2017 The Talk of Gasoline Alley Episode Guide

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The 2017 month of May episodes of The Talk of Gasoline Alley began Monday May 8 on 107.5/1070 The Fan (WFNI). A special “pre-May” segment was aired as part of Trackside with Curt Cavin & Kevin Lee on April 5.


For Podcasts & Downloads of 2017 episodes, see Indy 500 Coverage at 107.5/1070 The Fan

For Downloads of 2000-2016 episodes, see Audio Downloads

For The Talk of Gasoline Alley Episode Guides from 2000-2017, see TOGA Episode Guides


2017 Broadcast schedule:

  • 107.5 FM / 1070 AM The Fan WFNI
  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Trackside with Curt Cavin & Kevin Lee Presented by Verizon
  • 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Donald Davidson’s The Talk of Gasoline Alley

4-5-2017: (Trackside special episode): Donald’s 2017 promotional tour, A.J. Foyt display at the IMS Museum, the first 500 that Foyt attended…also the Night Before the 500 races at 16th Street Speedway across the street, Al Unser Jr. and Scott Goodyear 1992 race 25th anniversary reception, A.J. Foyt’s Carb Day crash (unanswered), announcer George Hoster, Floyd Trevis, changes to the pit road entrance, O’Dell-Shields as official photographer, Oldtimers Club for Safety Patrol, 2006 finish vs. 1992 finish, Evel Knievel at Indy, cars entered by the Speedway, Bryan Clauson memorial marker.

Mon. 5-8-2017: May welcome, history of “The Talk of Gasoline Alley” program, early names of the show, format, and evolution of the show over the years, Donald’s 2017 spring promotional tour, Race Night in Rushville, anticipation for who will be the first caller of the year…first caller is Mike in Vernon Hills, the 1967 starting field, buzz surrounding the arrival of Fernando Alonso, Formula One fans at the Speedway for the 500 and the for U.S. Grand Prix, date for the Monaco Grand Prix, Formula One drivers at Indy, Bobby Marshman, Jim Phillippe.

Tue. 5-9-2017: Discussion about 1992 Finish 25th Anniversary reception event upcoming at the Museum, Tony Willman (includes 1940 Shorty Cantlon story being replaced by Babe Stapp on race morning), Lexington Car Company, identification of photo, [Paul in Racine] Bobby Marshman story, Janet Guthrie in 1977 (includes 1976 Janet story testing A.J. Foyt’s car – “It’s Herk” instead of “It’s Her”), Ed Elisian in 1958, origin of the term “Indy”, using the term Indy 500 instead of Indianapolis 500 (also mention of Gene Simmons).

Wed. 5-10-2017: Co-hosted by David Dearing, Phil Hedbeck of Bryant Heating and Cooling, silver dollars poured into the driver’s helmet in 1962 and 1977, Andy Dunlop and the Central Excavating team, teams entering cars without a driver assigned, drivers arriving at the track without a ride and “pounding the pavement”, Fred Agabashian (includes Donald’s visit to the radio booth in 1964), USAC Stock Car division, the 1997 race and rain delay.

Thu. 5-11-2017: Jim McElreath [Dave from Marion], James McElreath Jr., includes Salt Walther story from Bump Day 1977, Granatelli Brothers at Indy, Sammy Sessions [Jerry in Delphi], Last Row Party, includes memories of Robin Miller as emcee, David Hobbs, Herm Johnson (will wait until next day).

Fri. 5-12-2017: Al Keller [Mike in Vernon Hills], follow up on Herm Johnson, includes Mini Indy Series and Penske/Menard story about the 1982 race with Mears running into the back of Johnson, 1978 Awards banquet and the Bosch trophy falling apart, 1959 winning car, memories of cars in open trailers, Tom Bigelow, Sherman Armstrong, Mike Mosely.

Sat. 5-13-2017: (IndyCar Grand Prix Post-Race Show) First half of the show was the Grand Prix post-race discussions. IndyCar recruiting women, more post-race observations, Will Power press conference, Lee Elkins, buying one’s way into the race…what sort of experience would one need to get into the race, includes mention of Marty Roth, Dave Pratt (not answered).

Sun. 5-14-2017: No show due to Mother’s Day.

