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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS THE FASTEST
Brock Yates
June 23, 1975
Once Friday the 13th and its crashes were behind them, the racers settled down—only to discover Mario Andretti ahead
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June 23, 1975

All's Well That Ends The Fastest

Once Friday the 13th and its crashes were behind them, the racers settled down—only to discover Mario Andretti ahead

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The main event was launched amidst widespread expectations for yet another Andretti-Redman struggle, and the enthusiastic crowd was not disappointed. Mario leapt away from the pole position with Redman glued to his spoiler. The entire 40 laps of the race were run in that order, Andretti cranking out a smooth 116.4 mph average. Mario, now slightly pudgier but no less aggressive than when he burst on the racing scene a decade ago, was impeccable. Redman drove fiercely, probing for weak spots, but it was fruitless. "There was no way I could catch him unless he had trouble. It was that simple," Redman admitted after the race. Andretti screeched across the line a mere half second in front with Redman sliding wide on the final corner in one last fling to catch up. Warwick Brown finished a lap back in third, barely holding off a charging David Hobbs, who had surged up from a starting spot in the middle of the pack.

A man who seemed quietly pleased with the whole affair was Jim Hall, the rangy Texan whose famed Chaparral dominated sports car racing in the mid-'60s. Now retired from driving and content with co-ownership of Redman's car (with Chicagoan Carl Haas, who is the American distributor for the English-built Lola racers), Hall said, "This series makes about as much sense as anything in big-time racing today. A guy can field a good car, with spare engines, mechanics and such for about $125,000 for the whole darn season. And that is a fraction of what Indy or Grand Prix racing costs. A lot of people are pretty neurotic about the economy, which has hurt sponsorship, but I believe the long-range future of Formula 5000 is pretty darn bright."

So these rapid upstarts, with their bellowing stock-block engines, may lack the panache of their Indy and Grand Prix cousins, but in terms of sheer, eyeball-bulging, eardrum-busting, automotive drama, they give way to nobody. And that sort of assault on the senses is what motor racing is all about.

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