remember most fondly were Bob Lazier, Tyce Carlson and Max Papis, who's autographed Dave 'CARPETS O'Brien had previously obtained for Mwah 'Wayback in 'Twenty-eleven, after having run out of room on the front cover; Hmm? Did I really get 18 Driver's "John Hancock's" on I-T? Since I remember the final three, or is it more? Drivers including the always enjoyable Max Papis signing the inside flap for Mwah...

Bob Lazier; #91, Tyce Carlson, Buzz Calkins, #12*, John Mahler, Spike Gehlhausen, Herm Johnson, #20*, Phil Giebler ’07 ROY*, Scott Harriington and Max Papis*.
(* = Autograph previously obtained at prior 2011-12 Legends Day outings; Drivers listed in order of signing)

Bob Lazier
DOB: December 22, 1938
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Age: 77
I500 Starts: 1
Best Finish: 19th
Year: 1981
Honours: 1981 CART Rookie Of the Year

Fun Fact
Still recall Bob being very pleasant to chat with as we had a good laugh over him reportedly  wearing holes in his shoes pacing the Pitlane whilst worrying over whether or not son Buddy would make their team's inaugural Indy 500 that year...

Bob Lazier, father of 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy and IndyCar competitor Jaques raced in the Championship Auto Racing Teams  (CART) series in 1981 where he won Rookie Of the Year honours with best finishes of fourth place at Watkins Glen and Mexico City, which I was totally unawares' of.

Bob built the Tivoli  Lodge in Vail, Colorado where he still resides and became a team owner in 2013, as Lazier Partners Racing was established to allow Buddy to continue his Indy 500 racing career, whilst I must ponder if Steven A. Wynn's association with El 'Capitano, nee Roger Penske to form Penske-Wynn Ferrari in Los Vegas helped Lazier Partners acquire Chevrolet engines? Just Sayin'

While I'm guessing that Lazier Partners Racing is still running with veteran race engineer David Cripps who I scribbled 'bout last year in;

Tyce Carlson
DOB: September 3, 1970
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana
Age: 44
I500 Starts: 2
Best Finish: 14th
Years: 1997, 1999

Fun Fact
Tyce Carlson employed the late "Dr. Who" (Tim Wardrop) as his race engineer for not only his Indy Lights team, but their lone Indy 500 outing to date with "Mean Jean" (Alesi) in the "slotus!"

As still recall Tyce telling CARPETS' and Mwah "We're still in Business" as we approached him for his autograph, as apparently Tyce had overheard us ponderin' if Fan Force United was still racing cars in Indy Lights?

Tyce Carlson race  in the Indy Racing League between 1996-2002, making 30-plus starts along with his two Indy 500 races. Tyce was forced to sit out driving for years while recovering from recurrent concussions and has since gone on as co-owner of Fan Force United, which sadly won't be running Stefan "Stork" Wilson this May at Mother Speedway due to lack of finances...

John Mahler
DOB: November 16, 1936
Birthplace: Alfa, Iowa
Age: 78
I500 Starts: 4
Best Finish: 14th
Years: 1972, 1977-79

Fun Fact
John failed to qualify for Indy twice more then he qualified: 8-4, beginning in 1971, albeit he was replaced by somebody named Dick Simon for sponsorship reason that year...

As John failed to qualify in: 1973-74, 1976 and 1980-83, although crashed out during qualifying in '82...

Spike Gehlhausen
DOB: November 19, 1954
Birthplace: Jasper, Indiana
Age: 60
I500 Starts: 4
Best Finish: 10th
Years: 1976, 1978-80

Fun Fact
Spike is  one of the countless drivers I've heard interviewed on Autosport Radio and has a most unusual business, as President of Ultra Chemical, an environmental services company which I believe is certified to dispose of nuclear radioactive waste!

While like John Mahler above, Gelhausen's failed to qualify more times at Mother Speedway then making the show...

Scott Harrington
DOB: December 24, 1963
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 51
I500 Starts: 1
Best Finish: 15th
Year: 1996
Honours: 1999 Indy Racing League Rookie Of the Year

According to Scott's WICKEDpedia' page, he has the dubious distinction of being the only driver ever to contest Toyota Atlantics, CART, Can Am, Indy Pro Series, Indy Lights and Indy Racing League, where he narrowly beat out Robby McGee for series ROY Honours (Rookie Of the Year) with the fewest starts ever by a rookie, along with breaking multiple bones during the '99 IRL Texas race! Scott won multiple races in Atlantics and Can Am, where he was crowned the series champion in 1992...

Presumably I'll once again be attending this year's Legends Day outing with the invaluable assistance of No Fenders 'Offical Photographer CARPETS, with NO idea which drivers we'll get the privilege of meeting this time...

Kudos to No Fenders 'Offical Photographer and IMS Sherpa Dave 'CARPETS O'Brien!