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Race Car Driver

January 31, 2010 | By Haitham Chehabi
Zoom! Zoom! Vroom! Vroom! oom! Zoom! Vroom! Vroom! Grandma Jenkins sped down the track in her banged-up old Chevy, glory galloping through her veins. "You can't catch me now, fools!" she crowed. And then, with a loud cackle, she pounced her way toward the finish line, howling with victory. The young men Grandma was racing against dipped their heads in shame and shuffled away. "Beaten by a grandma," one of the men muttered, looking dazed. "That's right, Cream Puff!"
October 14, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Donna Mae Mims, 82, the first woman to win a Sports Car Club of America national championship and a participant in the original "Cannonball Run" that became the subject of a 1981 movie starring Burt Reynolds, died Oct. 6 from complications after a stroke, said officials at a funeral home in McMurray, Pa. Mims was known as "the Pink Lady" for driving mostly in pink cars and often wearing pink. Mims said in a 1964 Times article that she started racing after working on a friend's pit crew in Pittsburgh and asking to take a practice lap. "That did it, I was hooked," she said.
October 14, 2009
Al Martino Singer had role in 'The Godfather' Al Martino, the singer who played the role of Johnny Fontane in "The Godfather," died Tuesday at his childhood home in suburban Philadelphia. He was 82. Martino died in Springfield, Pa., publicist Sandy Friedman of Rogers & Cowan announced. A cause of death was not given. Starting in 1952, Martino was known for hit songs including "Here in My Heart," "Spanish Eyes," "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Volare. " Besides acting in the Marlon Brando classic "The Godfather," he sang the 1972 film's title score, "The Love Theme From the Godfather.
November 7, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Don Freeland, 82, a Torrance race car driver who competed at the Indianapolis 500 eight times and finished third in 1956, died Friday in San Diego after a period of declining health, Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Tuesday. A Navy veteran during World War II, Freeland began racing roadsters in Southern California shortly after the war and moved up to AAA and USAC competition in 1952. He had 36 top-10 finishes and was third in the 1956 USAC championship points.
January 15, 2006 | SUSAN KING
IN the world of Pixar, toys face meaning-of-life dilemmas, monsters punch a time clock, fish learn parenting skills and superheroes retire. It seems only natural then that cars should be taught to appreciate the truly important things in life.
August 5, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
A Lower Lake race car driver was killed when she lost control of her car and slammed into a wall at the Lake County Fairgrounds speedway, officials said. Marlene Baker crashed during a women's race Saturday. It was the track's first fatal accident. Baker's son, who was a passenger in the car, was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with a severe concussion. The crash occurred on the last lap of the last race of the evening on the quarter-mile oval track.
February 7, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Manfred von Brauchitsch, a Grand Prix winner who nevertheless was nicknamed "der Pechvogel" (roughly, "Mr. Unlucky") because of his misfortunes, has died. Von Brauchitsch, who was 97, died in Graefenwarth, Germany, it was reported Thursday. The cause of death was not given. Von Brauchitsch, a nephew to Gen. Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, commander in chief of the German army during World War II, began racing his cousin's Mercedes in 1929.
Jason Priestley, heartthrob of the 1990s TV teen drama "Beverly Hills 90210," was in serious condition Sunday after his car slammed into two retaining walls during a practice lap at a Kentucky auto race. The actor's Indy-style car, traveling at nearly 180 mph, hit an outside wall coming out of the second turn of the final practice lap for the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, then spun and hit an inside wall.
Celebrities are nothing new to auto racing. Paul Newman and Gene Hackman are among the biggest stars to get behind the wheel, and Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil took a run in the old Indy Lights Series, a breeding ground for some of today's top drivers. But Jason Priestley is accelerating into uncharted territory for a Hollywood figure. The star of "Beverly Hills 90210" is racing against the next generation of Indianapolis 500 drivers.
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