Linden Left Big Seat To Fill, Says ‘500’ Rookie
Long Distance To…Paul Goldsmith
By Rick Johnson-Indianapolis Times, April 28, 1958
Photo Courtesy HighPerformancePontiac.com
A big league baseball rookie may be a veteran of more than 1000 minor league games, but until he proves himself in the big time, he is a rookie.
So it goes with rookie drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Paul Goldsmith, St Claire Shores, Mich., two-time NASCAR champion, will be one of the more outstanding rookies taking his driver’s test in May.
Photo Courtesy LegendsOfNascar.com
Paul is 30 years old, and has been racing since 1947. He started by racing motorcycles, then moved to the modified stocks and joined the NASCAR circuit.
Photo Courtesy MotorCycleMuseumHallOfFame.com
Photo Courtesy CottonOwens.com
Three strips of tape will be placed on the tail of his car, the City of Daytona Spl., to show that he is a rookie. He must go through a four-phase test, 10 laps each, at speeds of 115, 120, 125, and 130 mph, with USAC stewards and several drivers observing.
Let’s talk long distance to Paul Goldsmith.
Q: How do you feel about taking an Indianapolis driver’s test?
A: I’m pretty thrilled about it, and I’m looking forward to it. This is the race every driver wants to make before he quits.
Q: Do you prefer any sort of track surface?
A: No. I’ve raced on every surface imaginable…sand, asphalt, concrete, flat tracks, banks, smooth, rutted…I guess you could say I’ve been on about anything that resembles a race track.
Q: Have you ever raced in an Indianapolis-type car before…sprints or midgets?
A: No. I have driven them at one time or another, but only in practice. I don’t think it will be too hard for me to learn how, though.
Q: Can you recall your greatest thrill in racing?
A: Everything about racing is a thrill to me. Just being able to do what I like best is thrill enough for me.
Q: When do you plan to begin your driver’s test?
A: I’ll be in Indianapolis tomorrow or the next day, and I plan to get started on it just as soon as possible. I can’t wait to get on that track.
Q: What’s the fastest you have been timed in closed-course racing?
A: I averaged a little better than 157 mph for quite a while on the Chevrolet proving grounds in Phoenix last year. That was quite a thrill. The track out there was a 5-mile course, quite a bit bigger than the one at Indianapolis. I imagine some of the things I ran into there will help me quite a bit at Indianapolis.
Q: Are you familiar with the problems you might encounter at Indianapolis?
A: I won’t say I know it all. But I worked with Marshall Teague at the track for a couple of years, and learned a lot about the track and the ‘groove.’ What I don’t know, I’m going to learn.
Q: What do you think of your car?
A: It’s really a fine machine. Andy Linden drove it last year, so you know it’s got to be a good one. That Linden left me a big seat to fill.
Q: If you make the 500-Mile Race field, will you forget the stock car circuit?
A: I won’t forget it, but if I make that race field, I’m going to drive in the National USAC circuit.
Q: Have you ever been injured in racing?
A: Only twice. When I first started out on the motorcycles, I jumped off my bike at Cleveland one time to keep from hitting a rider who had been spilled. My bike tore through the fence, and I broke both my feet. The other one was at Darlington last year, when I hit another car. It wasn’t serious though…only a cut above the eye.
Q: How much longer do you intend to keep racing?
A: I’ll keep it up until I find something else I like as much as racing. But I’ll tell you one thing right now…I’m going to keep on racing until I get to tear those three strips of tape off of my car.