Sam Posey started as an amateur sports car racer, and graduated to the Can Am and Trans Am. Posey raced the Sunoco Camaro for Roger Penske in 1968 in the Trans Am series. Chevrolet won the championship based on the Penske team effort. Mark Donohue was the lead driver and he won a remarkable 10 of 13 races. Posey's first race was at Bridgehampton where he finished 3rd. Other finishes were: Meadowdale, 3rd’; St Jovite, 3rd; Bryar, 6th; Watkins Glen, 2nd which was the only race that Donohue was beaten by a Camaro in 1968. Posey's car was the same Sunoco Blue with yellow lettering as Donohue. Posey sported a yellow spoiler and Donohue had a red spoiler.
In 1969, he won the Lime Rock Trans-Am in a factory Ford Mustang. In 1970, Posey was the driver for Ray Caldwell's factory-backed Autodynamics Dodge Challenger in Trans-Am, racing against Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue and Jim Hall in what most racing historians regard as the greatest season of professional road racing in US history. Posey also raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1969 and 1972-1974 seasons, with 13 career starts, including the 1972 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his best finish in 3rd position in 1969 at the Kent road course. He was the team driver for Caldwell's Can-Am racer which featured monocoque aluminum construction in two parallel longitudinal space frames, with solid front and rear axles.
As an endurance racer, Posey appeared at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 10 times (1966, 1969–1973, and 1975–1978) and finished in the top 10 five times. His best finish was 3rd position during the 1971 competition in which he drove the Ferrari 512M. He also won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring, teaming with three other drivers.
He participated in two Formula One world championship events, the 1971 and 1972 United States Grand Prix, retiring from the first and finishing 12th in the second, thus not scoring any championship points. He drove Surtees cars on both occasions, but only the first was a works-entered car.
He also competed in a single NASCAR Grand National (predecessor to Nextel Cup) event, the first race of the 1970 series, held on the Riverside International Raceway road race course in Riverside, California.
Posey went on to become an auto racing commentator for ABC Sports. Posey debuted on ABC for the Indianapolis 500 in 1974, serving as analyst. In subsequent years, he served as a pit reporter, and ultimately returned to the booth starting in 1981.
While commentating the 1986 Indianapolis 500, as there was a yellow flag out near the end of the race, Posey used a two way radio to ask an impromptu question to race leader Kevin Cogan. Posey was asking Cogan about his thoughts about leading the Indianapolis 500 at this stage. Cogan politely replied to Posey that he was "busy now," but would talk to him later. Posey understood the circumstances and told the audience if that were he, "I wouldn't want to talk to me either." Moments later, on a restart with two laps remaining, Bobby Rahal jumped Cogan on the restart and went on to win.
Along with the Indy 500, Posey's ABC Sports duties included commentary for the CART/PPG IndyCar World Series with Paul Page and Bobby Unser, lasting until the end of 1995. Posey also appeared on selected NASCAR broadcasts on ABC. The three-man booth of Page/Posey/Unser was a fixture of Indycar racing of the era, and Posey and Unser were known to engage in friendly but heated exchanges on-air.
In 1989, Posey was brought in as part of the ABC Sports broadcast team covering the 1989 Tour de France. Many people were surprised by Posey's knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the sport. ABC would bring him back as the lead anchor for the 1990 and 1991 races. Posey also worked as the play-by-play announcer for luge during ABC's coverage of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Posey later moved to Speedvision (now known as Speed Channel). He currently does essay work for the coverage of the Tour de France on the Outdoor Life Network (next known as Versus, now known as NBC Sports) serving as the "Race Historian", and writes for Road & Track magazine.
Posey is also the author of Playing With Trains, a book on model railroading published by Random House, and The Mudge Pond Express, an autobiography which centers around his personal racing career and love of the sport.
An accomplished artist and painter, Posey was once interviewed by motorsports artist, Beacham Owen for an article on CanAm racing for the Daily News of Los Angeles in Southern California. Posey was driving a Chevy powered Lola CanAm car for Dana Chevrolet at the time. Posey now suffers from Parkinson's Disease, which has attenuated his activities in recent years.
Posey was the voice for the pre-race build-up montage slotted between the Mercedes-Benz Pre-Race Show and the actual race coverage for each Formula 1 race shown on the Speed Channel. Posey also comments on recent Formula 1 races and the championship in a segment called "Posey's Perspective" as part of the Formula 1 Debrief show (also featuring Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett, and Will Buxton) on the Speed Channel. Posey now narrates F1 montages on NBC Sports Network after NBC purchased the rights to broadcast the 2013 season.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
|1971||Team Surtees||Surtees TS9||Cosworth V8||RSA||ESP||MON||NED||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||ITA||CAN||USA
|1972||Champcarr Inc.||Surtees TS9B||Cosworth V8||ARG||RSA||ESP||MON||BEL||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||ITA||CAN||USA
- Jenkins, Richard. "The World Championship drivers - Where are they now?". OldRacingCars.com. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- Donnelly, Jim (July 2005). "Renaissance Man". Hemmings Muscle Machines.