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Better to be a great driver or have the fastest car?


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#1 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:51 PM

Ok lets have a good clean discussion on whats better to be a great driver or have the fastest car to win a race? You can't have both so don't go there. Keep the comments clear of dissing each other. Let's find out what people choose. I think I know but you tell me.

And please don't attack me or each other or I might just delete the post. This can get interesting... I would rather be a great driver.

You can also comment on what makes one driver better that another. You know, their ability or their demeanor.


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#2 Bud Greene

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:02 PM

Great driver because the fastest car will not do any good if you can’t drive it.
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#3 Shooter7mustang

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:16 PM

I think you left out one key element. In my humble opinion, and I do mean humble, after three years of Retro racing I am just now starting to be competitive.

 

Fast is good, but if you can't drive it fast doesn't matter.

 

That being said it is my opinion that there are three key factors to winning races. First and most important is driving, second is setting up your car, the key factor I feel you left out. And third, "fast." I think you can be competitive with a fair motor but you have to and I emphasize that, set-up your car to get the most out of it (optimal performance and handling). One tiny detail, front or rear tires out of round or damaged, guide flag height, is your chassis tweaked and that is just scratching the surface of set-up. IMHO proper set-up contributes to better driving skills, so driving and set-up are key.

 

Great set-up and a"rocket" for a motor are all for naught if you can't drive it. 


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#4 MSwiss

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:18 PM

All depends on the track, and the degree of inferiority, of your car or driving ability.


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#5 Jairus

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:32 PM

I can only use my personal experience racing Flexis.
I had three cars prepared in the box. They were rated by me and I started the race using my best car.
Bob next to me burned up his motor in the first heat.
I told him to go get my number two car and continue.
He did and after eight heats... won the race beating all seven entries including me... with my own car!
Handed my car back and said: "Good car, you should be using this one!"

No, it was all Bob!!!


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#6 raisin27

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:34 PM

On a punch bowl track a great car with an average driver will beat a great driver with an average car. On a flat or technical track a great driver with the average car will beat the great car with an average driver, and a great car with a great driver will beat everybody!


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#7 garyvmachines

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:36 PM

I am not that good of a driver... So I have to build a faster motor... Still can't drive it !! But boy can I get in the way!!!
 
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#8 Dallas Racer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:39 PM

A good car will make the driver better and a good driver will make the car better.


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#9 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:43 PM

So tell me your choices.

#10 Markomatic

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:52 PM

It is best to have the whole package for that track on that day. Car and driver. Not the fastest car is the winner just as the best driver is not always the winner. Car, body, chassis, tires, and driver is the whole package.
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#11 jimht

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:34 PM

A good driver drives the race, not the car. 
 
Besides, sometimes a really fast car is hard to drive in traffic and is just not a good lap getter because one is constantly catching and passing slower cars and drivers... who may be somewhat contrary.
 
Many races are won by the racer who stays out of trouble with a competitive car... I guess that's being a good driver, eh?

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#12 Cheater

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:43 PM

I've told this story before but in the early '90s, perhaps late '80s, we were running an Outlaw 12 class at Ga Hobby Center: Flexi-1 chassis, winged body, and an X12 Mura motor.

Bob Cozine and another ex-Champion of Chamblee employee were practicing their Outlaw 12s on the Purple Mile and Cozine was substantially faster than the other racer. The other racer told Bob he was getting discouraged by how uncompetitive he had been in the class lately and he asked if Bob would drive his car and let him drive Bob's car, for a little comparison.

Bob said, "Sure," and they swapped cars.

Within two laps Bob was several tenths faster than the other racer had been with his own car and the racer was several tenths slower than Bob had been with Bob's own now car. Says Cozine,"Hey, this is a pretty good car."

The other racer gave Bob his car back and said, "Well, I guess I know where the problem is and it's clearly not my car."

That should answer the original question...


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#13 Mark Wampler

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:59 PM

Have to be both if you want A main status :D


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#14 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:23 PM

The tougher the competition the more you need the full package, but the driver is first and a must.


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#15 MSwiss

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:30 PM

Easier for a great driver to dig up a great car, vs. a great car,lousy driver, to practice enough, to be good enough to win.


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#16 willy wonka

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:31 PM

Rasin and Swiss said it best. Depends on track.
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#17 Pappy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:33 PM

I'm not a good driver and I don't build fast cars.

 

Luck is my lady, I'd rather be lucky than good any day, especially in an endurance race. :D


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#18 tonyp

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:47 PM

Never really being a top driver, I try to have the best handling car to make up for it. It’s worked pretty well over the years.
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#19 bbr

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:55 PM

A really fast car!!!
Just drive it fast enough to beat all the good racers with the not so fast cars
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#20 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:01 PM

I want to see peoples choices .



