He would have been the fastest rookie by a considerable margin, hence a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year.  Predictably, a week later Tony was bumped from the field by Bill Vukovich, and forced to shop around for another ride.


    Now began the desperate search for a "diamond in the rough".

Coasting through Turn One during qualifying

     Incredibly, Harlan Fengler, the autocratic Chief Steward who ran everything at Indy, decided the yellow lap counted!  So Tony became the only driver in the history of Indy to be Officially Qualified under a yellow light.  Amid much controversy, and despite protest from sponsors and car owners alike, Fengler (who drove at Indy in 1923, and openly disliked road race drivers) insisted that Tony could not re-qualify the car.  That's the way things were done in those days.  Of course, the four lap average was dismal and would not stand.  Taken alone, Tony's three good laps would have placed him solidly in the race starting beside Dan Gurney. 

Tony qualifies under an "accidental" yellow light!


              Indy-500,   May, 1970    cont.

Here's what happened when Tony Qualified:


     A careless USAC official manning the track lights in turn 1, failed to notice that Tony was given the green flag for his four lap qualifying run by the starter Pat Bedand.  When Tony dove into Turn #1 at 225 mph, the fellow activated the yellow track lights!  Everyone saw it.


     Tony dutifully lifted and coasted through Turns 1 and 2.  Then the green light flashed on for good, and Tony ran hard until receiving the checkered flag at the end of four laps.  His first lap, ruined by USAC's error, was only 160.8 mph.  The second lap was 166.8, the third was 166.4, the fourth was 164.8

Tony roars down pit lane in the Patrick Petroleum Turbo-Offy Eagle

Tony waves to the Turn One crowd after qualifying

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz

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