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Author Greg Littleton writes The Race to Make the Race

Author Greg Littleton writes The Race to Make the Race

Author Greg Littleton writes The Race to Make the RaceAuthor Greg Littleton writes The Race to Make the RaceAuthor Greg Littleton writes The Race to Make the Race



Note from Greg Littleton

My  intention when assembling this book is to document the ten-year history  of The Indianapolis 500 from 1954-1963. That is, the history of the  struggle to make the race, to qualify for one of the coveted  thirty-three starting positions. There are very few references to the  race itself as that has been well documented, over time, in many  publications. 


The iconic Floyd Clymer Yearbooks would annually have a brief description of the daily activity at the  Speedway. Practice and Qualifications, or Time Trials, would be  generally described in Clymer’s publication, however it always left me  wanting more. So, this book is more.

Tom Carnegie

  • Wilbur  Shaw convinced Tony Hulman to hire Carnegie to be the Public Address  Announcer for the 1946 Indianapolis 500, and at that time Carnegie had  never seen the 500-mile-race. He later said “It took me 10-15 years to  have any confidence that what I was saying was right.”


  • Understanding  that Auto Racing was entertainment and that announcing was part of the  show, he developed some signature calls. For example, “Heezzz On It!”,  as a driver was receiving the green flag to begin a qualification run.  On many occasions, during his sixty years, he would say, “It’s a  Neeewwww Traaccckk Record!” with extra exclamations such as “Hold On to  Your Seats!” or “You Won’t Believe It!”. One of my favorites was “And,  it’s even Faster!” Or, early morning and you hear the P.A. click  on, followed by his bold smooth voice saying, “Good morning Ladies and  Gentlemen, and welcome . . . to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”


  • Impeccable  timing combined with his almost booming, deep voice could thrill an  audience when describing an event. Before retiring Tom said, “To me, the  Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a cast of thousands, and everybody  associated with it is important. Everyone has a part in its success, and  I just had a small part.”


  • Tom  Carnegie was one of the many people in our world who seem to be “the  right person at the right time.” He is such a huge part of the thrills  and memories many of us, who were lucky enough to be there, have of The  Speedway.