#21 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:07 PM

I build for a lot of other people and when they fall off a lot with a car I built I tell them," I can build you a car,but I can't build you a finger"


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#22 elvis44102

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:37 PM

To win a race you have to run a fast enough lap to "qualify" to be in it....a good driver can overcome the few tenths of a second difference by staying in the slot more often than not


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#23 Noose

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:45 PM

Most guys by us could be a LOT better if they paid attention to the little things when preparing for a race. I’m amazed when I tech cars and see so many basic things just wrong. Everything from crooked bodies, unfree guides, lead wires long enough to set up 2 cars, and gear mesh’s that are brutal.

Get those things right and it will make the whole experience better.

I have also been beat by my own cars being loaners. Of course they were run by guys 30 plus years younger. Lol

Jerry Brady was a great racer and won many races. Most guys could not get his cars around the track but he could.


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#24 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:54 PM

So Joe ,Driver or Car?



#25 Dominator

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:57 PM

Great driver anyday.
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A motor is only as fast as the chassis it's in.
 
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#26 Shooter7mustang

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:15 PM

I am with Noose , set-up set-up set-up makes a better driver


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#27 Pablo

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:21 PM

Define "faster car".

-faster in the straights, or the corners?

-faster lap times, or faster on certain sections of the track?

 

My vote is for a better driver. The human eye is something no car can ever come close to duplicating.

All of my cars perform much better in the hands of a great driver.


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#28 Pappy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:27 PM

I hate it when I'm in a hand out motor race and I get a motor that won't handle.  :D

 

You only get out of anything what you put into it. Willy wins a lot of races because he puts a lot into it and deserves to win.

 

With todays competition you need both driving and car to win. But I've seen guys with really slow cars down the straightaway come close to winning. It's hard to overcome a slow car when your competition has it all, motor, handling and driving? 


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#29 Pablo

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:50 PM

Pappy you always keep me laughing, thanks :)

 

What about the controller? Another variable to be considered, and they are 1/3 of the picture.

They can be tuned for better performance just like the cars can.

 

The best drivers use the best controllers and the best cars and they win. End of story :sun_bespectacled:


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#30 slotcarone

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:56 PM

Good question Brian but it really should be about being a great RACER!!  The fastest/best car driven by the best driver doesn't mean anything if that person does not know how to race smart to win! :)


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#31 Noose

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:08 PM

So Joe ,Driver or Car?


Driver.


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#32 Samiam

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:19 PM

I have never seen a lousy driver win a race with even the best car. The fastest car is going pretty damn slow when it's on the floor.

 

So....Great driver.


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#33 Cap Henry

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:28 PM

Id rather have a good car thats driveable across all 8 lanes vs being fast for one lap in the center lanes
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#34 Rick Moore

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:53 PM

I have to agree with Tony and Cap on this one, being of the opinion I am a driver of somewhat mediocre capabilities, I tend to opt for the car that handles best, especially on the gutter lanes. Sometimes my fastest car is the car that handles best also, but not always. More than once I’ve raced a “slower” car simply because I thought I’d be able to turn more laps. As being noted by many here, there are a lot of variables at play: motor, set-up, track, track condition, controller… but even when all that is right it can all be quickly nullified by some idiot pulling the trigger… or so personal experience has tried to teach me…

 

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#35 bbr

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

.For everyone that has been racing for awhile, you are going to drive the way you drive, unless you are going to do training like F1 drivers to improve reaction time and hand-eye skills, etc.

so the fastest car that suits your level of skills and  style.

an fast racer with the fastest  car has the  best chance...

when I'm serious about a race, I'm looking at having a car that is faster than that guy   :laugh2:


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#36 John Gorski

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:31 PM

There are so many great drivers now having the fastest car is a must.


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#37 JerseyJohn

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:37 PM

DRIVER !!!! anyday. As proved by the fact that better drivers will drive my cars at least 2 tenths faster than i can...A better driver will get all he or she can from a car. 


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#38 bbr

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:48 PM

DRIVER !!!! anyday. As proved by the fact that better drivers will drive my cars at least 2 tenths faster than i can...A better driver will get all he or she can from a car. 

you just need a car that's 0.3sec faster to cover the field, lol


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#39 miko

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 09:39 PM

Driver.  The fastest car can not to be "the fastest car" without "the best driver" driving it.
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#40 Mike Patterson

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

I'll say driver, too.

 

I was going to say that set-up should be a choice, but a good driver will know how to set up their car. I am not that driver. :D


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#41 Pat Skeggs

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:42 PM

Give me a fast car and I will worry about the rest.

#42 Samiam

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:54 PM

Give me a fast car and I will worry about the rest.

That's easy for a great driver to say. 


