Howdy Holmes

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Howdy Holmes
HowdyHolmes41Jiffy.jpg
Nationality United States American
Born (1947-12-14) December 14, 1947 (age 66)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Achievements 1978 North American Forula Atlantic champion
Awards 1979 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
Champ Car career
72 race(s) run over 7 year(s)
Years active 1979-1980, 1982-1985, 1985
Team(s) AMI Racing (1979-1980)
Doug Shierson Racing (1982-1983)
Mayer Racing (1984)
Forsythe Racing (1985)
Morales Motorsports (1988)
Best champ.
finish
12th - 1984
First race 1979 Indianapolis 500 (Indianapolis)
Last race 1988 Nissan Indy Challenge (Tamiami Park)
Wins Podiums Poles
1

Howdy S. Holmes (born December 14, 1947, Ann Arbor, Michigan), is a former driver in the CART Championship Car series. He began racing in the early 1970s and was based in Stockbridge, Michigan, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Chelsea.

He raced in the CART series for 7 seasons (1979-1980, 1982-1985, and 1988), with 72[1] career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 each of those years except 1980. He finished in the top ten 26 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1984 at Phoenix. He was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the year in 1979, with a 7th place finish. In 1978, he was the Formula Atlantic champion.

Holmes is currently the President of Chelsea Milling Company, the manufacturer of Jiffy Baking Mix which was invented by his grandmother, Mabel White Holmes and who also served as his sponsor in CART.

Indy car career (USAC and CART)[edit]

Holmes would make his indy car debut in the USAC National Championship during 1979 for AMI Racing in the #46 Jiffy Mixes/Armstrong Mould Wildcat Mk. 2-Drake Goosen Sparks at the Indianapolis 500. In the race Holmes qualified in 13th place and would be the only rookie to qualify, meaning Holmes would win the rookie of the year award. Holmes would finish the race in 7th place. Holmes would drive a second race, the Music 500 Presented by Musicland & Sam Goody at Pocono International Raceway, starting and finishing 7th. Holmes would finish 12th in the USAC points, while going unranked towards the rival SCCA/CART PPG World Series due to Indianapolis counting towards the points for drivers competing in their championship.

In 1980 USAC and CART merged to form the Championship Racing League while also counting for points in the CART championship. Holmes would return with AMI Racing to drive the #43 Jiffy Mixes/Armstrong Mould Orbitor-Cosworth DFX. While Holmes was attempting to qualify the car he spun out and missed the race in that car. Holmes also tried to qualify AMI's #45 Armstrong Mould Lola T6000-Cosworth DFX, failing to qualify in that car also. During the season the Orbitor showed some promise, such as qualifying 6th at the Kent Oil 150 at Watkins Glen Grand Prix Circuit and an 8th place finish at the True Value 500 at Pocono International Raceway. Holmes would finish 12th in the CRL/USAC standings and 22nd in the CART standings. Holmes would not compete in any races in 1981.

In 1982 Holmes would drive for Doug Shierson Racing in the #30 Domino's Pizza March 82C-Cosworth DFX. During the season Holmes would get best finiashes of 4th at the Provimi Veal Tony Bettenhausen 200 at Wisconsin State Fairgrounds Park Speedway and 5th at the Detroit News Grand Prix at Michigan International Speedway to finish 13th in points. During the year Holmes qualified for the Indianapolis 500 (counted towards the USAC Gold Crown Championship) to finish 10th in the race and 26th in the USAC standings.

For 1983 Holmes would return with Doug Shierson Racing to drive the #30 Domino's Pizza March 83C-Cosworth. During the year Holmes got a best finish of 5th at the Cribari Wines 300K at Laguna Seca Raceway. Holmes would also compete in the Indianapolis 500 (sanctioned by USAC, but counted for points by CART), starting 12th and finishing 6th. Holmes would finish 13th in the CART standings and 9th in the USAC standings.

In 1984 Holmes would join Mayer Racing to drive the #41 Jiffy Mixes March 84C-Cosworth DFX. The season would start off well as Holmes would finish 2nd to teamate Tom Sneva at the Dana Jimmy Bryan 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. Cogan would then qualify 2nd to Sneva at the Indianapolis 500. During the race Holmes' car suffered mechanical problems throughout the race and Holmes finished 13th, 15 laps down. The rest of the season brought some more points finishes, although none were as good as Holme's early season form. Holmes would finish the season 12th in the CART points and unranked in the USAC points due to scoring no points at Indianapolis.

