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Covid Casual Friday

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Photo: byme

Today’s shirt if from either the 2005 or 2006 Darrick Walker Champ Car Racing Season. I am concluding it is from those two years because of the Aussie Vineyards livery and the Ford Champ Car logos. Ford ended it’s series sponsorship in 2006 so it is not a 2007 shirt.

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Primary drivers were Alex Tagliani and Marcus Marshall in 2005. Tagliani finished 7th in points that season and had a best finishes of third at the Grand Prix of Monterrey and also at Toronto.

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Photo: Getty Images (iStock by Getty Images)
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In 2006 Tagliani partnered with Indycar newcomer Will Power. Power finished team best 7th in points and had a best finish of third at the Grand Prix of Mexico.

Illustration for article titled Covid Casual Friday
Photo: daweb
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Derrick’s history is as interesting as his drivers. Per Wicki he started in auto racing as a chief mechanic for the Brabham Formula One team from 1970 to 1975.

When Penske left F1, Penske hired Walker as a mechanic. He stayed with Penske in some capacity until 1987. From 1977 until 1980 he was the general manager of Penske Cars’ manufacturing facility in Poole, England. He became Penske’s Vice President of racing, and watched the team win four PPG Cups (series championships) and four Indianapolis 500 races. Some of the most successful American drivers came through the Penske program during that period, including Rick Mears, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Sr. and Danny Sullivan.

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In 1988 the lone Porsche Indy Car team suffered a tragic loss with the death of team owner Al Holbert. Walker took over team management. With driver Teo Fabi, they won the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the only one in the storied marque’s Indy Car career. When the team went under, Walker purchased their assets, renamed Walker Motorsports.

Following the 2004 season, Walker sold a share of the team to Australian businessmen Craig Gore and John Fish, rebranding the team as Team Australia.[3] On 7 April 2007, Walker won his first race as a team owner since 1999. Team Australia’s Will Power won the inaugural Las Vegas GP. Walker racing closed out of the Champ Car series at the end of the 2007 season.

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Illustration for article titled Covid Casual Friday
Photo: byme

Derrick went on to be IndyCar Director of Competition for three years ending in 2015. Considering he started out as a mechanic and ended as both team owner and IndyCar executive, you have to say Derrick has had a heck of a career.

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