Boston, MA — Racemaker Press is proud to announce the publication in May of the authorized biography of Wally Dallenbach, titled ‘Steward of the Sport’. Written by renowned journalist and author Gordon Kirby, Wally’s biography is another in our series of books on American Championship racing.
During his tenure as Chief Steward of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Wally had a profound effect on the sport. With his deep concerns about driver safety, adherence to a consistent set of rules and calm demeanor on times of crisis, Dallenbach drew on his own experience as a driver to make American Championship racing a better sport for the drivers, teams and fans alike. He is truly one of the unsung heroes of the span of time during which he served as a key official and decision maker, the latter part of twentieth century through his retirement in 2001.
A self-made racer from New Jersey, Dallenbach raced dragsters, stock cars, midgets and sprint cars before making his name as the winner of five Indy car races with Pat Patrick’s team in the mid seventies, including the 1973 California 500. During this time Dallenbach moved west to Colorado and started the Colorado 500 motorcycle ride before retiring in 1980 to become CART’s chief steward.
Over the following twenty years Dallenbach built a rare reputation as a cool-headed, even- handed steward who became a tremendous proponent of improving all aspects of safety in motor racing. With the help of Doctors Steve Olvey and Terry Trammell and safety directors Steve Edwards and Lon Bromley he developed the sport’s most progressive, state-of-the-art safety and medical team.
And by working closely with the teams and car builders Dallenbach and his group also influenced many improvements in car and cockpit construction, embracing better ways to absorb energy on impact. In 1976 Dallenbach started a rescue team at home in Basalt, Colorado. He began by conscripting twenty friends to take an EMT course, then buying an ambulance. After becoming CART’s chief steward he applied those lessons to the sanctioning body and developed a state-of-the-art safety team complete with a traveling hospital, doctors and nurses.
Dallenbach looks back with great pride that he worked through an era when Indy car racing was at his global height. F1 world champions were in the field including Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Nigel Mansell and CART races built a huge worldwide following, challenging Formula 1 for a few years for global supremacy.
Looking back over the 110-year history of American championship and Indy car racing Dallenbach emerges in a class of his own as the most respected chief steward the sport has ever seen. Wally celebrated his 80th birthday in December, 2016 and remains as active as ever in and around Basalt and on his ranch in Frying Pan Valley.
‘Steward of the Sport’ is a large format, 190 page book comprising twenty chapters and 140 photographs. Racemaker Press will release the book at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of May on the eve of the 102nd Indianapolis 500.
For further information contact Joe Freeman at Racemaker Press, 39 Church St., Boston, MA 02116. (617) 723-6533. Or go to www.racemaker.com