Art Pollard Racing in 1972
Some Stats are from Motorsport.com
March 18, 1972 – At Phoenix Art qualified 21st in the #11 Quality Racing Scorpion now with a turbocharged Foyt powerplant. Unfortunately Art slipped in Johnny Rutherford’s oil and crashed in turn 1. Art won $941.00 for his 14th place finish and Bobby Unser won the race.
Photo courtesy of Bill Oursler
May, 1972 – On May 7th Art Pollard became the 13th member of the 180-plus club as he posted the 7th fastest time of the day. Pollard did the unbelievable as he ran over 180 mph in the STP Oil Treatment Special #40. The #40 car just arrived at the track that morning and after being inspected, Art took to the track and passed the 180 mark in just a few laps. Art’s speed was 180.252 mph. Pollard’s fast lap was turned less than two hours after the car made its first appearance on the track – a new speed record for passing membership requirements for the “180 Club.” Pole day was rained out and rescheduled for Sunday. On Sunday only 12 cars were able to qualify due to intense frustration brought on by rain, blown engines and crashes. The most tragic of the crashes occured in the Sunday morning practice session. 36 year old Jim Malloy of Denver, Colorado (who finished 2nd to Art in the Rex Mays 150 in 1969), was fatally injured. Jim Malloy was consistently the fastest in the first week of practice, slammed the turn 3 wall in the #16 Thermo-King Special and caught fire. Jim was unconcious and suffered two broken arms, two broken legs and second degree burns to his face, hands and feet. He was rushed to Methodist Hospital and was placed in the intesive care unit in critical condition. Malloy never regained conciousness and passed away from his injuries at 10:35 a.m. on May 18th. Finally, at 2:45 pm qualifications for the Indy 500 got under way. Billy Vukovich was the first car to roll out. On Vuky’s first lap he officially broke Peter Revson’s year old track record turning an official lap of 185.797 mph. On the next lap, he crashed in turn one. Vuky was uninjured. Next was Mosley, but his car stalled on the backstretch on his fourth lap. Then it rained! Finally at 4:14 pm Art Pollard rolled onto the track. Art qualified the #40 STP Oil Treatment Special Lola (shown above) for the 500.
Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard
A post qualifying accident left Art with a badly broken leg (shown above) and unable to race. Wally Dallenbach stepped in to the car for the race and finished 15th after numerous pit fires and starting shotgun on the field in 33rd. Mark Donohue won the race.
Photo & Bio from 1972 California 500 Program
September 3, 1972 – Art returned to racing in a big way with a 7th place finish in a rain and jack rabbit interrupted California 500 at the Ontario Motor Speedway. Art started in the back of the field in 31st but when the checkered flag waved, Art had the #20 STP Oil Filter Lola in the seventh position. Roger McCluskey was the race winner and Art was awarded with 300 Championship points and $13,934.00.
September 24, 1972 – At Trenton Art qualified the #20 STP Oil Treatment Special Lola in the 16th spot and nabbed another top ten with a 9th place finish. Art won 120 Championship points and $2,421.00. Bobby Unser won the race.
November 4, 1972 – Art missed his third consecutive top ten finish by one spot at Phoenix with an 11th place finish. He did however finsh high enough to win 30 Championship points and $1,440.00. Art started #20 STP Oil Treatment Special Lola in the 9th spot and Bobby Unser won the race.
If not for the broken leg, 1972 would have most likely proved to have been Art’s finest year in points on the Championship Trail.
March 1972 – Art joined others from the racing community at a White House reception hosted by President Richard Nixon.
Pollard Family Collection
Variety Video Gallery
1. 2017 Indianapolis 500
2. Robin Miller’s 2016 Christmas Gifts Suggestions including Art Pollard: The Life and Legacy of a Gentleman Racer by Bob Kehoe