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#43 usadar

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:02 AM

When I ask such great drivers as John Gorski and Tebu to drive my car on Gerding Kings, they are 0.1 second faster than me.
So I have to set up cars well enough to cover the driving skill gap.


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#44 MarkH

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:39 AM

Driver first.

 

A great driver always seems to avoid the crashes, make passes where most others would eject or nerf out and knows instantly what to change on the car to make it work better. All of this adding up to more laps turned with a healthy gap over the next competitor. Assuming this driver had an average car they would be in the hunt for a top finish with the gap not being as large. The fastest drivers seem to know exactly who is doing well and how much they need to push to lead or keep up. I am assuming here the question of being the "Great Driver" is stepping up from being a competitive driver.

 

Car First.

If a good driver just needs a little help to challenge the top drivers, I would start here. This of course assumes the car they have been racing is not fully capable. A faster straight-a-way car is always good for clean easy passes. A car that can hold a great line through the corners at full throttle is hard to beat and forces others to push harder. The question states "The Fastest Car". I will take that to mean both corners and straights.

 

It is all synergistic, a formula or system. The whole effort requires the sum of car and driver to be a grade above the field to be triumphant. Forced to pick if I wanted to be that great driver or have a great car, I would have to pick the car. I can build another car if it needs retirement. Greatness can be very short lived.

 

How often do we see in major motorsports where a good driver in a very fast car wins the championship while the great driver with no power and or handling struggles to earn a podium? Yep, I take a Mercedes over the McLaren thank you......


Mark Horne

SERG - www.slotcarenduro.club
"Racing is life... everything else is just waiting." Steve McQueen - LeMans
There are only two things in life that make me feel alive. Racing is one of them.


#45 Uncle Fred

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 09:31 AM

On a relatively difficult flat track driving becomes more important than a high speed King and straightaway speed less important, but overall I believe a fast car has the edge.  If you take a look at any race report you can usually determine, or at very least get some indication, who made the most out of what they had.  The highest placing finishers almost also turned the quickest laps.  Now if the winners fastest lap was 4.20 and second places best was 4.35 with third turning a best of 4.25, I'd surmise that the second place finisher drove a great race to beat the guy in third since the guy finishing third was at least capable of turning quicker laps.  When have we ever seen a guy who qualified for the C Main with a 4.45, move up and win the A main where they're all turning 4.2's because they were such a great driver? I agree with Gorski, who like Howie Ursaner, feel that there are a lot of good drivers out there..........so you better have a fast car to win!

 

Oh, and since it's at the center of this discussion, I don't think just staying in the slot makes a great driver.  Give me someone who can get the most out of a car lap after lap lane after lane.......


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Fred Correnti

#46 SlowBeas

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:07 PM

I recall practicing with my Can-Am on the track at Slots of Fun, thinking I was really kicking a$$. I was driving it faster than I'd ever driven a retro, and thinking that I was going to walk away with a win.

 

Then, I made the mistake of letting James Merriman take the controller and drive it. He must have beat my best time by two-tenths of a second. And yes, he trounced me that day.

 

Therefore, I believe a good driver makes the difference.


Jim Beasley
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#47 Foamy

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:32 PM

soooo many times I have been beat by cars I made for other people.


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Dennis Hill
 
"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie,
preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason."

 


#48 bbr

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:50 PM

soooo many times I have been beat by cars I made for other people.


Never race against your own cars...😁
Just take pride and let the fast guys win with your car, it's a good thing
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Mike Low
Cry like a baby, drive like a girl, walk like a man.
Give me enough rope and I'll build a fast car... or hang myself?

#49 Fast Freddie

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:20 PM

If you can't drive very well what good is the fastest car?  The fastest car is only good for two things, TQ and bragging rights.  I'd rather brag about beating the faster cars.


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Fred Younkin

#50 DOCinCocoa

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:32 AM

Both, of course. However choosing only one, I go with "great driver" and here is why. At the last Melbourne race in the FSCS I had the 6th fastest car (according to the end results showing each drivers fastest race lap), drove a perfect race (never de-slotting) to finish 2nd to my buddy Dennis in the 4" NASCAR race. Then, having again the 6th best car in the GTP race, I drove another perfect race to win by 2 laps.


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Doc Dougherty
GRRR 2016 GT Coupe and Stock Car Champion and Overall Champion
My Series Spring 2016 4" NASCAR, JK LMP State Champion, and Endurance State Champion
My Series 2015 4" NASCAR, GTP and Endurance State Champion
​GRRR 2015 4 1/2" and F1 Champion
​GRRR 2013 & 2014 Evil Flexi Champion
1968 Cleveland Car Model Series race winner - Tom Thumb Raceway, North Royalton, Ohio
​1968 Hinsdale ARCO Amateur runner-up
1967 Parma Raceway Indy 500 Champion





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