1969 STP Press Release about Art Pollard
Art Pollard Biography
STP Public Relations – David Blackmer
Steady, cool and thoughtful are adjectives that best describe Art Lee Pollard, 41, the Medford, Ore. race driver who will be making his fourth start at Indianapolis this year, behind the wheel of an STP-Plymouth “super-wedge” racing car.
But Pollard is also a charger when the right time comes. He neither looks nor drives anything like his 41 years might indicate.
“Maybe it’s because I don’t have too many tough miles on me,” Pollard grins. “I spent a lot of my racing life bashing around in the Pacific Northwest, where you don’t race very dangerously, you don’t earn much money but you do have a lot of fun”.
Pollard, who has been married 23 years to his wife, Claudine and has a son Mike 20, and a daughter, Judy 19 managed to do a lot more racing and to have a lot more fun at it this past year, when he put a full season on the USAC Championship Trail.
He qualified one of the celebrated STP-Turbocars in 11th spot last year at Indianapolis, despite almost zero time at practice in the car. He raced his way to fourth spot by mid-point and held fourth until a tiny fuel pump drive-shaft failed just a few laps from the finish. When the car quit, he was within shooting distance of third place Mel Kenyon and second place Dan Gurney.
He drove almost every single race on the Championship Trail, most of them in the STP-Turbocar. He led the first Milwaukee race until he was black-flagged for fuel spillage. He ran strongly at Castle Rock, Colo. until his brakes failed. And he sat on the pole at the second Milwaukee race, a 200 miler, with a new track record. He led that race until his brakes failed on the 135th lap.
He ran second for a time at Trenton in the Turbocar after qualifying fourth, and suspension problems kayoed his drive there. He tied at Phoenix with Mario Andretti for a new track record and led that race for 45 laps until a universal joint gave way.
And at the concluding Riverside race, he qualified 11th, worked his way into third place and was running strongly in that spot until Mario Andretti smashed into his Turbocar and put him out of the race.
Pollard’s only bad racing accident cost him a fractured leg at Trenton some time back, and he is a 170 bowler and an expert water skier when he isn’t busy at his trade.
“I had a great time with the STP-Turbocar last year”, he said. “It was a new and novel racing experience and I wouldn’t take anything for it. We all realize the STP-Plymouth effort got a late start and is a long shot effort. The chassis design and the great new super wedge body design should contribute much to the car’s chances. We don’t expect a super-powerful engine, but we do think the Plymouth will provide very dependable power”.