9.29: Chronicle Live -- Lyn St. James
St. James joins Greg Papa to talk about her vintage racing club and the weekend event at Infineon Raceway.
Chronicle conversation at the great Lyn saint James makes your first appearance on that chronicle live welcomed and honored -- studio -- its great to be back and if you're -- you're going up to Sonoma this weekend -- about what -- gonna -- erasing some not classic a sports cars. The affect it's actually a club but it's called the classic sports car racing club around the oldest of vintage racing and historic racing clubs that have been around for a long time -- -- in the sixties. And so I found out an old racecar drivers get to rival racecar solo act on that one I started racing you know for fun is the highway and now I get to come back and and race I mean it's it's a serious race probably racing in formula Atlantic in the -- the grand Marshall and you know we're gonna have a lot of fans out there that are going to be raising money actually for speedway charities so it is it's of charitable event and they raised over 500000 dollars. On four on Sonoma county and -- charities out there so you know it's. Super super neat cars between these cars looked better today than they did when they were in their heyday of the way they -- they take care of these cars so. I spent the afternoon getting -- You know they do a two part seat so that you can just perfectly fit in the car and so I'll be driving Chris blocks -- -- Atlantic car and vintage 1976. Hoosiers are bigger drag this weekend what are you -- -- to formula Atlantic car -- yeah -- it's kind of mini Indy car so you know if you looked and it. That way so it's kind of Ford engine and a big -- Take me back to your youth because said Janet Guthrie was the first to qualify for the great race at the brickyard but you're you're one of just seven women ever race at Indianapolis so. Tell me about your history why is it a youngster growing up why were you gravitated towards driving fast. I don't know my mom taught me how to drive them and you know -- was a muscle car era kid than the Roland fast cars that you know they'd like to go fast straight line but. Fast cars fast -- yeah. But it was also not socially acceptable and I went liberal school to him with -- -- gym teacher and I I've followed everything that society -- they -- -- for a long time. And then I found out about the sports car club of America and found that people that this is a hobby -- by the -- Dalton. How living at home and and and so I went out about a Ford Pinto. At my local Ford dealer that was my streetcar and it was the first year that they made this car eligible as race cars and culture in stock in 1973. And and I once I did -- I'm like this is me you know it's -- I think it's really fabulous at. Be able to find something you're passionate about it really enjoy doing and if you do really well you're willing to work really hard and of course -- -- -- Pakistan through. Just take me back twenty years ago 1992. You have qualified with the Lola Chevrolet. And He had started 27 spot of the 33 field when you were able to maneuver your way up there and finished eleventh in Indianapolis you with a rookie of the year. Talk about qualified for that race and then on race day there's nothing like it 400000 people there what was it like to -- you like seven times in the Indianapolis 500. Well first long look qualifying because you're the only one on the track and I was I'm not used to that I mean you know most of the time in our qualifying -- there's a whole bunch of cars on the track and it and -- -- the only current -- actually London ambulance went there to look at Harrison it's just all it's pure race track. Then you get to the race and -- -- -- 33 cars out there and I remember that in the rookie session before the race Johnny Rutherford and some of the veterans were telling us you'll be able to see because you'll have so much fumes. Because the cars -- when they start to cobble together we've been like for pace laps He won't be able to -- because of all the few as you'll be able to see your eyes water -- -- -- you know off. And then of course my rookie year Roberta Guerrero was on the pole. And He spun on the pace slot before we even took the Green flag and I remember seeing his car off. Coming through turn two that He was trying to warm the tires -- it was the coldest day in the history of the race that day and so He had just. It's -- turbocharged Buick that when He hit those they just lit up you know and He ended up hitting the wall and I remember I'm sitting here on holy cow this is tired. Had to pay attention -- but you better really pay attention wonderful footers crashed the -- do you throw the -- yeah yeah I look at his current and now -- it's just the coolest thing in the world -- -- greater than if you ever get near there and -- Memorial Day weekend and Indianapolis -- thank you so much for your time a player coming out this weekend we will also giving rise by the -- -- yeah judgment when has heard it. And testing and all the money for the episodes of -- -- don't -- classics for.