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Author Topic: 1969 Wolverine Trans-Am photos  (Read 50416 times)
Jon Mello
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2011, 04:55:06 PM »

Parnelli is barreling along and has closed the gap on the leaders thanks to their pits stops for tire problems.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Brad Dunn's Firebird and Rusty Jowett's Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bll Campbell #17 and Russ Norburn #77.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mo Carter's Camaro behind a couple of U-2 cars.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli, driving the wheels off it.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bert Everett supposedly exited the race with a blown tire but with the engine lid up and on a tow rope, it almost looks like engine trouble.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske shows the pit board to Donohue flashing by. He thinks they've won the race.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 09:39:03 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2011, 05:06:38 PM »

"Colorful" flagman Ed Houlehan does his thing. Ed also flagged at Mid-Ohio. Maybe other places as well.

Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2011, 05:22:49 PM »

Pretty race queen (Miss M.I.S. Kandy Kaiser) awaits Donohue's arrival with winner's wreath in hand.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Not a great day to be standing outside in attire like this.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

They seem to be making the best of it.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Bucknum's day ended early due to unrepairable issues with the power steering in his car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Gary Wright was flagged as the winner of the Under-2-liter catagory. Scoring errors were later corrected to give the U-2 win to Fred Baker and Dick Smothers.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A team mechanic with Gary's car in the winner's circle area.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 09:43:01 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2011, 06:36:43 PM »

Donohue takes a moment before exiting the Camaro in victory lane.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The wear of a long day behind the wheel is evident on his face.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Finally out of the car to receive his accolades.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue with the winner's wreath on. (L-R) Track President: Lawrence LoPatin, Ron Bucknum, Sue Donohue, Mark Donohue, MIS Chief
Steward Gary Rossman and Miss MIS Kandy Kaiser. I see somebody in the crowd wearing one of those Javelin hats that Mike K posted in
our Trans-Am memorabilia section.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Everyone wants a picture of the winner.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Roger is a happy camper.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Some congratulatory words exchanged, I'm sure.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

"This is fun but let's get outta here."

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Well, after the race was over Bud Moore protested to the race officials stating his scoring charts showed Parnelli as the rightful winner.
PJ had been turning faster lap times than anybody during the later part of the race and due to some extra pit stops for tire issues by
Donohue and Titus he had actually caught and passed them with only a few of the official scorers realizing it. Several hours after the
race was over and the crowd went home, Parnelli Jones was declared the official winner. Ladies and Gents, here is your winning car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 09:41:49 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2011, 10:59:39 AM »

Fantastic Photos!!!
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« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2011, 12:25:28 PM »

Glad you enjoyed those. Donohue's autobiography states that Penske's own scorer (Judy Stropus) knew that they had NOT won the race but Penske decided to let the SCCA work that out on their own. Apparently he got her and her scoring records out of the track post haste once he knew the protest was filed by Bud Moore.
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« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2011, 01:06:56 PM »

I was going to add that Judy Stropus (ace scorer) knew exactly who won the race, but Jon beat me to it. Very clever on Roger's part to accept the glory and accolades on behalf of Donohue and Chevy (all part of the Unfair Advantage).  Moore and the Ford gang must have been ticked off.

Our gang had trouble keeping an accurate lap chart after about 30 minutes - not easy to do with lots of distractions. We didn't have a "pro" scoring person(s).

I'm sure it cost us a few places sometimes as we didn't know our position.  I could have gone from "cruise" mode to "speed up" later in the race.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2011, 09:47:59 AM »

This from Michael Sedlak, after seeing the photos in this thread:

I was there that weekend.  We stayed at a unheated very small cottage motel about a mile from the track.  Race day it had all weather conditions from sleet and rain to sunshine at times.  The reason the track looks so barren is that they had just finished the final land balancing the week before.  Little known is how many cars lost oil pans, exhaust systems and the like in the "Moss" corner in the far back of the track.  You had to pick a lane either the severely banked lane on the inside or the pretty flat lane on the outside.  If you happened to straddle the lanes there was no transition and the cars would really scrape hard.  Most learned their lesson on Friday or Saturday.   Also the photos don't really show how bad the jump was coming back across the oval.  That really was the reason along with rain that Kwech lost control of the car.  If you look at the photos you can see the cars going light as they cross the hump then come crashing down.  Several cars over the weekend lost control there.  We had unlimited access to the garages and paddock through a mentor of mine with many introductions to the Ford drivers and cars as he was an exec at the glass house and a racer himself.  He ended up with 70-TA-01 after Tope finished with it.

