Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This helmet was the second I made for Clifford who has some real cool family history in racing...since I love racing I asked him if he could share some of his family history in racing...here it is:

"Aloha Paulo, I tried to keep this just about Sumar Racing. Do whatever you want with what Ive written here shorten etc.  
My Grandpa passed away when I was about twelve so i don't remember much about him. Even less about the Sumar Racing History. But I do remember always going to the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 growing up and loving how hot it was and how fucking LOUD! the engines were on the first few laps. Anyway I've showed my Uncles  (one of whom, Preston Root is NASCAR Radio Announcer) and my Grandma "mimi" the helmet and they've  all been super stoked on it. Mahalo, Clifford Graham 

Sumar Racing started in Terre Haute Indiana, the home of Tony Hullman the owner of the Indianapolis Speedway. Racing was big in the state and two friends of Mr. Hullman's started their own team. In 1952 Chapman S. Root (My Grandfather "grandad") and Don Smith formed Sumar Racing Team ( the name was named for their wives Susan and Mary). 
The number 48 was the year Chapman and Susan Root were married.

Sumar team ran races in AAA and USAC santioned event in Monza, Italy; Milwakukee ;Langehorne; Phoenix; De Quoin; Las Vegas; Sacramento; and of course Indy.

Drivers for the team included Jimmy Daywalt, Marshal Teague, Johnnie Parsons, Dick Rathman, Johnny Boyd, Bobby Grim, Gene Hartley and Pat O'Conner. Chief mechanic was John Blouch.

The first Indy race they entered was 1953 with driver Daywalt who finished 6th and was named Rookie of the Year. In 1957 Pat O'Conner captured pole position but in the days of very little safety gear he was killed in an accident that year. Both Chapman and Don were family men and considered the drivers as family. The loss was devastating . 

Sumar was an innovater in a type of car called a Streamliner. Driver Marshal Teague broke several speed records at the newly built Daytona Speedway.

Sumar Racing team ran races until 1960 . The cars have been preserved and kept by the families and are on display at the Mueseum of Arts and Science in Daytona Beach, Florida."

This is the kind of story and history you don't find on books...especially the first paragraph...which was my favorite!
Thank you so much for sharing your this cool story of racing history!

Below are some photos sent by Clifford.

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