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RACER 2 RACER

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[...] I told him, he's the one who started the tradition of spraying champagne, when he won Le Mans in 1967, and that was something he did appreciate. [...] the Briggs Cunningham philosophy paid off, we won, and A.J. and I got along really well, as we always have - if you don't mind being insulted by him! An Indy car or Formula 1 car was light and direct, a NASCAR was like trying to dock an aircraft carrier, but it wasn't any easier to win or drive well.

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									036_RA0310   1/27/10   11:14 AM




      RACER2RACER DAN GURNEY




      RACER2RACER                                                       BRYAN HERTA & DAN GURNEY
                        Main Images Lesley Ann Miller/LAT

                             was driving my kids to school this morning when I told my

                        I   9-year-old son, Colton, that I was coming to see Dan Gurney
                            today. He gave me a blank stare, so I explained that Mr.
                        Gurney has won races in almost every major series in the world,
                        from Formula 1 to NASCAR, Indy car, sports cars…. He even holds
                        the record for the fastest time cross-country when he won the
                        Cannonball Run in a Ferrari Daytona, which piqued his interest.
                            Then I tried to explain that he is the man who invented the
                        Gurney flap, but Colton wasn’t sure what that was. Finally I told
                        him, he’s the one who started the tradition of spraying
                        champagne, when he won Le Mans in 1967, and that was
                        something he did appreciate. My son wanted to know if the
                        people around got mad at him covering them in champagne!
                            This little exchange helped me realize just how diverse and
                        lasting Dan’s impact in the world of motorsports has been. His
                        résumé in any one area could easily stand on its own but,
                        combined, Dan Gurney is truly without peer. No less than Bobby
                        Rahal considers him a hero.
                            Dan was warm and accommodating as always during our time
                        together (he even set us up with In-N-Out Burgers for lunch!),
                        and danced across a truly diverse set of subjects during our
                        conversation, with ease. This entire publication could have been
                        filled with gems from our chat and we still would have only
                        scratched the surface of this great American’s accomplishments
                        and recollections. But for starters, did anyone get upset about
                        being soaked with champagne back in ’67?

                        DG: Well, that was a consideration, I admit! It was my 10th
                        attempt at Le Mans, and it was an extraordinarily special one to
                        win because it was the Ford GT40 Mk.IV, and my co-driver was




      36 MARCH 2010
037_RA0310   1/27/10   11:15 AM




                                  MARCH 2010 37
038_RA0310    1/27/10       11:15 AM




      RACER2RACER DAN GURNEY




                                                                                                                                                         The AAR Museum contains some of
                                                                                                                                                          the most desirable racecars of the
                                                                                                                                                        last five decades. (BELOW) Gurney’s
                                                                                                                                                        Eagle AAR103 heads for third behind
                                                                                                                                                        the dominant Brabhams in the 1967
                                                                                                                                                           Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport.



      A.J. Foyt. After a decade of trying to win it
      overall – Bob Bondurant and I won the GT
      category in a Cobra in ’64 – I’d realized it was
      an endurance contest much more than it
      was a race. In those days, if the cars ran at
      what I’d 
								
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