Archive for Dan Gurney

NHRA: Capps a force as drag racing ambassador

Posted in Column, NASCAR, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2008 by Martin Henderson

He has the looks of a movie star from the 1940s, when a charming smile and an imperfect hairline were acceptable to the masses.

Ron Capps would be at home in the Golden Age of Television or the Golden Globes of 2008.

See, Ron Capps gets it. With his easygoing, affable manner he is usually the most likable person in the room, unless the room is Whit Bazemore’s den.

The best compliment Capps can be paid is that he would be at home with the legends of racing.

A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, they were willing to drive anything anywhere. They weren’t specialists, like so many drivers today. They were racecar drivers. Strap ’em in and get outta their way.

Capps is not of that caliber. Those guys are legends. But Capps comes from the same mold, different material. So do guys like Robby Gordon and Max Papis.

In the straight line world of the Powerade NHRA Drag Racing Series, Capps is the sport’s greatest ambassador not named John Force, which is to say that Capps is willing to turn left on purpose.
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Media: Racescribe is geared up, thanks to a legend

Posted in Column with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2008 by Martin Henderson
Shav Glick, the photo that looks over the media center at Pomona Raceway

Shav Glick, the photo that looks over the media center at Pomona Raceway

Being mentored by Shav Glick is more than I ever could have asked for when I began working for the Los Angeles Times in 1990. But 18 years on, the opportunity to work alongside Shav — no one referred to him as Glick — was the highlight of my career in journalism.When he started covering racing in 1969, one of the first drivers Shav interviewed was Don Prudhomme, and one of the first reporters The Snake encountered was Shav Glick. Both were inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Novi, Mich. Shav was the first — and to date, only — print journalist from a daily newspaper so honored.

He was eventually forced to choose between golf and auto racing. An avid golfer, most thought his choice was a no-brainer. Instead, he chose race drivers over wooden drivers because “racers are more interesting, all of them have a different story.” Among them was Junior Johnson, who received the Shav treatment in 1978.

My own professional introduction to the sport came at the Camel Grand Prix of San Diego in 1991. Working for the San Diego County Edition of The Times, the gig was mine mostly because I was not intimidated by it and Shav was not available.

Everywhere I went that first weekend, my introduction — “I’m Martin Henderson with the Los Angeles Times” — was followed by an immediate and predictable reaction.

“Where’s Shav?”
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