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Greg Moore: The Final Chapter, The 1999 Season

Hello Fellow Oppo’s. If you have been following me, we have covered home town hero Greg Moore’s racing from crashing go karts into drain pipes, to dominating Indy Lights to some highlights of his racing career up to his final 1999 season.

The 1999 Season got off to a pretty good start for Greg finally getting his big win at Miami. Sadly, that was Greg’s only win in 1999.

Here is Greg taking the win!

Greg managed to finish in the top 10 5 out of the 6 first races of the season got a 3rd at Detroit and a couple 4th places, but sadly Greg once again retired in Vancouver (damn it home town curse) and also retired most of the back half of the season, finishing not scoring any points in the final 5 races.

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One of the few highlights near the end of Greg’s last season was this defense against Tony Kanaan in Detroit.

The team Greg was racing for Forsythe Racing (the only team Greg had ever known) was struggling.

Forsythe used a big heavy Mercedes engine that despite being powerful, was a bit fragile. All those retirements weren’t because Greg and others were crashing into stuff, it was because the engines kept breaking. This would be the last year Mercedes would supply Forsythe’s engines, and Greg’s future with the team was uncertain.

Greg announced that he had signed a contract with Penske racing ( who also had been using the big heavy Mercedes engine) starting in the year 2000. Penske was switching up engine suppliers and at that time needed a driver to bridge the gap as they had some transition years in front of them.

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Penske was a powerhouse though, and Forsythe was a minnow. Indeed Forsythe racing ceased operations in 2007. Penske still races in many series including NASCAR.

All this meant throughout Greg’s entire professional racing career, his race on Oct 31 1999 would probably be his last for Forsythe. Unfortunately before the race, Greg had a slight motor scooter accident and broke his thumb. But the doctors cleared him to race with Greg starting dead last.

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(Left to right, Max Papis, Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Greg Moore sit on their motorscooters in this undated photo).

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Personally, I never met Greg. But I think he raced just for old times sake. He was way out of the championship, and just wanted to put one last run in with his old team before a new story awaited.

Sadly, that day was never to come. On October 31 1999, Lap 10 of the Marlboro 500 at the Auto Club Speedway (or as it was then called “the California Speedway”) Greg Moore lost control of his car at top speed (230 MPH) or roughly 370 km/h, flipped over the pit road and slammed into the wall head first.

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According to this article here Greg sustained a 154 G’s impact. That is simply much more force than the human body is capable of withstanding.

Oppo, I struggled with whether to provide you footage of this horrific moment. But we can’t sanitize racing, or the very real injuries and deaths that our love of motorsport can unfortunately lead to. I love motorsports, but, bad things can and do sometimes happen. It’s important that we consider driver and spectator safety at every turn.

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In the end I decided, self censorship is for the weak. But be forwarned. This clip is of an incredibly violent crash that left the 24 year old driver, Greg Moore dead.

When they say “further resuscitative efforts” that’s a knife.

This video definitely hits one right in the heart. The other drivers of the race were not informed of Greg’s death until the race was ended. CART came under some criticism for not informing the other drivers and continuing to run the race. Like it or lump it however, that is what they chose to do.

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Pablo Montoya won the race, but the post race celebration was cancelled out of respect for Greg.

Greg died at 24 on Oct 31 1999. Rest in peace Greg, you are remembered fondly to this day.

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I thought I would leave you Oppo with some reactions from Greg’s death from his fellow race car drivers.

Sometimes, great stories do not have great endings.

Thinking of you Greg, April 22 1975- Oct 31 1999.

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