… 30 Days in May … Day 19

Posted: May 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

Mel Kenyon #19 Atlanta Falcons Eagle Foyt.

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

30 Days in MayDay 20

No. 19 — Mel Kenyon — 1973 Atlanta Falcons Eagle/Foyt

Considered one of the true gentlemen in the sport, Kenyon had several top finishes at Indianapolis and was arguably the greatest USAC Midget driver in history.  His longevity is particularly amazing.

Some 30 years after his last start in the 500, Kenyon was still racing at age 70! Even more incredible, Kenyon was severely burned in a crash in 1965 and raced with a special glove with a device that fit in the steering wheel – amazing determination and will.

For the 1973 season, Kenyon teamed up wth longtime owner Lindsey Hopkins. I’m not sure if Hopkins owned a part of the Atlanta Falcons or why exactly the NFL team sponsored the car, but pro teams backing cars were not unknown at Indianapolis during this era. In 1971, for example, Lloyd Ruby drove the Utah Stars special.

While Ruby was certainly popular with the Indianapolis fans, his car likely wasn’t because the Stars were a rival of the hometown Indiana Pacers and had quite a few tussles during the ABA playoffs. Anyway, back to Kenyon.

He finished fourth in the 1973 500 in what ended up being his final race at the Speedway.

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