Wednesday, January 29, 2020

RETRO: Doin' thee IndyCar Time Warp'

Tomaso posing with just three of the many racecars on Display at the Penske Racing Museum during Fall 2019 visit. ((The Tomaso Collection)
"In Another Dimension, Time's Fleeting, Madness Takes Control! It's Just A Jump to the Left, Put your Hand's on your Hips, Let's do The Time Warp again..."

Once again, your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso's burrowin' down another Wabbihole', which Y'all should really be used to by now, El Correctomundo?

As several thoughts struck me upon returning to my Numero Uno Arizona Haunt in Scottsdale; Uhm, can Y'all guess what it is? Yeah, it's the Penske Racing Museum, which I first learned of its existence via that long ago, Defunct TV Show called Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. When Ye 'Ol Windbag' held court with El Capitano', nee Roger Penske live from thou museum Wayback circa 2005; Aye Karumba!

Cannot recall the last time I stepped foot into the museum, albeit several years ago now, while I'll admit I had mild reservations 'bout going this past November since I knew I would most likely not be able to see the cars, although I've seen most of them previously, especially several of the "Classic" Indianapolis 500 winners, i.e.; 1972, 1984-85-87-88, etc.

But what I enjoy most 'bout visiting, is there's always something new I haven't seen before on display, which case in point was the Mario Andretti 1979 Championship winning IROC Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. For which I'll confess I was momentarily Cornfuzed by...

As I pondered out loud to my museum Sherpa, No Fenders Blogmeister Miguel that I didn't think 'Ol SuperMario', nee Mario Andretti drove for Thee Captain that season since I knew he was busy defending his Formula 1 World Championship title for Lotus that year.

Mario Andretti's 1979 Championship winning IROC VI Camaro. ((The Tomaso Collection)
Although it Hit Me like A Two Ton Heavy Thing! Last May whilst the Media focused Magnanimously upon the 50th Anniversary of Mario's lone Indianapolis 500 victory, it was his eventual Team Penske replacement Rick Mears 40th Anniversary of his first of Four Indy 500 Wins! Which seems to have gone largely unnoticed.

As Y'all might enjoy my take upon Team Penske's racing pursuits, albeit labourisly Scribbled here on No Fenders now a Decade ago; Crikeys! Hmm, may be a sequel's warranted?

And perhaps I missed another Memo? As I've also now realized that it was also 40 years ago being the final season of McLaren Racing's exploits in IndyCar's.

Which I suppose I'm thinking of this largely due to that Mario IROC Camaro and the year 1979, Righto? although may be Thars' Somme-thun' eluding to that in the following video? That I Don't recall having watched last year when McLaren touted it's return to IndyCar with the No. 66 on its flanks.

Having previously chronicled the exploits of McLaren's original IndyCar endeavours in another of my many No Fenders tomes...

Continuing on this Wayback' theme, although I thought it prior to the occasion. Perhaps it's just Mwah, but isn't it ironic with the Official Completion of Roger Penske's purchase of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, January 6th. After the Shock announcement of this transaction late 2019.

Ironically, one of the Key Figures in the formation of then rival IndyCar Series CART, nee Championship Auto Racing Teams, which held its Debutante Season in 1979 was also a one Mr. Penske!

As we All know that CART would Feud with somebody with the initials TG', and his rival Indy Racing League, Most famously when Tony George infamously Decried his 25-8 Rule favouring his IRL Brethren at his family's hallowed Speedway in what ultimately became known forever as The Split!

And then four decades later, Shuhzamm! He'd sell the Whole Kit 'N Caboodle, nee Mother Speedway, the IndyCar Series and IMS Productions to El Capitano'; Strange Days indeed. As what A Waste!

Lastly, speakin' of Roger, McLaren and the number 66. I left the museum ponderin' if the Mark Donohue Porsche Carrera RSR I've seen previously there, albeit not on display this time round, perhaps was Donohue's 1974 IROC Championship winner?

Which I'm now 100% totally convince it is, as it's Funny how when I previously saw the 911 Panzerwagon I never wondered what it was? Or its significance in the scheme 'O Donohue's career, especially since it's his final Championship winning racecar.

But since I'm Not a RASSCAR' Fan! Which is essentially what I recall the IROC Series evolving into, I'm guessin' this had some unknown Knock-on effect upon my previous lack of Curiosity, perhaps?

And for those who Don't Know, Donohue, who won Penske's first Indianapolis 500 in 1972 did so in an McLaren M16 Offenhauser with the No. 66 on it.

And if Fernando Alonso does indeed run the third Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet IndyCar at Mother Speedway this May, will it once again sport the No. 66 this time in the correct hue of Kiwi Orange?

Let's Do the Time Warp Partial Song Lyrics taken from The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie, 1975.

Racecars trio photo includes: Rick Mears 1984 #6 Pennzoil Special March 84C/Cosworth Indy 500 winner, Mark Donohue's 1974 #28 First National Travelers Checks Penske PC1/Cosworth DFV Formula 1 chassis, and the aforementioned Mario Andretti 1979 IROC Camaro.

(Photos c/o No Fenders Blogmeister' Miguel)