A Sad Loss for Racing

Today, I lost something that, to me, is as identifiable to racing as an a white ball with red stitching is to baseball or the pig is to football.

It was something that had been to victory lane at the Indianapolis 500 in nine of my twenty-two races.  It had been driven around the world by names such as:

Mears
Senna
Fittipaldi
Unser
Andretti
Hornish
Castroneves
Prost
Tracy
Häkkinen
de Ferran
Rosberg
Lauda
Mansell

Sure, it evolved over the years, but today Team Penske unveiled their new livery and (at least as far as I know) the classic Marlboro paint scheme has exited racing entirely.

You will be missed.

Update:  George wrote about 20,000 words expressing the same feelings a while back.  Also, my calculations are that the Marlboro scheme had a 50% success rate at Indianapolis when qualified.

10 Responses to “A Sad Loss for Racing”

  1. Paul Dalbey Says:

    Danny Sullivan drove that livery as well in 1990. It is a sad day, indeed.

  2. Splash N Go Says:

    Team Marlboro is gone. I shall still smoke their glorious cancer sticks when Helio screams across that yard of bricks on the 200th lap.

  3. Vic Says:

    I agree Will. I mean, Power and Briscoe’s new colors look good, (the orange-red accents on HCN’s car are hidious), but I challenge anyone to look at those new liveries and then take a look at the pic you posted of the classic scheme and tell us the new one is better. NO way man! I always thought it looked a little weird reading “Team Penske” instead of Marlboro on the pods, but hey, we recognized it always! It will be missed.

  4. BBOvenGuy Says:

    I won’t miss the Marlboro colors, but I do miss the dark blue Sunoco paint scheme that Penske started with for Mark Donohue and Gary Bettenhausen.

  5. The Speedgeek Says:

    Sad day for those classic colors, for sure. Not as sad as when Paul Tracy almost knocked over a motorhome in the infield at Road America with those same colors, but a sad day, nevertheless.

  6. Cousin Joe Says:

    I give it a big BOOOOOO! even Helio doesn’t look happy in the pic.

  7. Oilpressure Says:

    You know my feelings….was it really 20,000?

  8. H.B. Donnelly Says:

    there’s no way i was the only person that thought of this when they saw the new Penske cars.

    It will be a little disconcerting when May rolls around to pick these cars out of the crowd…it’ll be like if Ferrari showed up at an F1 race with their cars painted purple.

  9. Racenutdon Says:

    The bright red/orange #14 that Super Tex drove from ‘73 to’77 is the car I miss. I also wish I could have seen the Johnny Lightning Special that Al Unser won with in ‘70 and ‘71. I was 9 when I attended my 1st 500 in 1974.

  10. Mark Wick Says:

    I have never been happier to see a change in the look of a race car. I had a lot of respect for Roger Penske and many of his various drivers until they started promoting products produced by some of the most despicable people to even walk this earth. By that I mean those at the big tobacco companies.
    This was very long overdue.