Marlboro Challenge

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The Marlboro Challenge was an all-star CART series race held from 1987–1992, sponsored by cigarette brand Marlboro. After 1992, the race was discontinued, in part because Phillip Morris reorganized its race sponsorship after the Marlboro Grand Prix of New York fell through. The race was considered a non-points exhibition race, and did not count towards championship standings or official statistics.

An all-star game is an exhibition game that purports to showcase the best players of a sports league. The exhibition is between two teams organized solely for the event, usually representing the league's teams based on region or division, but sometimes dividing the players by an attribute such as nationality. Selection of the players may be done by a vote of the coaches and/or news media; in professional leagues, fans may vote on some or all of the roster. An all-star game usually occurs at the midpoint of the regular season. An exception is American football's Pro Bowl, which occurs at the end of the season.

Champ Car Defunct North American open wheel auto racing organization

Champ Car was the trade name for Open Wheel Racing Series Inc., a sanctioning body for American open-wheel car racing that operated from 2003 to 2008.

Marlboro (cigarette) cigarette brand

Marlboro is an American brand of cigarettes, currently owned and manufactured by Philip Morris USA within the United States, and by Philip Morris International outside the United States. Richmond, Virginia, is the location of the largest Marlboro cigarette manufacturing plant. Marlboro is the global best-selling cigarette brand since 1972.

Contents

Twelve drivers qualified for the 1987 race, although only ten started the race. In the other editions, ten drivers were selected. The selection criteria were as follows: all race winners and pole position winners since the previous year's Marlboro Challenge; previous year's season champion; and defending Indianapolis 500 winner. If the field was still small, it could be filled out by top race finishers (most second places, third places, etc.) in the current season's standings.

Indianapolis 500 Auto race held in Speedway, Indiana, United States

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Speedway, Indiana, United States, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend in late May. It is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing". The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500, and the track itself is nicknamed "the Brickyard", as the racing surfacing was paved in brick in the fall of 1909.

It was normally held in conjunction with the final race weekend of the season. The race distance each year was approximately 100 miles, which normally required one pit stop for fuel. The distance was typically one half the accompanying points-paying race distance (≈200 miles). It was held at three different locations during its history:

Nazareth Speedway was an auto racing facility near Nazareth in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania which operated from 1910 to 2004 in two distinct course configurations. In its early years, it was a dirt twin oval layout. In 1987 it was reopened as a paved tri-oval that measured just slightly under 1 mile.

Winners

SeasonDateLocationDriverChassisEngineTeam
1987 October 31 Tamiami Park Flag of the United States.svg Bobby Rahal Lola Cosworth Truesports
1988 November 5 Tamiami Park Flag of the United States.svg Michael Andretti Lola Cosworth Kraco Racing
1989 October 14 Laguna Seca Flag of the United States.svg Al Unser, Jr. Lola Chevrolet Galles Racing
1990 October 6 Nazareth Flag of the United States.svg Rick Mears Penske Chevrolet Penske Racing
1991 October 19 Laguna Seca Flag of the United States.svg Michael Andretti Lola Chevrolet Newman/Haas Racing
1992 October 3 Nazareth Flag of Brazil.svg Emerson Fittipaldi Penske Chevrolet Penske Racing

Race summaries

Raul Boesel Brazilian racecar driver

Raul de Mesquita Boesel is a former racing driver who raced for the March and Ligier Formula One teams and later raced in Champ Car and the Indy Racing League.

Bobby Rahal American racecar driver

Robert Woodward "Bobby" Rahal is an American former auto racing driver and team owner. As a driver he won three championships and 24 races in the CART open-wheel series, including the 1986 Indianapolis 500. He also won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner for the winning driver, Buddy Rice.

Emerson Fittipaldi Brazilian racecar driver and team owner

Emerson Fittipaldi is a semi-retired Brazilian automobile racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship and the Indianapolis 500 twice each and the CART championship once.

Marlboro Million

During its tenure, from 1988–1991, the race was part of the Marlboro Million bonus program, which was similar to NASCAR's Winston Million. Any driver who won the Marlboro Grand Prix at the Meadowlands, the Marlboro 500 at Michigan, and Marlboro Challenge in the same season, would win a $1,000,000 bonus. [7] The first driver to win two of the three races was eligible for a $150,000 bonus. The award was never achieved, and no driver won two of the three races in the set in a year.

The Meadowlands Grand Prix was a CART IndyCar race held at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey from 1984 until 1991. The event was the first major auto race in the New York City metropolitan area since the 1937 Vanderbilt Cup, and came with high expectations, including the potential of rivaling the Indianapolis 500 in stature, and crowds of up to 60,000.

Meadowlands Sports Complex stadium

The Meadowlands Sports Complex is a sports and entertainment complex located in East Rutherford, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA).

Firestone Indy 400

The Firestone Indy 400 was an IndyCar Series race held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The event was most recently held in 2007. From 1981 to 2001, the event was better-known as the Michigan 500, and was held in high prestige. During its heyday of the 1980s, the race was part of Indy car racing's 500-mile "Triple Crown".

In 1991, Rick Mears was leading the Marlboro Challenge on the final lap when his car sputtered in the final turn due to low fuel pressure. He had won the Marlboro 500 earlier that year, and would have won the $150,000 bonus had he held on over the final few seconds to win.

Rick Mears American racecar driver

Rick Ravon Mears, also known by the nickname "Rocket Rick", is a retired American race car driver. He is one of three men to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, and is the current record-holder for pole positions in the race with six. Mears is also a three-time Indycar series/World Series champion.

Marlboro Million results

Season Meadowlands Michigan ChallengeNotes
1988 Al Unser, Jr. Danny Sullivan Michael Andretti
1989 Bobby Rahal Michael Andretti Al Unser, Jr.
1990 Michael Andretti Al Unser, Jr. Rick Mears
1991 Bobby Rahal Rick Mears Michael Andretti Mears finished 2nd in the Challenge

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References

  1. "Marlboro Challenge captured by Rahal". The Indianapolis Star. November 1, 1987. p. 83. Retrieved October 24, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. Shaffer, Rick (November 6, 1988). "Michael Andretti holds off Al Jr. for Marlboro win". The Indianapolis Star. p. 81. Retrieved October 24, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  3. Schaffer, Rick (October 15, 1989). "Little Al takes Marlboro race". The Indianapolis Star. p. 68. Retrieved September 6, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. Schaffer, Rick (October 7, 1990). "Mears answers Marlboro Challenge". The Indianapolis Star. p. 57. Retrieved September 6, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. Miller, Robin (October 20, 1991). "Mears' sputter hands Challenge to Michael". The Indianapolis Star. p. 20. Retrieved September 6, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. Miller, Robin (October 4, 1992). "Fittipaldi gets victory clouded by objection". The Indianapolis Star. p. 48. Retrieved October 24, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. "Marlboro to award big bonus". The Indianapolis Star. July 20, 1988. p. 18. Retrieved October 24, 2018 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg