"Any Number Can Win"
Race Coverage on "Wide World of Sports"
A new DVD of the historic 50th Indianapolis 500 is now available from Rare Sportsfilms, Inc. Just restored is the rare color film "Any Number Can Win" and also included is the B & W television broadcast from ABC's "Wide World of Sports" !
"Any Number Can Win" by Sportlite Films is a hard to find production covering the month of May, 1966 at the Speedway. Narrated by track announcer Tom Carnegie, it shows practice and preparation, qualifications and then the race itself on Memorial Day. Various spins, and pre-race incidents are shown, including those of Al Miller, Lee Roy Yarbrough, Dick Atkins, A.J. Foyt, Bob Veith, and Art Malone. Most notable of course is the tragic crash of Chuck Rodee during qualifications, the first driver killed during qualifications since 1935, and only the third in history. Scenes of qualifying include shots of Rodger Ward, George Snider, A.J. Foyt, Gary Congdon, Dan Gurney, Gordon Johncock, Lloyd Ruby, Jim Clark, Jim McElreath, Parnelli Jones, Jim Hurtubise and rookies Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. Indy racing personalities and driver close-ups you'll see in this film include Gurney, Clark, Foyt, Jones, Greg Weld and the #15 STP Novi, Hill, rookie Carl Williams, Colin Chapman, J.C. Agajanian, Harlan Fengler, Clint Brawner, Andy Granatelli, Bill Ansted, Pat Vidan, and Bob Wilkie. Cars of drivers (some of which did not make the race) include Ronnie Duman, Art Pollard, Gig Stephens, Bill Cheesbourg, Jerry Grant, Bobby Grim, Johnny Boyd, Al Unser and Roger McCluskey are shown. Before the race, Jackie Stewart, Sam Hanks, Duman and George Bignotti all make comments.
Pole-sitter Mario Andretti leads Jim Clark and George Snider down the main straightaway as the green flag waves to start the race, however midway back in the pack, a spectacular chain-reaction smash-up becomes the incident this race would be remembered for! In all, 11 cars (one-third of the field) are knocked out of the race before even a lap is completed! During the cleanup, wrecked cars of Arnie Knepper, Al Miller, Foyt, Gary Congdon, Billy Foster, Gurney, Don Branson and Larry Dickson are shown being towed away. On the first green flag lap of the restart, veteran Johnny Boyd spins out in oil and smashes into the first turn wall, causing another delay and clean-up. The second re-start is successful. After 17 laps and Andretti leading, his engine begins smoking badly, as a dropped valve ends his day on the track. Other incidents and accidents are shown throughout the race. On the 23rd lap, George Snider and Chuck Hulse collide in turn two. Having taken over the lead when Andretti was black-flagged out of the race, Clark spins in turn four and his subsequent pit stop gives the lead to Lloyd Ruby on lap 76 with Parnelli Jones now second. Ruby leads at half way, but a broken cam housing stud causes and oil leak and leads to a black-flag end to his race after 166 laps. Rookie Stewart takes the lead, Clark second, Al Unser third. But on lap 164 Unser crashes in turn four, Hill moving up to third, and Jim McElreath to fourth (two Scots and an Englishman are now running 1-2-3 with two being rookies)! But with only 10 laps to go, leader Stewart has lost oil pressure and is pushing his #43 toward the pits, out of the race. As the drama of Stewart's exit unfolds, Hill passes second place Clark for the lead and continues on to win.
Also included on this DVD is half an hour of TV coverage of the race. Before 1971, the 500 was never shown live except on closed circuit TV. However, ABC began to kinescope the race in the mid-1960's and created an edited and re-narrated presentation for nationwide showing a week later on "Wide World of Sports". So, as a bonus, we also present on this DVD the '66 race as shown on ABC after the race. It begins with the re-showing of the big first lap smash-up and is narrated by Chris Schenkel. This race broadcast includes interviews with pole-sitter Mario Andretti (2), Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill (both pre and post-race) and Jim Clark.
To get both of these 1966 Indy 500 films now on DVD (total running time, 1 hour, 5 minutes), send $29.95 + $4.00 for shipping.
(Illinois residents must add $2.30 state sales tax)
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