“Race For Professionals” and “In The Face Of Challenge” are both included in beautiful COLOR on a new 53-minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms! “Race For Professionals”, narrated by Marvin Miller and produced by Championship Racefilms for Goodyear, has outstanding overall practice, qualification and race coverage. “In The Face Of Challenge” by McGraw-Hill 6 Productions and narrated by track announcer Tom Carnegie, while also covering the aforementioned, is somewhat more of a behind-the-scenes look at the May activities with more live sound bites of race participants. Even as they both cover the ’75 500-mile race, each film shows completely different footage of the event and the month of May leading up to the spectacular classic on Memorial Day!
“Race For Professionals” covers practice, qualifications and the race itself. 1925 winner Peter DePaolo talks about the differences in the way the cars are constructed as compared to when he won at Indy. Practice spins and crashes of Billy Scott and Jerry Sneva are shown including Jim Hurtubise blowing his engine on the front straightaway during qualifying. Shown making the show or in close up qualifying shots are some of the great names in racing – Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, Tom Sneva, Pancho Carter, John Martin, Mike Mosley, Johnny Parsons, Jr, Jimmy Caruthers, Gordon Johncock, Jerry Grant, Lloyd Ruby, Wally Dallenbach, Bill Puterbaugh and Tom Bigelow. For the first time, the front row is made up entirely of former winners: Foyt, Rutherford and Bobby Unser! Other racing figures shown include Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, George Bignotti, Tom Binford, J.C. Agajanian and former drivers George Souder, Jimmy Jackson and Babe Stapp, who also talks about his memories of Indy driving and Gasoline Alley.
Gordon Johncock beats pole-sitter A.J. Foyt into the first turn at the start of the race and leads the first 8 laps before ignition woes force him out. However, after only a few dozen laps, Johncock’s Sinmast teammate Wally Dallenbach, who started 21st, is already up to 5th! Notable race incidents are shown: Lloyd Ruby pulls in with a burned piston after only 7 laps, Mike Hiss crashes in turn 3, Bobby Allison is out after 112 laps with a broken gearbox and Jerry Grant burns a piston. Late in the race, Gary Bettenhausen loses a rear wheel on the main straightaway, but safely guides the wildly bucking car onto the turn one infield grass. But the incident everyone remembers is the horrific Tom Sneva crash in front of the turn two suites. Trying to pass in turn one, Sneva’s car touches wheels with Eldon Rasmussen, which catapults him into the catch fence in a ball of flame. So violent is the crash that the engine is ripped from the car and bounces across the track! Miraculously, Tom walks away with only minor burns! Shown in the pits for service during the race are Foyt, Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Andretti, Pancho Carter and Dallenbach. The charging #40 is now in first place and after 375 miles has led the most laps! But on his 161st lap, Dallenbach too burns a piston and his race domination is over with Johnny Rutherford taking over the top spot. As rain clouds begin to darken the sky, Rutherford must pit and Bobby Unser inherits the lead on lap 165. The leaders now have enough fuel for the distance, but then comes the rain! Unser is still leading and crosses the finish line at about 35 miles an hour in the downpour! Starter Pat Vidan is waving the red and checkered flags together and the race is over at 435 miles with Bobby Unser now a two-time winner!!
“In The Face Of Challenge” shows Rutherford, Bobby Allison, Billy Vukovich and Tom Sneva in practice. Topping the speed charts in early May are Gordon Johncock and A.J. Foyt, early favorites for the pole. This film has many more sound bites, especially during qualifications, as you’ll hear the voice of track announcer Tom Carnegie and others. Qualifications are also shown in more detail in this film. Shown qualifying are Al Loquasto (he was later bumped), Tom Sneva, and Bobby Unser. During pre-qualification inspection of the Sinmast #20 of Gordon Johncock, you’ll get to hear some pit lane talk among chief mechanic George Bignottti and crew, after which Gordy qualifies temporarily on the pole. After a first attempt lap of over 189 early in the day, Foyt aborts his run, but later grabs the pole with a speed of 193.976. Foyt comments afterward. With qualifications over, scenes from the annual Art Pollard Memorial Picnic are shown. The race and typical preparations during the month of May are covered, but all from a totally different perspective than in the first film. The Sneva wreck is shown in more detail and also in slow-motion. When rain halts the race after 435 miles, now two-time winner Bobby Unser becomes the first driver to “splash” into Victory Lane!
To get your own 53-minute DVD
containing both of these historic films, send only $29.95 plus $5.00 S. & H. (Illinois residents must add $2.00 state sales tax).
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