For 1985 Holmes would join Forsythe Racing to drive the #33 Jiffy Mixes Lola T85/00-Cosworth DFX. Holmes would get a best finish of 9th at the Michigan 500 at Michigan International Speedway. Holmes would also finish 10th at the Indianapolis 500. The result came under some controversy as Holmes was criticized for making contact with then-2nd place driver and former teamate Tom Sneva, which caused Sneva and Rich Vogler to crash. Following the Detroit News 200 at Michigan International Speedway Holmes was replaced by Jan Lammers. Holmes would finish the season 25th in the CART standings and 10th in the USAC standings. Holmes would not compete in any races in 1986 or 1987.

In 1988 Holmes would drive for Morales Motorsports in the #21 Jiffy Mixes March 88C-Cosworth DFX. During the season Holmes got a best finish of 7th at the Quaker State 500 at Pocono International Raceway. Holmes would also have a good run at the Indianapolis 500, starting 33rd (last) and finishing 12th. Holmes would finish out the season with an 8th place finish at the Nissan Indy Challenge at Tamiami Park in what would end up being Holmes' final indy car race. Holmes would finish 18th in the CART standings and 12th in the USAC standings.

Post racing career[edit]

After retiring from racing Holmes became the president of Chelsea Milling Company, the manufacturer of Jiffy Mixes, which was invented by Holmes' grandmother Mabel White Holmes. Holmes has also made appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Legends Day (a day that honors a past driver of the Indianapolis 500) and other times simply as a spectator for the event on the track that day. Holmes was also likely among the living drivers who previously competed in Indianapolis 500s that appeared ina special event prior to the 2011 Indianapolis 500 (100th anniversary of the first race).

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

CART/Champ Car World Series[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1979 AMI Racing PHX
ATL
ATL
INDY
7
TRE
TRE
MCH
MCH
WGL
TRE
ONT
MCH
ATL
PHX
NC -
1980 AMI Racing ONT
INDY
DNQ
MIL
15
POC
8
MDO
14
MCH
11
WGL
13
MIL
ONT
Rpl1
MCH
MEX
PHX
22nd 314
1982 Doug Shierson Racing PHX
16
ATL
DNS2
MIL
10
CLE
16
MCH
12
MIL
4
POC
27
RIV
16
ROA
10
MCH
5
PHX
10
13th 56
1983 Doug Shierson Racing ATL
9
INDY
6
MIL
7
CLE
12
MCH
32
ROA
16
POC
13
RIV
13
MDO
8
MCH
8
CPL
17
LAG
5
PHX
21
13th 39
1984 Mayer Racing LBH
13
PHX
2
INDY
13
MIL
7
POR
17
MEA
17
CLE
12
MCH
21
ROA
14
POC
9
MDO
6
SAN
9
MCH
8
PHX
19
LAG
20
CPL
16
12th 44
1985 Forsythe Racing LBH
14
INDY
10
MIL
11
POR
17
MEA
13
CLE
22
MCH
9
ROA
10
POC
21
MDO
16
SAN
21
MCH
18
LAG
DNS
PHX
MIA
25th 12
1988 Morales Motorsports PHX
10
LBH
17
INDY
12
MIL
8
POR
16
CLE
13
TOR
11
MEA
23
MCH
23
POC
7
MDO
14
ROA
11
NAZ
14
LAG
23
MIA
8
18th 24
1 Replaced by Jerry Sneva
2 Race was delayed six days due to rain in the area. The qualified cars of Holmes, Johnny Rutherford, Dick Ferguson, and Chip Ganassi did not return to the rescheduled race.

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1979 Wildcat Drake Goosen Sparks 13th 7th
1980 Orbitor Cosworth Did not Qualify
1982 March Cosworth 18th 10th
1983 March Cosworth 12th 6th
1984 March Cosworth 2nd 13th
1985 Lola Cosworth 21st 10th
1988 March Cosworth 33rd 12th

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 72 starts do not include the 1982 Indy 500, as it was not a CART race that year.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gilles Villeneuve
1977 Canadian Champion
North American Formula Atlantic
Champion

1978
Succeeded by
Tom Gloy
Preceded by
Gilles Villeneuve
1976 American Champion
Preceded by
Larry Rice
Rick Mears
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

1979
Succeeded by
Tim Richmond