The Day I Met a Legendary Hero - Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
We use cookies to understand how you use our site and give you an awesome experience.
By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Spot Light: From the Fans

The Day I Met a Legendary Hero

Lin-CurtisI have attended at least three events a year at Road Atlanta since 1981 so I have many great memories but I'll share my favorite.

It was a Saturday afternoon in '92, I believe, of an IMSA weekend when I took a walk by myself to the old paddock, the only one at that time. As I passed behind the main office and garage building I noticed a man in a Toyota team shirt, khakis and loafers walking up the steps from the timing tower. I recognized him as he neared. It was one of my biggest heroes, Dan Gurney!

Having been on stage and back stage at many concerts I'm not often 'star struck' so I continued on and met him at the top of the steps. I said, "Hello, Dan. It's a pleasure to meet a hero." After introducing myself and shaking hands I mentioned that I had read that the team had made a change to the front suspension of the Mk III GTP's. Dan confirmed that and began explaining the changes when he said, "It would be easier just to show you. Do you want to take a look?" That was a "Is the Pope ...., Does a bear ... kind of a moment! Without hesitation I assured him that I did want to have a look. We chatted about their lap times and qualifying that weekend as we walked to a garage door. Dan unlocked and rolled the door up and there was a spare Mk III! He told me to go around the left side and pop the 'Zeus' pins on the nose of the machine. Having wrenched on some race cars I knew what those were, so I didn't look too stupid! We popped the nose off and leaned it against the wall and then school began! Dan spent at least ten minutes describing and explaining all of the geometry, not just the changes, but the science behind the choices they made. Center of gravity, weight distribution, sprung weight, etc. It was truly amazing to find that a sportsman of his caliber was such a gracious man both on the inside and the outside.

Before I headed on my way I thanked him again and proved my knowledge of his career. I congratulated him for bringing Porsche (a two syllable name) their only F1 win, for building and driving the only American built car to win an F1 event, and for his continued success in IMSA GTP. He smiled, chuckled and thanked me while we shook hands again. As I walked away I turned and said, "Oh yeah, Dan, thanks for sneaking to the race tracks instead of going to your violin lessons in your teens!" He laughed hard, waved good-bye, turned and continued on his way chuckling. Dan Gurney proved to be one of the finest men that I have ever met ... a true champion in life. What a moment!

Lin Curtis
Cumming, GA

  • IMSA Six-Hour Race Sept. 4-6 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) announced today that through a realignment of event dates, Michelin Raceway now will host Read More
  • WERA Regional Double Header Oct. 3-4 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta WERA Motorcycle Roadracing was founded in 1973 and remains the foremost place to develop talent in the sport of motorcycle Roadracing. The legacy of Pro Read More
  • Atlanta Historic Races Oct. 9-11 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta If you missed April’s 43rd HSR Mitty, or just want to see even more great historic and vintage racing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, get Read More
  • Motul Petit Le Mans and FOX Factory 120
    Oct. 14-17 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta The 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans is going to be an event to remember and is THE fall sporting event in the southeast. This Read More
  • SCCA ARRC Nov. 6-8 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta The Sports Car Club of America is the backbone of American road racing, and the Atlanta Region is extremely active. Besides providing corner workers and Read More
  • Trans Am Atlanta Speed Tour November 20-22 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta The Atlanta Speed Tour featuring the Trans Am Series returns to Michelin Raceway November 20-22 for a weekend of pure Americana with a touch of Read More
  • NASA-SE December 5-6 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 to deliver high quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. Read More
  • The 24 Hours of Lemons Dec. 11-13 +

    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta An endurance roadracing series for cars that cost $500 or less. What’s a good Lemons car? Everything from stretch limos and junked Maseratis to sturdy Read More
  • 1
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta