Monday, April 10, 2017

RETRO: Two of Tintops Baddest Arse 'Ol Salts Keep On Truckin' at Long Beach...




Scott Pruett aboard the Truesports 91C at the famed Milwaukee Mile. (Source: Bing.com Images)
As not sure what's worse? That I've watched both of them throughout their amazing careers, THEY'RE STILL BEHIND THE keyboard, or the fact that we're A-L-L gettin' old-ER...

Wouldn't Yuhs know I-T? Naturally The Freaks' would have a good show full of different, NON RASSCAR' centric interviews on their show whilst I was away, playing in the Pacific Ocean on the B-I-G' Island... As the March 26TH show featured "Symone Pagenoe," nee Pageantry', aka Simon Pagenaud. Followed by Johnny O', (O'Connell) and some Hollywood Cat named Dax Shepard, director of the new CHiPs movie, who I've never heard of before listening to his Speed Freaks interview.

Like seriously? How can you ever replace Erik Beefcake' Estrada; Hya! But C'mon Hollywood, leave the legendous' CHiPs TV series alone...


And although O'Connell plugged the CRAP outta his current Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) employer Cadillac, nonetheless it's a good interview with the four times consecutive PWC champion, (2012-2015) who's streak ended last year, thanxs to those Uber exotica McLaren 650s GT3 racecars.

As the longtime Flowery Branch, GA resident, who's now 54 years young, went painfully out of his way not to mention his previous employer, whoever that was? Hmm, may be the rival Blue Oval? Or perhaps more likely skirtin' round that maligned debutant IRL season spent behind the wheel of a Nissan Crapwagon! Along with mentioning he'd first raced at Long Beach Wayback in '86, but didn't finish the event.



Funny how Johnny's Bowtie affiliation runs so deep, as I always conjure up images of him kickin' ARSE around the globe in those Fly yellow Corvettes with his good buddy Ron Fellows, Mad Max Papis & Scotty Pruett amongst others at places like Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, etc.


Hence, I totally forget he was Steve Millen's Wingman in the thoroughly dominating, Uber BAD ARSE Nissan 300ZX's campaigned by Clayton Cunningham in IMSA GTO/GTS competition, even having won the '94 Sebring 12 Hours overall as one of his eight victories there...
 
Yet when I think 'bout Johnny O' and the travelin' PWC Circus, I immediately think of my lone outing of said Pirelli World Challenge as Indy Cars Sleepy Hollow' supporting cast, most notably standing along the fence line and listening to the rolling thunder saunter  onto Sonoma's lepordskin Ash-fault! Most specifically those Uber Narly, BAD ARSE BOSS 302R Mustangs!

While I still recall the overly Hilarious gyrations of Mwah, a Blind motor racing Aficionado verbally filling out the "what Car I Drive" Questionnaire in order to obtain a FREE Caddy' T-shirt for Thy late Awntie' Harriet...


Then whilst perusing Racer'com's temperamental IndyCar page, I ran across R's', aka Robin Miller, thou 'Ol Curmudgeon of Indy Cars article upon Scotty "Scooter" Pruett taking a Flyer at Long Beach nearly three decades ago in a "One-off" outing in a Dick Simon Lola/Cosworth mount.

As not sure what's worse? That for multiple years I kept the torn out pages from Autoleak'; Err Autoweek's magazine profiling Pruett's $70k gamble, or that I still recall doing that, as Pruett was a Favourite 'O mine back then since he was kickin' ARSE in the Jack Roush Stangs', along with those quirky Merkur X4Ti's.

Having come full circle, now at age 57, ARSE-Sumedly finishing off his glittering Sports Car career behind the wheel of 3GT Racing's Factory backed Lexus RC F GT3's...


As Pruett's gutsy gamble at Long Beach ultimately led to a ten year run in Indy Cars, where I sought my very first ever autograph from the rookie Truesports chauffer Wayback in '89 at Portland, before he suffered massive foot/leg injuries in a pre-season training accident when his brakes failed. Then soldiered along in the underpowered Truesports chassis for two years, before re-invigorating his Open Wheel Racing career with a most successful spell at Patrick Racing.


As Pruett apparently liked the wide open spaces of Fontana's Oval, where he claimed Pole for the wily 'Ol U.E. "Pat" Patrick behind the wheel of Thar' Reynard 98i/Ford XB at 233.748mph.


As Scooter' would squeeze off Juan' more Hit; Err notch his final CART/IndyCar Pole position at Fontana, with a Mega 235+ mph lap aboard the Arciero/Wells Reynard 99i/Toyota,.

Where Scott scored the Japanese Auto Giant's maiden CART/IndyCar Pole, at the ill-fated Marlboro 500 season finale before lumberin' off to Taxicab land, in Cal Wells tide ride the following season...


As ironically, or Karmically? Pruett's current boss, Sheister Paul MEATHEADZ' Gentilozzi was busy winning his first Trans Am race 29yrs ago when Pruett, who'd led the entire event's Mercury Merkur ran outta petrol with one lap remaining!


While sadly, I was unawares' of the fact that unheralded SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am local competitor Dan Kroft, 47yrs old from nearby Bellflower, CA, ultimately perished from serious head injury when crashing at the start  of said event...

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