Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mom and Mario

In the 1980s, long before he won a CART IndyCar race, long before he won a NASCAR Cup race, John Andretti was racing a stock car at Dorney Park, and one night, his uncle Mario showed up to watch.

It was a night that the ATQMRA was on the card as well, so it was a reunion of sorts – Mario Andretti won his first race of any significance with the ATQMRA in the Teaneck Armory, and went on to win at Pine Brook before climbing the racing ladder to the very top -- Daytona 500 winner, Indy 500 winner, Formula One World Champion.

In this snapshot from Dorney Park that day, Mario poses with driver Mark Pritchard’s mother, along with Pritchard (right) and Tim Adams (rear).

John Andretti’s father is Aldo Andretti, Mario Andretti’s twin brother.  Aldo also raced with the ATQMRA before retiring from driving following injuries suffered in a sprint car crash in 1969.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


At Pine Brook in 1968 is this modestly-proportioned TQ with a somewhat generously-proportioned driver.

But there is no number on the car.

Who is it?  Do you recognize either the car or the driver?  (Click the photo for an enlarged view.)

Such simpler times, by the way.  No roll cage.  No gloves.  No way that Bardahl jacket is fire-resistant.

8-inch diameter wheels.  And tires that probably lasted a full season, instead of a single race.

Anyway, if you can fill us in on the car and or the driver, contact us here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Smilin' Jack

In this photo from Pine Brook in the early 1970s, Jack Duffy enjoys a victory lap in the Zrinski #75, his regular ride and a combination that won plenty of races.  (Click the photo for an enlarged view.)

In the background, Bill Force has pulled up to the pit gate in his #26, and Alan Purdy has stopped behind Force, in his #4.

That’s Hank Force, Bill’s father, leaning into the cockpit of the #26, and Ed Enes, at the time an ATQMRA officer, standing with his arms folded.

Why have we chosen the above photo for this week?  So many reasons, beginning with this new photo:

When this past Saturday’s scheduled 2013 opener for the Vintage TQ Club was rained out, instead of there being racing there was a social gathering at Gary Mondschein’s Dimension Design shop in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania.  There, Jack Duffy, now some 40 years older but looking the same, took a seat in the very race car that was obscured by his checkered flag in the Pine Brook photo.

Duffy, who today resides in Florida, had traveled north for the occasion, and while he was disappointed to not get on the track with the Vintage Club, in the Purdy #4 he is smiling more than we recall him ever smiling after a race victory!

The restored #4 will be among the cars participating in the rescheduled season opener, now set for this Saturday, May 18.  So will the restored Force #26, with Bill Force himself on hand.

So we just had to use the old Pine Brook photo this week.  In that photo we see two of the cars and two of the drivers now participating with the Vintage Club.