SAFETY PIONEER BILL SIMPSON, 79, DIES

Experienced racer Bill Simpson, that produced an Indianapolis 500 start and was renowned in global motorsports because of his development of revolutionary security gear, died Monday, Dec. 16 in Indy 500 Live Stream free because of complications from current health issues. 

Simpson competed as a driver in drag racing, sports car racing and open-wheel formula racing, including in SCCA and USAC Indy-car contest.  He made 52 careers Indy-car starts between 1968 and 1977. Indy 500 Live Stream free. Indy 500 Live, He produced 11 top-10 finishes, including a career-best of sixth in the 1970 Milwaukee 200.

Southern California native Simpson qualified 20th and finished 13th in the 1974 Indianapolis 500 from the American Kids Racer Eagle-Offy owned by Dick Beith.  It was his only career start in”The best Spectacle in Racing,” but competing in that race was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream as well as the pinnacle of the varied driving career.

(Indy’s 1974 beginner class is pictured here. 

1974 Indy 500 beginner course

Another noteworthy highlight of Simpson’s career was providing four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears with a car to make his first career Indy car start, at the 1976 Ontario 500.

Simpson’s racing career ended during an Indianapolis 500 practice lap in May 1977, when he realized he had been thinking more about a telephone call he needed to result in his racing security products company than driving a race car at almost 200 mph. Indy 500 Live Stream free, That realization caused him to hang up his helmet for good on the spot, with Formula One veteran Clay Regazzoni taking his chair.

The vibrant Simpson began his driving career in drag racing as a teenager in Southern California.  His work in motorsports security started inadvertently when he crashed his dragster as an 18-year-old in 1958, suffering two broken arms. Indy 500 Live Stream free, Throughout his recovery time, Simpson devised and developed more complex, purpose-built parachutes — through trial and error on a rented sewing machine in a garage — to slow dragsters after the end line, starting a company called Simpson Drag Chutes.

Indy 500 Live Stream free

Those humble beginnings evolved and grew into Simpson Performance Products and Effect!  Racing, highly successful businesses that designed, developed and created over 200 motorsports security products used by drivers in all series globally, Indy 500 Live,such as gloves, helmets, fire-retardant driver suits, seat belts and more.

Perhaps Simpson’s largest racing security breakthrough came in 1967.  He had been introduced into a temperature-resistant cloth named Nomex through NASA astronaut and racing enthusiast Pete Conrad.

Simpson made the world’s first racing suit made of Nomex and brought it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that May, in which it turned into a security sensation quickly employed by just about any motorist in the starting field and now is standard equipment for every race driver.  Donning his Nomex suit and a helmet, Indy 500 Live Stream free, Simpson set himself on fire through demonstrations to prove the suit’s potency on many occasions through the years.

Indy 500 Live Stream free

Those tireless contributions to motorsports safety led to a host of accolades and honors, including enshrinement into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2003 along with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame at 2014.

Simpson chronicled his colorful and significant life in racing by composing two books,”Racing Safely, Living Dangerously” and its sequel, Indy 500 Live Stream free. “Through the Fire”

Regardless of the vast success of his motorsports security businesses, Simpson never forgot his magical season of qualifying and competing in the Indianapolis 500.

He annually returned to the Speedway through the Month of May for veterans’ actions, including looks at driver autograph sessions for lovers on Legends Day presented by Firestone.  Simpson frequently attended these sessions with fellow colorful motorsports mogul and Indianapolis 500 veteran Chip Ganassi, Indy 500 Live Stream free, and he was a passionate supporter of the IMS Museum.

“Bill Simpson became synonymous with all motorsports safety equipment during his inaugural work of more than 50 decades,” Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles said in a statement.  “His innovations and goods shielded so many motorists and saved countless lives, and will keep doing so moving forward.

“We are eternally grateful for Bill’s devotion to security at every level of the sport, by the grassroots oval and road racer all the way into the largest events and phases like the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Bill was a fantastic friend to IMS and INDYCAR, and a passionate supporter of the Indy 500 Live Stream free and IMS Museum, never missing a chance to return and sign autographs for the fans.  He’ll be missed but always remembered by everybody within our racing world.”

 He also was a devout animal enthusiast, whose menagerie included his cherished dog, Maia, camels and other critters.  A celebration of his life is being planned for this May at the IMS Museum, together with details pending.

The Indy 500 is the sixth race on the 2020 IndyCar program and more than five months away, but let us take a way-too-early look at the entry list.

Nearly four months after the completion of this Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway, the next oval race on the IndyCar schedule Remains the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.Indy 500 Live Stream free.

But for the time being, we are likely to forget the fact that this 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in Speedway, Indiana is the sixth race on the 2020 IndyCar program and remains more than five months off.

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This year’s Indy 500, which was won by ultimate oval champion Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske, featured its traditional area of 33 drivers.

Nevertheless, three drivers were bumped from the area before the grid was put.  Because of this, with 36 drivers, more drivers were on the entry record for this race than anybody 500 Live Stream free because the 95th running in 2011.

Which will the entry record for the 104th running of the”Greatest Spectacle in Racing” look like?

Take a way-too-early look at what has already been confirmed, what’s all but set in stone and what’s still supposed with this race on Memorial Day Sunday.

Full-time drivers (verified )

Alexander Rossi, #27 Honda

Colton Herta, #88 Honda (Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport)

Arrow McLaren SP

Oliver Askew, #TBD Chevrolet

Scott Dixon, #9 Honda

Felix Rosenqvist, #10 Honda

Ed Carpenter Racing

Rinus VeeKay, #21 Chevrolet

Meyer Shank Racing

Jack Harvey, #60 Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Graham Rahal, #15 Honda

Takuma Sato, #30 Honda

Team Penske

Josef Newgarden, #1 Chevrolet

Will Power, #12 Chevrolet

Simon Pagenaud, #22 Chevrolet

Full-time drivers (supposed )

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

Charlie Kimball, #4 Chevrolet

Dale Coyne Racing

James Hinchcliffe/Sergio Sette Camara/Alex Palou, #18 Honda

Santino Ferrucci, #19 Honda

Staying fulltime chairs (confirmed)

Carlin (two seats)

Dale Coyne Racing (two chairs, see above)

Staying full-time seats (supposed )

Potential moment A.J. Foyt Enterprises entrance

Indy 500 one-offs (confirmed)

Arrow McLaren Racing SP Chevrolet (third entry)

James Davison at a Jonathan Byrd’s Racing/Hayward Motorsports entrance

Indy 500 one-offs (supposed )

Helio Castroneves at a fourth Team Penske Chevrolet

Third Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Sixth Andretti Autosport Honda

Other (confirmed)

Ed Carpenter is your oval driver for Ed Carpenter Racing and can be place to drive in the Indy 500.

Conor Daly is the street and road course driver for Ed Carpenter Racing but is place to drive a third entry for the group in the Indy 500.

Other (speculated)

DragonSpeed and Ben Hanley are slated to return to IndyCar in 2020 with an improved commitment to the show, so another Indy 500 bidding is likely.  With that said, their schedule has not yet been confirmed.

If A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ second part entrance ends up being a part-time entry, Tony Kanaan has been reported as the among the likely drivers and would likely compete in the Indy 500.

If you add all of them up, you’re already looking at 31 verified or fairly solid entries for the 2020 Indy 500, well over five months until it is slated to take place. Indy 500 Live Stream Free, How many motorists will end up being on the entry list once the month of May rolls around?

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