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METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#RacingChampions #BuddyLazier #91 #DeltaFaucet #Da 1655384239406128889
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#racingchampions#buddylazier#91#deltafaucet#dallara#oldsmobile : Once a journeyman in the #cartpaddock, Lazier’s fortunes changed entirely after he won the 1996 #indy500for #hemelgarnracing —with a broken back, no less! He would remain with the team all the way through 2003, securing the 2000 #indyracingleaguetitle, eight wins, and 18 podiums along the way. In 1997, the team was still finding its form, switching from the #infinitiengines before the 500 in search of more power. Lazier would still win @charlottemotorspeedwayand take eighth overall in the “super season” standings.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#RacingChampions #DavyJones #4 #Monsoon #GForce #O 1654610069881861049
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#racingchampions#davyjones#4#monsoon#gforce#oldsmobile : After his runner-up finish at the previous year’s #indy500 , Jones earned a full-time ride at #gallesracingfor 1997 as the team abandoned #cartto focus on the #indyracingleagueonly. He’d never turn a race lap in the car, however; a serious neck injury in practice at #waltdisneyworldspeedwayled to him briefly stepping away from motorsport. @jeffward3xreplaced him for that race, while #kennybracktook over for the rest of the year and posted two top-five finishes. The team took a break in 1998 after @ajfoytracingcame calling for Brack, who paid them back by winning the IRL title that season and the Indy 500 the next year.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#RacingChampions #ScottSharp #1 #Conseco #Dallara1653910231426984261
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#racingchampions#scottsharp#1#conseco#dallara#oldsmobile : The early #indyracingleaguedidn’t have a lot of luck with driver safety, as many of its top drivers—Sharp included—spent time on the sidelines after practice crashes. Sharp, who was awarded the inaugural IRL co-championship with #buzzcalkins(there were no tiebreakers, oddly enough), was injured in practice at @indianapolismotorspeedwayand replaced by #pauldurantand later #billyboat . Two weeks after the 500, a scoring error saw Boat mistakenly awarded the win @txmotorspeedwaywhen #arieluyendykhad actually won the race; when Luyendyk came to Victory Lane to protest, #ajfoytgreeted him with a slap. Sharp would return for the next race @ppirand qualify on pole, only to re-injure himself in a first lap crash and re-concede the car to Boat, who finished the season.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#RacingChampions #MikeGroff #10 #Bryant #GForce #I 1653359755761312980
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#racingchampions#mikegroff#10#bryant#gforce#infiniti : Cast off from #cartafter a disappointing 1994 season, Groff was one of the original #indyracingleaguedrivers after joining @ajfoytracingfor its first two races and #walkerracingfor the 1996 #indy500 . After that, he spent multiple years with #byrdcunninghamracing , leading the point standings in 1997 until an injury sustained in a practice crash @txmotorspeedwayforced him out of the seat. Groff’s points lead actually came in no small part due to the IRL’s odd schedule; the quickly-aborted idea to make Indianapolis the season finale led to a “super season” that started in summer 1996 and ended in fall 1997.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#RacingChampions #ArieLuyendyk #5 #Wavephore #GFor 1652491285960111610
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#racingchampions#arieluyendyk#5#wavephore#gforce#oldsmobile : Since we focused on #cartlast week, let’s be fair and shift over to the #indyracingleagueand Racing Champions’ last year of meaningful open-wheel diecast lines. Continuing its relationship with both sides of the split, RC’s second (and final) year with the IRL actually saw the line shrink from 10 cars in 1996 to seven in 1997, and a somewhat curious shift to the brand’s road course casting instead of its superspeedway one (remember, the IRL was all ovals at the time). Luyendyk was the 1997 #indy500winner with this car, and backed it up two weeks later @txmotorspeedway —more on that later this week…

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#HotWheels #RichieHearn #21 #Ralphs #Food4Less #Lo 1648692053361016541
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#hotwheels#richiehearn#21#ralphs#food4less#lola#ford : Now, to the all-ages portion of @hotwheelsofficial ’s Pro Racing line! While the other two cars I’ve posted this week were part of the adult collector offering, Hearn’s car (as well as one other that I’ll share next) was only offered on this track-friendly casting. Owing to #reynard ’s domination of the #cartfield in 1997, the Lola didn’t make it to the premier line, but two Reynards and two Lolas made it to the all-ages line, including this one that Hearn actually ran for #dellapennamotorsports . One of the few drivers to leave the #indyracingleaguefor CART instead of the other way around, Hearn matched his car number with a 21st place points finish that year.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#HotWheels #PatrickCarpentier #16 #Alumax #Reynard 1648186171216856934
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#hotwheels#patrickcarpentier#16#alumax#reynard#mercedes : After rewriting the #toyotaatlanticrecord books in 1996 with nine wins in 12 starts—including eight in a row from the pole—Carpentier was promoted to #bettenhausenmotorsportsfor 1997. He earned the pole in #nazarethand finished second @gatewaymspto earn #cartRookie of the Year and a new contract at #forsytheracingfor 1998. He would stick with the team through 2004, earning five wins before eventually moving on to #indyracingleagueand #nascarrides.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#JohnnyLightning #RobbyMcGehee #55 #Energizer #5 # 1640305108075208271
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#johnnylightning#robbymcgehee#55#energizer#5#mall .com #gforce#oldsmobile : The 1999 #indianapolis500Rookie of the Year, McGehee had planned to partner #samschmidtat #treadwayracingfor 2000 before a testing accident left Schmidt paralyzed. As a result, McGehee ran most of the season in a single entry, swapping the #55for the #5after the season opener. The #stlouisnative would score his only #indyracingleaguepodium that summer in #texasand ended the year a career-best 12th in points before joining #cahillracingin 2001.

METAL FUEL + RUBBER (@metalfuelandrubber) Instagram Profile Photometalfuelandrubber

METAL FUEL + RUBBER

#JohnnyLightning #GregRay #1 #Conseco #Menards #Da 1640304740167729442
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#johnnylightning#gregray#1#conseco#menards#dallara#oldsmobile : Perhaps no driver in the early days of the #indyracingleaguehad a more mercurial rise and fall than Ray. After impressing #teammenard , Ray finished on the podium in every race he finished in 1999, giving him enough points to earn the championship. In 2000, he earned six poles in only nine events—even beating #cartregulars #juanmontoyaand #jimmyvasseron the grid for the #indianapolis500 —but five DNFs to only one win would knock him down to 13th in points. Even a win in #atlantawith 184 of 200 laps led the next year wasn’t enough to keep him in his seat through the end of the season, and by 2004, Ray was out of the series entirely.