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December 2023 News
Article Index
Dec 5 - Reports say Stefan Wilson has fully recovered from the accident he incurred
last May 22nd at IMS.  He fractured a vertebrae during practice the day after qualifying
for the Indy 500.  
Graham Rahall drove his car in the big race.
Gil de Ferran Died at 56

Dec 30 - Gil de Ferran died yesterday of a heart
attack while at a automotive country club near
Miami.  He was 56 and is survived by his wife,
Angela; daughter, Anna; and son, Luke.

De Ferran was a famous IndyCar driver who
raced in both Champ Car, where he won two
championships, and in the IRL where he won the
2003 Indy 500.

He competed with his own race team in the
American Le Mans series in 2008-2009, securing
many victories.  He was also co-owner of an
IndyCar team in 2009-2010.

De Ferran worked for several Formula 1 teams,
namely McLaren, as a sporting director.

He was well liked and respected by all those who
worked with him.  He wasn't a bragger and I never
saw him lose his temper.
Cale Yarborough Died at 84

Dec 31 -
Cale Yarborough, who made four
Indianapolis 500 starts during his legendary,
championship-winning NASCAR career, died Dec.
31 in his native South Carolina. He was 84.

Yarborough was one of the greatest stock car
drivers in history, winning three straight Cup Series
championships from 1976-78. His 83 victories are
tied for sixth on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series
victory list.

Among his career accolades were four Daytona
500 victories, in 1968, 1977, 1983 and 1984. But
the fiercely determined Yarborough gained just as
much renown and helped to launch stock car
racing into the national consciousness in the 1979
Daytona 500 when he fought with brothers Donnie
and Bobby Allison inside Turn 3 after Yarborough
and Donnie Allison crashed while dueling for the
win on the final lap.

Before rising to stardom in NASCAR while driving
for the legendary Junior Johnson in the mid-1970s,
Yarborough showed his versatility by competing in
open-wheel racing.

Yarborough made his first Indianapolis 500 start in
1966, driving for Rolla Vollstedt. Yarborough was
caught off guard by the throngs who attended
qualifying days in May at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway and got stuck in traffic en route to the
track for the first qualifying day. He ended up
parking his car in the yard of a local resident and
walking to the track, qualifying 24th in the No. 66
Jim Robbins Vollstedt/Ford.

But his four-lap qualification run that year lasted
longer than his race. Yarborough’s car was one of
11 collected and eliminated in a first-lap accident
that triggered a red-flag delay of nearly 90
minutes, and he was credited with 28th place.

Yarborough returned with Vollstedt’s team in 1967
and finished 17th, completing 176 laps. He made
his final two “500” starts in 1971 and 1972 with
Gene White’s team, completing 193 laps and
finishing 10th in 1972 – both career bests – in a
colorful team that also boasted fellow kindred
jovial spirits Lloyd Ruby and Sam Sessions.

In 1971, Yarborough raced the entire USAC
Championship Trail with White’s team. He
produced a best finish of fifth, at Trenton and
Michigan, and ended up 16th in the standings in his
only full open-wheel season.

Yarborough retired as a driver after the 1988
NASCAR Cup Series season and then focused on
team ownership and other businesses. His Cale
Yarborough Motorsports raced in the Cup Series
through the 1999 season, with John Andretti
delivering the team its sole victory in the 1997
Pepsi 400 at Daytona.
1977
1967