Father's Dream Comes Full Circle In Rookie John Hollansworth, Jr.
To most casual observers, John Hollansworth, Jr., driver of the TeamXtreme #42
CompuCom.com / Lycos Dallara looks like your average race car driver. What most
observers don't know however, is that Hollansworth is the exact prot?g? that
Tony George had in mind when he created the Indy Racing League a little more than
three years ago.
John Hollansworth, Jr., although not yet a household name, is in a very elite
category of American racers, with names like Rutherford, Unser and Lazier. What
these racers have in common is a racing father that preceded them into victory circle.
John Hollansworth, Sr., now sixty-seven years old, can remember how his five-year-old
son, John Jr. used to watch with fascination, as his Dad would spend hours tuning
and polishing the beautiful white Offenhouser powered #42 roadster. John Sr.,
earned his racing stripes the way most Indy car drivers of that day had done it, on
the oval tracks. The 3/8 mile, half mile and mile tracks, both dirt and paved, that
dot the American landscape. John Hollansworth, Sr. would leave most every weekend to
do battle in a midget or sprint car. The Sr. Hollansworth remembers a time in 1965
where his every waking hour was spent imagining himself behind the wheel of and Indy
car, competing with the legends of the Brickyard. One short year later, his dream came
true. John Sr. took his family's nest egg and purchased a well-worn Offenhouser Roadster,
a soon to be obsolete, front engine Indy car. It was almost an exact copy of the car
that A. J. Foyt won the Indianapolis 500 with in 1964. For the next two years, John Sr.
and his team of mechanics, criss-crossed the country in an old station wagon, entering
their roadster in every race they could afford to make. And, while the Indianapolis 500
was always the dream, he was never able to qualify.
Enter John Hollansworth, Jr., a young man who grew up with the roar of engines and the
smell of burning methanol. He also has a dream, that is to complete what his father
started over thirty years ago, to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Although auto racing
was discouraged by his protective father, they both new that someday their roles would
be reversed and it would be dad's turn to cheer and John Jr.'s turn to race.
Now is that day, John Hollansworth, Jr., the second-generation driver has already competed
in the first two races of this year's IRL season and is considered a favorite to win
Sprint PCS Rookie Of The Year honors. This great American racing story is symbolic of
the vision Tony George had for his league. As this year's Indy Open Test concluded today,
John Hollansworth, Jr. was lapping the famed 2.5 mile oval at more than 222 mph. The
torch has been passed and John Hollansworth, Jr. has his chance to claim another victory
for the racing Hollansworths.
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