Those pictures bring back many fond memories.

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JohnZ
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« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2011, 06:42:05 PM »

Great photos and commentary, Jon!

I still remember the awful weather that day - it actually snowed briefly earlier in the morning before the race; there was no way to escape the bone-chilling cold, sleet and rain except in the rest rooms under the grandstands or in the garages. I was with Chevrolet Engineering in those days, but I was just a "gofer" and observer at the race, and nobody needed anything I could help with; people with sweaters and warm jackets were marginally comfortable, and everyone else just shivered and tried to keep moving around.

The Ford guys protested Penske's vinyl tops, claiming they covered up acid-dipped roof panels, but it was disallowed; they also protested the Penske "tower" fueling rig, but that one didn't stick either. I left right after the finish, and didn't hear about the successful Ford protest of the finishing order until the next day. Coldest, wettest race I ever attended. At least with the smaller crowd they didn't have quite the traffic problems getting in and out like they had for the grand opening USAC race the previous season - THAT I really remember! Larry LoPatin was a banker, not a race fan, and didn't have a clue about providing for a crowd of race fans' needs; the Sheriff's auction of the bankrupt track a few years later solved that problem, and the Penske group really went to work and made the necessary changes.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2011, 09:38:03 PM »

I appreciate the thoughts and recollections and I'm sure others do too. Here is a race report on the Michigan race from Competition Press & Autoweek.













          







« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 10:31:08 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2011, 03:16:49 AM »

Jon, these photos are just outstanding! Thank you for posting them. I have a couple of questions.

Is the Dick Brown Gagnon Springs Firebird the same car Craig Fisher drove in '68? And if so, I thought this car was repainted white and red? Or was this the Titus car?

Also, Bob Tullius ran a Javelin in the Nascar Grand Touring series in '69. Would he have run the same car in both championships?
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« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2011, 08:45:46 PM »

I don't know the history (I trust Jon on that).  In 1973 the Dick Brown Camaro was red and white. http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/photo/Dick-Brown-CDN.html
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« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2011, 10:06:30 PM »

That photo is the Mo Carter car (ex Jim Hall camaro)) that Mo had been racing in 71 and 72 also with those same colours.  Dick Brown would have been the co-driver for that event.  In 73 that car was running a big block 427 if I remember, or a least a 350 - all new T/A rules in 73.

Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2011, 06:42:19 PM »

Steve,

Yes, the car Dick Brown drove in this Wolverine Trans-Am race was indeed the same car that Craig Fisher drove in 1968. The white and red car you speak of had been a Camaro driven by Jon Ward and Jerry Titus (in conjunction with Terry Godsall's racing team) converted it to a Firebird for the last Trans-Am race of the '68 season at Kent, WA (it was painted the same yellow-green as Fisher's Firebird but without any other accent color). For the '69 Daytona 24-hour Jerry Titus and Jon Ward co-drove the same car Jerry had driven at Kent but it was repainted back to the white with red top surfaces that Jon Ward had previously run. The Fisher/Brown car is not the same as the Ward/Titus car.

With regard to the question about Bob Tullius and the Javelin in '69, I honestly don't know if what he drove in the Trans-Am races that year was also what he drove in the Nascar GT races. Sorry I don't have a better answer than that.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2011, 09:04:54 PM »

Thanks for that info Jon. I know the red and white Firebird Titus drove still exists. Is anything known of the fate of the Fisher Firebird? Fisher drove a '69 Firebird in a few Trans-Am races in 1970. Could this be the same car with sheetmetal changes?
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