Mon. 5-15-2017: Donald’s favorite era, Donald’s favorite driver, Theodore Pilette, teams travelling from Europe to the 500 in early years, Andre Pilette, Wally Meskowski and Eddie Sachs [Mike in Vernon Hills], Chet Miller, 1930 Fronty Ford / Model T story, Sid Collins’ replacement in 1977 (why not Jim Shelton or Lou Palmer), Lou Palmer taking over after Paul Page, Scott Brayton, 1989 story about Raul Boesel, Brayton, Mario Andretti, or A.J. Foyt hypothetically winning the race had Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr. both crashed out, end of the Buick program (not answered), mention of reception at the museum for 25th anniversary of the 1992 finish.

Tue. 5-16-2017: Robin Miller (includes the origins of the pre-race Pit Walk), Formula One World Championship winning drivers at Indianapolis, recent drivers that have competed at Indy and won an F1 Grand Prix race, Eldon Rasmussen, Ray Howard, Alexander Rossi’s final lap speed, cars and drivers replaced after qualifying, chocolate milk in victory lane, Salt Walther.

Wed. 5-17-2017: Swede Savage (includes 1973 crash), Pat Patrick and his connections with Chip Ganassi, cancellation of the 1917 race, drivers in WWI, Speedway as an aviation depot during WWI, follow up on Swede Savage, 1965 pole position winning Lotus and the 1965 battle for the pole, world famous drivers at Indy.

Thu. 5-18-2017: First alternates (specifically 1986 and 1984), Joel Thorne attempting to buy cars and withdraw them out of the field so he could enter the field as the first alternate in 1937, situations involving Sam Hanks and George Barringer in 1941, other years with withdrawn cars not replaced by alternates, Bob Laycock’s job monitoring the starting field in case they need an alternate, Dave from Marion’s first call – Don Freeland, remembering Jim McElreath, includes Donald after the race in 1964, Nelson Piquet dropping out in 1993, cars/drivers that dropped out due to mysterious handling problems or dropped out of their own decision (Rodger Ward in 1966, Al Unser Sr in 1986), Billy Arnold.

Fri. 5-19-2017: Donald’s role during qualifying in the older years, history of the Marmon Wasp, Johnny Parsons Jr., Babe Stapp, the A.J. Foyt/Robin Miller “fight”, first paved tracks, Dutch Baumann, Pole Day crowds.

Sat. 5-20-2017: (Time Trials rain delay) Total number of drivers that have competed in the 500 (starting drivers vs. those who only drove relief), short track drivers at Indy (Davey Hamilton), number of American in the first 500 and foreign participation in the early years, Davey Hamilton’s qualifying attempt in 1995 overshadowed by announcement on the P.A. that the Indiana Pacers had won their game, rookie stripes, Donald’s 1969 interview with A.J. Foyt, Mike Thomsen visits the booth, looking back at the 1992 race, broadcasters from the 1992 radio crew, bump day memories, public address crew of Tom Carnegie, Jim Phillippe, and John Totten.

Sun. 5-21-2017: (Time Trials Post-race show) Last year where a driver was in the field that didn’t qualify, qualifying recaps, Ed Carpenter press conference, more qualifying recaps, Scott Dixon press conference, Teo Fabi winning the pole position in 1983 (Lou Palmer’s “Kings Island” quote), Fernando Alonso compared to the media frenzy surrounding Nigel Mansell in 1993, Bill Alsup, Arie Luyendyk’s 1996 track record qualifying run, Belond Special (Mrs. Alice Hanks), first time a non-qualifying car and driver is in the field? (James Davison), greatest Indy driver in 100 years, Jim McElreath.

Mon. 5-22-2017: Photographer Glen Benninger, the 1992 reception at the museum, Billy Arnold, “The Crowd Roars” film, Donald’s favorite part of the 100th running celebration in 2016, Johnny McDowell (Mike in Vernon Hills), Bob Laycock’s qualifying speed boards, Peter Revson’s girlfriend Marjorie Wallace, the 1971 McLaren M16 with the “wing” as part of the bodywork, Mark Donohue and Peter Revson battle for the 1971 pole position, Johnny Capels (Paul in Racine)

Tue. 5-23-2017: (E-mail only show) Jack Brabham, 1961 Cooper Climax rear engine car, 500 races with multiple drivers in the field who have driven in a Formula One grand prix, Vita Fresh Orange Juice Specials and Gordon Van Liew, 500 Oldtimers Club, George Bignotti, Dusty Fahrnow, notable drivers with only one 500 start, 767 starting drivers through the 2017 race, the Golden Submarine (Barney Oldfield).

