Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Six Bits

As the racers of the modern ATQMRA get ready to compete in Atlantic City this weekend, we take a look at an Atlantic City victory lane from 42 years ago... January 23, 1971.  Click the photo for an enlarged view.

Jack Duffy has won, driving the Zrinski #75, a car nicknamed "Six Bits."  That’s a youthful Lou Zrinski seated to Duffy’s left, while announcer Walt Chernokal conducts the post race interview.

STP was a contingency sponsor of the indoor races back then, and at the far right is STP representative Art Maxim.  An STP jacket was part of the swag a driver would collect for an Atlantic City win, and Duffy is wearing one... but it has Maxim’s name embroidered on it.  Presumably, a jacket with Duffy’s name would come later.

Next to Maxim and behind Zrinski is Crocky Wright, who would later move to Indiana in protest of wings on Eastern midgets.  In Indiana Wright became an early supporter of a young driver named Tony Stewart, and later, after Stewart had achieved fame and championship success in NASCAR, Stewart quietly saw to Wright’s needs in Crocky’s last years.

Mostly obscured behind Chernokal, and arguably the tallest figure in the photo, is Don Crabtree, himself later a TQ car owner.  Flagman Nick Fornoro, Sr., is at the left.

Finally, this note: The Zrinski car was a roadster, and this was before roll cages.  Duffy is sitting on the car, having simply hoisted himself out of the seat and onto the tail.