691116 Rain 2

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691116 Rain 2 - Sunday, Nov. 16, 1969 f- *• -VI 5 Ivi AH f '4 /...
Sunday, Nov. 16, 1969 f- *• -VI 5 Ivi AH f '4 / * ! An The Arizona Republic D-5 Andretti feels 'should have stopped sooner */ JL JL Bobby Unser is not a happy man as he discusses accident which put him out of the Phoenix 200. Unser said race should have been stopped sooner. Mario Andretti's wife, Dee Ann, expresses concern over husband's accident, raising hand to her face and gripping friend's arm. Andretti was not injured. Rain hurt oval track -Mario By HARDY PRICE Seymour, the weekend duty officer in the rain god office, was looking over the Saturday schedule of events when he noticed that Phoenix was having an auto race. He yelled down to the noncom in charge to ask if a Phoenix auto race had ever been hit by rain. When he got a negative reply, Seymour's duty was clear. "Clear pipes 27, 34, and 96 for a slow drizzle. Cut 'em back after about 15 minutes, wait another 20 and then let'em go." And that's how the Phoenix 200 was rained out yesterday at Phoenix International Raceway after 84 laps. But there's a couple of drivers who felt that the race should have been stopped at least five laps sooner—Mario Andretti and Bobby Unser. The two Indy winners were involved in a high speed crash with rookie Lee Kunzman and they all said the rain was the contributing factor. "It was raining and we couldn't see," said Unser. "Kunzman spun and hit me and then Mario couldn't stop and he hit me." When that happened Unser's Eagle-Offy did a half roll and broadsided the fence between turns two and three. Unser and Gary Bettenhausen had just skipped past Andretti, who was furiously chasing the leader, Al Unser. Bettenhausen made it, Bobby, didn't. Kunzman, making his first start in a USAC championship race, was riding the low groove when he spun and pushed into Unser. Neither Unser nor Andretti were hurt in the accident, and the fire which started following the shunt was confined mostly to leading fuel on the track. "We can't stand rain on oval tracks," said Andretti. "They should have stopped the race at least five laps earlier. On a road course rain is fine, but there's no way we can stand rain with the tires we're running... .no way." "I don't know why they didn't stop it before something happened," wondered Unser. And then he offered: "I guess they were trying to show the people on TV that we can drive in the rain.", Zoom! They're off! The Bobby Ball Memorial race is underway Republic Photos by Con Keyos Crew members push remaining cars to pits following rain-out of the Phoenix 200 at Phoenix International Raceway More about What's left of Bobby Unser's Eagle-Offy is towed away but race fans and horses are still welcome Bobby Ball Continued from Page 1-D Yellow flags on the 21st, 34lh, 46th and 60th laps enabled Gary Bettenhausen and Bobby Unser to close in on the leaders. Bettenhausen was running second close behind Al Unser when the race was stopped. In order after Bettenhausen were Lloyd Ruby, Wally Dallenbach, Art Pollard, Johnny Rutherford, Bill Vukovich, Joe Leonard, Rick Muther and Jim Malloy. Only the first six were on the same lap. Andrelti, both Unsers and Bettenhausen were all tightly packed together coming off turn two when the slick pavement took its toll. The race needed only 17 more laps to run before it could be official. Practice is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. today and last a half hour. Of the 26 starters, 18 are expected to make the grid to resume the race, today. Mario Andretti's son (left) has his own race with a friend, while real racing goes on a short 30 yards away. Republic photos by Con R&yes, Walt Johnson BinBi^^ Driver George Snider waits for lift (left), finally starts long walk back after his Qffy-powered machine went out early in the race with faulty magneto.

Clipped from
  1. Arizona Republic,
  2. 16 Nov 1969, Sun,
  3. Page 141

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