Wed. 5-24-2017: (Co-hosted by David Dearing) Scoring transponders, 1992 reception, Ayrton Senna testing an Indy car with Penske at Firebird, drivers that were almost late to the race – includes Rodger Ward in 1957, Eddie Russo in 1960, Eddie Sachs/Jim Rathmann Holiday Inn story in 1960, PACER Lights system, two-way radios in the cars, George Howie, Carl Haas (Paul in Racine), Graham Hill’s oval experience prior to being at the 500…none (also Jim Clark and Jack Brabham)

Thu. 5-25-2017: (E-mail only show) Last pre-WWI drivers, oldest living drivers, youngest drivers, Paula Murphy and Donald’s 1976 trip around the world, Dinner With Racers, Janet Guthrie practicing for A.J. Foyt in 1976, pace car being presented to the winner, Tom Sneva’s 1977 McLaren, other Indy 500 McLaren cars, Neil Armstrong’s connects to the 500 (Purdue Band), other celebrities connections to the 500, Belond Special and Sumar Special (Closed-canopy cars), Peter Revson, Aldo Andretti.

Fri. 5-26-2017: No show due to Carb Night Burger Bash

Sat. 5-27-2017: No show – Night before the 500 marathon of “500 in 60” episodes

Sun. 5-28-2017: Race day post-race show- Introduction, Helio Castroneves & Ed Jones press conference, race recaps, Takuma Sato & Michael Andretti winner’s press conference, Donald’s post-race observations (including Jones), race recaps/observations, Takuma Sato 40 years old for first win, race records, 2004 tornado, James Davison, “Back Home Again In Indiana” by Jim Cornelison, Sebastien Bourdais, Japanese drivers at Indy, Fernando Alonso, red flags, history of the Borg Warner Trophy and the base.

Brickyard 400 Week

Mon. 7-17-2017: 50th anniversary of Indy cars in Canada, Mosport, Richard Petty at Exhibition Place Toronto oval in 1958, Eddie Sachs in 1963 rolling his wheel back to the pits, Jackie Stewart pushing his car in 1966, 1966 Rookie of the Year (Stewart not Graham Hill), Fred Lorenzen [Mike in Vernon Hills], Shortly Templeman, the first 16th Street Speedway across the street (1946-1957), season ending Indy car race at the Speedway?, Key Largo restaurant that was opened by Carl Fisher, Donald to be inducted into the USAC Hall of Fame, 2017 USAC Hall of Fame inductees, follow up on 16th Street Speedway, Indiana drivers vs. Texas drivers race.

Tue. 7-18-2017: Sid Collins interview with Ray Harroun, Donald’s interview with Harroun, “The Crucible of Speed” documentary, the original color of the Marmon “Wasp”, 1910 Marmom “Wasp” crash, first stock car drivers at the 500, T.E. “Pop” Myers, the Mouse House, Roger McCluskey [Mike in Vernon Hills], Speedway Motel memorabilia, motels in and around Speedway, Larry “Boom Boom” Cannon, Mates White Front tavern.

Wed. 7-19-2017: (David Dearing co-host) Follow up on Mates White Front tavern including “movie night”, when did the race become the biggest race in U.S., Danny Ongais and other drag racers at Indy, Art Malone and Don Garlits, Bud Tinglestad, Lee Petty, “Umbrella” Mike Boyle.

Thu. 7-20-2017: (E-mail only show) Les Anderson and the Kennedy Tank Special, Tim Richmond (includes Donald working for Motorweek Illustrated), Cliff Bergere (includes 1941 race, “To Please a Lady”), The Greatest 33, 1920 AAA Championship Car season, Russ Caitlin and changes to the record books, Parnelli Jones and the Marmon Wasp engine failure on race morning 2011, Hughie Hughes, Native Americans in the 500, Everette Sailor, fabricators, reactions by Indy car people of the 400 announcement.

Fri. 7-21-2017: (David Dearing co-host) Follow up on drag racers at Indy, Richard “Red” Amick and the 1957-1958 race winning car history, Kenny Irwin, more on Amick, Andy Hillenberg at the 2000 race, Masten Gregory,  the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans won by Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt, Norm Nelson [Paul in Racine], Steve Kinser at the 500. Follow up on USAC Hall of Fame.


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