Just six laps into the 79-lap 1970 Riverside Raceway SCCA Pro Racing Trans Ambattle, Indianapolis 500 winnerand many-time USAC championParnelli Jones’ bright orangeFord Mustang was backwardsand off the track in Turn 9,suffering bodywork and spoilerdamage, clawing for traction.
Jones skidded back onthe racing surface and wasquickly up to speed once more,
Fifty years on from the watershed 1970 season, the intensity and ferocity of today’s SCCA Pro Racing Trans Amseries brings back a flood of memories | WORDS Steve Nickless | IMAGES Dave Friedman Collection / Benson Ford Research
well behind then-race-leadingteammate George Follmer butbeginning one of the mostmemorable come-back drives inthe storied history of the SCCATrans American Championship.
After the race, Jones would
joke about the vibration, about
using the curbing to turn the car;
but his rivals on the day – on the
season – could only hang their
heads. Jones’ Bud Moore-built
No. 15 Mustang had caught and
passed Follmer’s No. 16 with
eight laps remaining at Riverside
International Raceway, Oct. 4,
1970, clattering on to claim
its second consecutive Trans
Am victory, fifth on the season,
further solidifying Ford’s lock on
the manufacturer’s championship.
Nearly 50 years later, one
veteran and one young driver
whose skills might someday
carry them to Parnelli Jones
heights – Ed Sevadjian and Tyler
Kicera, respectively – split a
pair of victories on the same
Southern California circuit,
triggering a flood of memories
in those lucky enough to have
witnessed both events.
Much beloved RiversideRaceway, of course, gave itsconcrete and asphalt life fora shopping center back in1989. But, almost magically,the fast nine-turn circuit hasbeen resurrected in virtual
SIMPLY THE BEST
With thrilling on-track action(MAIN) alongside racingsuperstars and heated paddockaction (RIGH T), the 1970 SCCAPro Racing Trans Am season isstill considered one of the best inmore than 50 years of the series.