|More on GP
Patterson started his long racing
career in the late 50's in Hells Canyon, Oregon. but he never
one place long. The next race track or motel near the track is
what he called home.
He lived and breathed racing for his entire
life. He was a true OUTLAW of the sprint car
racing world and was feared
and respected by many in racing....
This story about G. P.
happened down under in Australia. He took a midget car down to
race in Australia, they put a PEACE symbol on the car as the number
cause G. P.'s cars
always had peace signs on them. So he raced
the car a few times. When a spectator
approached him with the
question "What kind of number is that?" G. P. replied to the fan
that it was a # 1 (one) with crutches cause he was so DAMN FAST that
it needed them to
stay upright while he raced. G. P. was one
who always had a colorful reply and he did
so in order to make the
fans LOVE or HATE him. Whatever got them to the race track
is missed VERY MUCH around the WORLD...
|ON THE GAS with G. P.
G. P was racing at Ascot one night in #56 car he had this old
dry-rotted firestone tire he
had a normal groove in, but one side of the
tire he grooved "bite my ass". He covered the
tire with tarp, went
out and set 3rd quick time. The L.A. boys Thompson, Noffsinger and
others had to see what G. P. was running and they kept trying to knock
this tarp off, finally they got a
glimpse of the hidden tire and they
could hardly believe that old thing set 3rd quick time.
P. replied to them you can either try that tire or just do what it says,
that's when they
realized what the tire had grooved into the tread "Bite
My Ass". They all left totally
disgusted By G. P's behavior.
Once again G. P. got the" Weekend Warriors "
on The Ropes...That was what G. P. lived for.....
G. P. raced at the Knoxville Nationals many times, racing to
win the most
respected trophy in all sprint car racing, and it was held out of
For his great racing career he won a place in the Sprint Car Hall Of
located at Knoxville Raceway.....
|Gary Patterson was
one of the original Outlaws, traveling from track to track
before it was fashionable. As a true independent, he answered only
He raced what he wanted and where he wanted, seeking the biggest
or the biggest purse. But, no matter where he was found, he lived
and raced only
by his choices. No promoter, no race car owner, and no sanctioning
group had a leash on "GP".
He was among the most well
known sprint car drivers in the world, revered
in some quarters, considered in more controversial terms in others.
he was universally recognized and respected for his driving talent
at every track
from Knoxville to Adelaide. Regardless of his politics, he stood for
wheel-to-wheel, give-no-quarter, competitive racing.
"GP", "The Preacher", was
one of Northern California's favorite sons.
And even though he ran on everything from mile ovals to bullrings,
1/2 mile Calistoga Speedway was one of his favorites (he still holds
the one lap
track record for non-winged sprint cars there). He raced Calistoga
Even the 1983 accident that ended his life was the result of his own
choice - to
take his chances with the wall rather than take out another driver
along the way. He lived by his own decisions, he raced by his own decisions, and
afraid to face the consequences. He respected other people's
He expected no less than the same respect for his own.
|One of the
most clear memories of GP was a Saturday night at
Liverpool City Raceway (on the asphalt track). GP had requested a engine
warm up at the rear of the field in a encourage race full of B graders
at the time.
These races where equivalent to a B main these days and the
race was over 15 laps. For the first 10 laps GP circulated and the
rear of the
field his Sesco sounding beautiful. 5 laps from the end GP must have
lets see how the car really goes so one by one he picked car after car
Two laps from the end the chief steward decided this was not in the
script and brought
out black flag well like a red flag to a bull GP was
having no part of it .
He reeled in car after car ,on the last corner the two leaders left
enough room to
squeeze a car through and away went GP THROUGH THE GAP to on the line to
by wheel length. Well GP decided he would go around to accept the
well when he got there, there was a welcoming party of the stewards a
discussion took place and GP returned to the pits not a happy man.
The stewards were in a flap the announcer and promoters loved it
but most of the all the crowd were on their feet to a man loving it
cheering GP, needless to
say who came out and blew the feature race away.....GP
The man was
what this sport sadly lacks these days a racer and entertainer.
GP meets the Prime Minister