Never retire that helmet…
By: Rich Rish
Indianapolis, IN (May 30, 2012) - Former Rensselaer Raceway track promoter, Ted Knorr, got to do something that most race fans only dream about. On Thursday, May 24th, just days before the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500, Ted got to slide into his old Hinchman drivers uniform and hit the storied 2.5 mile track in a former Roger Ward # 26 1966 Offy powered Lola. Now Ted is no stranger to racing. In the years prior to him promoting the Rensselaer Raceway at the Jasper County Fairgrounds, Ted was quite the area “hot shoe”. His driving success did not go unnoticed. His employer at the time, the Indiana State Police, was not very happy that he was spending his off time speeding around the area racetracks. To remedy this problem, Ted took on an alias… the famous Ted Wilson. If you look back at some of the souvenir programs of the day you’ll see Ted Wilson throughout them.
“ Never driven a rear engine racecar nor an offy...but soon had it comfortable somewhere over 100 mph (tell-tale tach had us just under 7800 rpms) and the wind was trying to blow my goggles off my face” commented Ted. “What a ride...this old guy was in heaven until the oil leak. We were just getting comfortable sticking it into the corners pretty good when I saw the black flag and hoped it wasn't for me... but it was and my fun was over”. Ted went on to say “rear cowling was covered with oil and I may have been in trouble had track observers not noticed the oil spray....cause I sure didn't know it. Too busy steering the thing into those sweeping turns of Indy....and thoughts of what might have been ????”
When asked how he got this opportunity, he said “Car owner and I are partners in the very successful Sat. prior to the 500 Memorabilia IMS show and with my background, had suggested that I could drive the car at Indy when I was ready after the heart attack. So, it was the time and place to climb back into a real race car and the thrill of my nearly 75 year old life”.
With the rear engine racer returned all safe and sound, Ted had yet another entry to add to his “Ted Wilson” facebook page.
It just goes to show you that no matter how long its been, you should never retire that helmet.
Ted Knorr, right and his grandson Nick Yeoman. Nick is
an IMS radio network pit reporter for all the Indycar races and did the
Dario post race 500 winners interview this
year. Racing must be in that gene pool.