SI Vault
John Bentley
October 25, 1954
Since the fourth Vanderbilt Cup race in 1908?last of the big American road events for Grand Prix cars?racing in the U.S. has steadily steered away from diversity and the open road in favor of commercialized speed and endurance on the closed-track oval. Similarly, racing has been less and less used as a proving ground for automotive development. Detroit built its own testing grounds, drew its lessons from manufacturing experience, and today concedes few passenger-car improvements to racing beyond the rear-view mirror, the balloon tire and the high-compression engine.
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October 25, 1954

Review Of The Year

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Earnings & points: Bryan $5,900?200 pts.; Sweikert $4,248?160 pts.; Hanks $2,360?140 pts.

The race: Bryan finished nursing a badly worn tire. Sweikert and Bryan traded lead twice on 24th lap and three times on 25th. Bryan dropped back, playing a waiting game, but moved under Sweikert at west turn on 40th lap, to take first. Don Freeland's Bob Estes Special crashed into guard rail and flipped; driver escaped injury. Johnny Parsons (Bardahl Special) spun at 50 miles, brushing east-turn guard rail, but was unhurt.

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