Road Racing Drivers Club President Bobby Rahal cordially invites you to attend the RRDC Evening with Rick Mears Presented by Firestone:
Long Beach Hilton, Thursday, April 7
Seats $280 ($250 for paid-up RRDC members only) in advance (or $300/$270 after March 28)
Reservations Required (to firstname.lastname@example.org)
RICK MEARS – THANKS!
Google “Rick Mears” and, by rights, you should be directed to multiple Wikipedia entries: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner of course, but also racer and gentleman. For his singular fusion of scrupulously clean racing and modest grace made Rick not just a racer’s racer, but one of motorsports’ finest ambassadors; one who autographed countless hats and tee shirts “Rick Mears – Thanks!” And meant it.
Although he didn’t make the show in his first go-round at Indianapolis, Rick caught the eye of Roger Penske who offered him a part-time ride the following season. All the kid from Bakersfield did was qualify on the front row at Indianapolis and collect the first three of his 29 IndyCar wins later that season, securing a job with The Captain.
The next year Mears captured his first Indy 500 and National Championship. Two more Indy wins, a pair of national titles, even a promising F1 test followed. But all was not milk and champagne. In ’84 a crash resulted in terrible lower extremity injuries. Following an agonizing rehabilitation, he returned to action, winning the Pocono 500 less than a year after his accident.
Victorious from Phoenix to Brands Hatch, Milwaukee to Laguna Seca, Rick had a special affinity for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When a defective wheel nut sent him into the wall during practice in ’91, it was the first time he had so much as spun at The Brickyard. Undaunted, he rebounded to secure a record sixth pole before besting Michael Andretti in an heroic duel to join A.J. Foyt and Al Unser in one of racing’s most exclusive clubs.
While Rick Mears the driver retired after the following season, Rick Mears the racer and gentleman did not. As spotter/advisor he has contributed mightily to the eight championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 wins earned by Team Penske since ’92 – not to mention mentoring Helio Castroneves, the newest member of the four-time Indy winner club – as he has continued signing ever more hats and tee shirts “Rick Mears – Thanks.”
When we first decided to honor Rick in 2020, little could anyone have known he was destined to become the first (and we hope, only) member of the thrice-delayed RRDC dinner honoree club.
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been worth the wait, and I hope you’ll join me at the RRDC dinner for our turn to say “Thank you – Rick Mears.”
Outdoor cocktails will commence at 6:00 p.m. Dinner is at 7:15 p.m. sharp.
Tickets for our 12th Annual Legends Dinner are expected to sell out quickly, so don’t get left behind.
RRDC President Bobby Rahal
RSVP to Jeremy Shaw at email@example.com, then complete the attached form and mail it, along with a check made out to RRDC, to:
John C. Fergus, RRDC Treasurer, 8377 Green Meadows Drive N, Suite A, Lewis Center, OH 43035.
Our thanks to Dan R. Boyd, Racemaker Press, Gordon Kirby, David Phillips and Paul Laguette.