There will be a Long Beach Grand Prix street race next year. The 52,300 paid attendance at this year's race allowed the organizers to pay the California city $86,000 on top of the $43,000 paid earlier for expenses in preparing the course. Live television coverage of the race on CBS outrated the two rival networks as Mario Andretti became the first American driver to win an American Grand Prix race.
The winner of today's $104,000 Martinsville (Va.) Grand National stock car race will receive one of the sport's most unusual trophies. It's a "grandmother" clock, a smaller version of the traditional grandfather model. Richard Petty has 11 of them for victories over the .525-mile paved oval.
To forestall grumbling over handicaps and timing, the Maryland International (at Budds Creek) and Colonial Beach (Va.) drag strips are allowing racers to have a crew member in the timing tower to check officials as they dial in the figures and read out clapsed times. It's another innovation of promoter Ted Mac, who brought a form of parimutuel wagering to the sport for a brief time.
Nick Craw of Millwood, Va., driving a BMW, is third in the Executive Motorhome road-racing cries for small sedans after his seventh-place finish at Road Atlanta last week. Defending champion Carson Baid of Laurel, piloting a Plymouth Arow this season, has yet to score.
One gas-guzzling car paid the price long before President Carter took after them. The Eagle Indianapolis racer, winner of 23 major races from 1972 through 1975, drink one gallon of fuel per mile. Builer Dan Gurney couldn't sell a single new Eagle last year so he designed a model that can get the 1.8 miles per gallon these cars must average to complete today.
The factory demonstrator, driven by Duane Carter Jr., is racing a Trenton, N.J., today. Carter placed third in the season's opening 200-mile at Ontario, Calif., but has had two DNF's (did not finish) since that outing.
The Australian Evel Knievel is Johnny Conway, TV's finance his attempt this fall to break the world motorcycle speed raced of 265 m.p.h., Conway has signed a television deal to make a jump over Ayers Rocks, a pile standing 1,200 feet high in the middle of a plain.
Conway figures to hit the takeoff ramp at 450 miles per hour and land via parachute. That done, he is supposed to make two jumps over vast expanses of water for a reputed $2.5 million.