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Columbus author releases new book on qualifying for the Indianapolis 500

He has been passionate about it because of first visit. Littleton, 69, who grew up on the near northeast side of Indianapolis, Watch Indy 500 online, moved to Columbus in 1979 and has turned his enthusiasm for the Indianapolis 500 into two novels.  His first was in 2005 when he co-wrote with Bill Enoch”The Roadsters of Indianapolis” which tracked every roadster chassis at Indianapolis year-by- yearold.

In his new book which was released in October”The Race to Make the Race” Littleton chronicles a 10-year interval (1954-1963) that was the summit roadster years at Indy and documents what went on for every eligibility effort in this time period and every pedal rate even when the attempt was yellowish. Watch Indy 500 online. There’s not any mention of these races themselves as those outcomes have been well-documented over recent years.

Now’s 500 is lucky to attract 33 cars repeatedly, but there was a time when the 500 actually did have an actual Month of May and occasionally more cars went home than made the beginning fields.  Littleton’s publication records from the true time of day, weather conditions, presence and all of the other phenomena both on the track and in the Garage region.

There are a whole lot of details in the book you will never see anywhere else now.  Watch Indy 500 online. During the years in question that the drama around the efforts to locate speed just to qualify were often almost as interesting as the actual race.

“While I had been doing the Roadsters book I got the idea about doing a book on qualifications for the Indy 500,” said Littleton.  “I obtained some qualifying information from the Speedway records when I was doing my very first book.  It was fun to perform. Indianapolis 500 Live, I wanted to provide the narrative on the successes and struggles every driver went through to try and make the Indianapolis 500 these years. 

The Bartholomew County Library was a large help in assisting me.  They were able to get the microfilms in the Indiana State Library. Watch Indy 500 online, I made 75 trips down to the neighborhood library to gather the information I wanted.”

Littleton also said two of the area’s standout racers at Indianapolis.  Larry Crockett of Columbus who was the fastest rookie qualifier in 1954 and at the 500-mile race this year he ended up being the best finishing rookie over Pat O’Connor of North Vernon.

Littleton said Crockett, who died in a racing accident in Pennsylvania in 1955 before he would have attempted to create his second Indianapolis 500, would have been a candidate to win the Indy 500.

“He was so young when he was beginning,” he said.  “Nobody knows how his career would have turned out.  If he had three or four decades on him then I could have given you a much better estimate. Watch Indy 500 online, He was quick enough.  There were a few courageous souls in 1954 and they said Larry Crockett was the very best young driver in the USA.”

Like Crockett, Littleton gave his evaluation on O’Connor who was killed in a first-lap accident from the 1958 race if he too could have won the Indy 500 Online.

“Pat O’Connor definitely could have been an Indy 500 winner,” he said.  “The legend of Pat O’Connor only keeps growing round here.  You talk to guys and there’s absolutely no doubt that he was a natural.  He was so eloquent; all came easy for him. Watch Indy 500 online, He had the ideal head for it.  He understood the days the car was good enough and the times it wasn’t.”

In documenting every lap of time trials throughout the 10-year span he chronicled there was one driver who stood out when writing the book was a young driver named Bob Scott in 1954.

“He had a fantastic car in ’54 and about the fourth and final day of qualifying that he wasn’t in the show nonetheless,” Littleton clarifies.  “He jumped into a car that was not considered top-notch equipment.  He put three good laps together and they were going to be great enough to place him at the race, he needed was yet another consistent lap and he was in, but until he took the checkered flag that he pulled into the pits and so he did not qualify for the beginning field.  Watch Indy 500 online, He apparently did not examine the flagman.  He never did say he pulled off.”

If Littleton needed to Select a Mount Rushmore of all Indy 500 Online winners his record would comprise: Bill Vukovich, A.J. Foyt, Wilbur Shaw, and Al Unser Sr..  Littleton also gave reference to 1963 winner Parnelli Jones.

 “He would always beat Foyt in sprint cars, but he only won Indy once.”

About the purchase last month of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Roger Penske, Indy 500 Online, Littleton had this to say.

“Who else cares enough about racing and has the business acumen than Roger Penske? ,” he asked.  “He’s everything that could make it work.  Every decision he makes you may not like, but he’s the best interest of the speedway in mind.”

Penske becomes the fourth owner of the track. Watch Indy 500 online, The Hulman family had possessed the course for 74 years. 


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