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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Luck? What's That? It was Everything and Nothing at the 1969 Indianapolis 500

Posted May 24, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: motorsports Performance cars

From an insider's perspective, racing's all about eliminating chance, and in our age of algorithms, computer modeling and hypersterilized automatons behind the wheel, it almost seems as though all chance has been eliminated from motorsports. That's not the case, of course, but there's a decided contrast - not in terms of equipment, rather in terms of storyline - between this month's running of the Indianapolis 500 and, say, the 1969 Indianapolis 500.

In ABC's Wide World of Sports coverage of the race, Andy Granatelli denies even the existence of luck (perhaps a reaction to what went wrong with his turbine cars the two years prior?) while eventual race winner Mario Andretti sees both sides of luck firsthand when he crashes in qualifying but escapes with minor burns. Naturally, everybody involved put in all the effort they could to win this race, but preparation could only take so many people so far that day. There's plenty more storylines here, involving some of the biggest names in 20th century racing, all of which seem to intersect with chance in multiple ways.

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