Racing legend Dan Gurney earns one of rarest and most prestigious awards for lifetime achievements (video)

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Very few race car drivers deserve to be called “legendary.”

Dan Gurney is most definitely one of those.

That’s why the truly legendary Gurney was honored Wednesday at the Henry Ford Museum, receiving the prestigious Edison-Ford Medal for his lifetime achievements.

The ceremony was presented by The Henry Ford organization.

With other motorsports legends such as Roger Penske and Sir Jackie Stewart looking on, Gurney was praised for all that he’s brought to the racing world as a driver, team owner, car builder and innovator.

“It is a great honor to award the Edison-Ford Medal to Mr. Gurney, whose success and contributions both on and off the race track have played a pivotal role in shaping American auto racing into what it is today,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “We are very privileged at The Henry Ford to be able to share his inspiring story of ingenuity and innovation through our collections with our visitors every day.”

Having driven his first race car in 1955, Gurney’s affiliation with Ford Racing was front-and-center in the ceremonies, as well. In a press release, Ford Racing officials noted:

“Gurney is also tied to several automobiles that are part of The Henry Ford’s world premier automotive collection, including the 1962 Ford Mustang I Concept Car driven at Watkins Glen, the 1965 Lotus-Ford Race Car that Jim Clark used to win the 1965 Indianapolis 500, and the 1967 Ford Mark IV Race Car, used for perhaps his most famous win at the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. After winning that race, Gurney famously sprayed the crowd with champagne, starting a racing tradition.”

 

RACER magazine also hailed Gurney’s litany of achievements and accomplishments in a story that appeared on its web site:

“He had raced in 312 events in 20 countries for 51 different marques (more than 100 different models of car) and won 51 races. Gurney scored victories in four major categories: Indy cars, Formula 1 cars, NASCAR stock cars and sports cars. He won the 1967 Grand Prix of Belgium in an Eagle Gurney-Westlake V12, a car he helped design and build. He was twice runner-up in the Indianapolis 500.

“Following his retirement as a driver, he took on the role of car manufacturer and team owner of All American Racers. His Eagles won the Indianapolis 500 three times – twice with Bobby Unser, 1968 and ’75 (with Gurney as the team owner) and Gordon Johncock triumphed in a Pat Patrick-run Eagle at Indy in ’73. Cars built and designed by AAR also won the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona.

“The multi-dimensional Gurney was the first to introduce a full-faced helmet (Bell) to Indy car and F1 racing in the late 1960s.”

Interestingly, Gurney is only the second recipient of the Edison-Ford Medal, and the first in 25 years when Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the so-called “Father of the Quality Evolution” was the inaugural winner in 1989, when the award was established on the 60th anniversary of The Henry Ford.

“This is truly an amazing, humbling award,” Gurney said, according to RACER. “It is a great legacy to be part of this award – the names Edison and Ford say it all. Because of them, so many things we do today are easy and possible. They were pioneers, they made the USA a great place.”

But perhaps the best line of his acceptance speech was when master of ceremonies Charlie Rose asked Gurney if the 1967 victory in the 24 Hours of LeMans – with co-driver and fellow legend A.J. Foyt – was the highlight of his career (the duo hit an unheard of 213 mph in their Ford GT40 Mark IV.

“You bet it is!” Gurney said with a big smile on his face, according to Racer, resulting in a huge round of applause. “By the middle 1960s, I knew I could drive a car as fast as any no-good turkey in the world. I knew then that I could probably make it.”

Check out the outstanding video below of Gurney’s career, as narrated by NBC’s Brian Williams.

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IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change