Open main menu
Shierson's 1990 CART entry for Arie Luyendyk, which won the 1990 Indianapolis 500.

Doug Shierson Racing is a former racing team that competed in the CART Championship Car Series from 1982 to 1990. The team was sponsored by Domino's Pizza for its entire run in CART.

Shierson Racing's biggest victory came at the 1990 Indianapolis 500, with driver Arie Luyendyk. The team finished runner-up in the CART championship in 1985 with driver Al Unser, Jr. losing the title by one point.

Early yearsEdit

Shierson was instrumental in the development of the Formula Atlantic series in the late 1970s, winning the championship with Howdy Holmes in 1978 and Jacques Villeneuve the Elder in 1980 and 1981. Bobby Rahal drove for the team in 1976 and suffered a season fraught with difficulties and he considered leaving the sport, on Shierson's urging Rahal decided to stay with the series in 1977 and eventually had a tremendously successful racing career.[1] The team was also active in Formula 5000.

CART yearsEdit

1982-1983Edit

Shierson racing moved up to CART with Howdy Holmes in 1982. Holmes drove the team's car to 10th at the Indianapolis 500 and 13th in points. The best finish was a 4th place at Milwaukee. Holmes repeated his 13th-place points finish and finished 6th at Indy the following year.

1984Edit

Danny Sullivan replaced Holmes in 1984 and brought the team its first three CART wins at Cleveland, the Pocono 500, and Sanair on his way to 4th place in points.

The team experimented with its own DSR-1 chassis that was designed by Ian Reed of March Engineering and built by laid off Williams F1 fabricators.[2] It was abandoned by Indianapolis when it was clearly off the pace and the team returned to Lola equipment. Sullivan was hired away by perennial superpower Penske Racing following his successful 1984 season.

1985-1987Edit

Initially, Shierson signed John Paul, Jr.; however, Paul would be jailed for racketeering in a case involving his father.[3] After attempting to hire Al Unser, Sr., Shierson secured the services of Al Unser, Jr., who would come into his own as a driver during his stint with the team.

Al Unser, Jr. won back to back mid-season races at the Meadowlands and Cleveland, and finished runner-up in the championship in 1985. Al Jr. famously lost the title by only one point. He effectively lost the championship in the waning laps of the final race of the season (Tamiami Park), when his father Al Unser, Sr. finished just high enough to clinch enough points to mathematically secure the title.

The team fared strongly again in 1986 with Unser finishing 4th in points and winning the final race of the season. In 1987 Unser improved to 3rd place in points but did not win a race. At year's end Unser elected to return to Galles Racing who had the new Chevrolet-Ilmor engine which would go on to dominate Indy cars over the next several seasons.

Unser, Jr. achieved top five finishes at the Indianapolis 500 for the team in 1986 (5th) and 1987 (4th).

1988-1989Edit

Shierson replaced Unser with Raul Boesel. Boesel failed to win and only managed 8th and 11th in points in his two years with the team. The team was hampered by the use of the underpowered Cosworth and Judd engines. The highlight of the season, however, was a surprising third place at the 1989 Indianapolis 500.

1990Edit

For 1990 the team put veteran journeyman Arie Luyendyk in the Domino's car for which it had secured Chevy-Ilmor power and expanded to a second car for Scott Goodyear running year-old equipment with Judd power. Luyendyk, who had never won a CART race before, shocked the establishment by winning the 1990 Indianapolis 500 from 3rd on the grid in what was the fastest "500" in history.[4]

Midway through the 1990 season, Shierson sold 50% of the stake in the team to businessman Bob Tezak, owner of International Games (makers of UNO).[5][6] Longtime sponsor Domino's Pizza was facing legal issues stemming from their "30 minutes or it's free" delivery guarantee. During the history of the team sponsorship, the Shierson entries traditionally carried the number 30, as a gesture to the "30-minutes or free" delivery policy. Some delivery drivers were reportedly breaking traffic laws and speeding to fulfill the guarantee. Such an instance caused a fatal traffic accident, and company officials deemed sponsoring a race car inappropriate given the circumstances.

Luyendyk rode a wave of positive attention and newfound popularity to an 8th-place finish in the 1990 CART points standings. However, he did not manage to win another race, and Indy was in fact the only top 3 result of the season. He had two 4th-place finishes, at the Meadowlands, and the exhibition Marlboro Challenge at Nazareth.

End of teamEdit

 
Luyendyk driving the UNO/Granatelli car in 1991 at Laguna Seca

Facing sponsorship uncertainty, and deciding that he had accomplished his goals in the sport, Shierson eventually sold the entire team outright to Tezak in January 1991.[7] Tezak took over the team in a joint effort with Vince Granatelli (merging with Granatelli's team, Vince Granatelli Racing), and re-booted the team as UNO/Granatelli Racing. The car's livery was changed to the classic day-glow orange utilized by Granatelli entries over the years, and Luyendyk's services were retained for 1991. Granatelli assumed day-to-day operations with Tezak fulfilling sponsorship and funding.

The UNO/Granatelli team suffered thoroughly from a lack of sponsorship money, which caused friction as the season endured. RCA sponsored the car at Indy, but for most of the other races, the car had blank sidepods. Driver Arie Luyendyk managed to win two races; Phoenix and Nazareth. He finished 3rd at the Indy 500, and 2nd at the Michigan 500. A second team car at Indy for Al Unser, Sr. fell through due to contractual reasons with the Ilmor Chevrolet.

The team nearly folded in June/July when Tezak announced he was out of money, and pulled his support. In early August, Granatelli battled a restraining order from Tezak and Total Petroleum, which prevented them from taking to the track at the Michigan 500 for practice and qualifying. The order was lifted, and Luyendyk nearly won the race, finishing a close second to Rick Mears.

Despite two wins and a 6th-place finish in points for 1991, the re-booted team closed its doors permanently at the conclusion of the 1991 season.

Doug Shierson died May 26, 2004 of cancer.[1]

Drivers in CARTEdit

Doug Shierson RacingEdit

UNO/Grantelli RacingEdit

Race ResultsEdit

CART IndyCar Series resultsEdit

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pts Pos Pos
1982 PHX ATL MIL CLE MCH MIL POC RIV ROA MCH PHX
March 82C Cosworth DFX   Howdy Holmes 30 16 DNS 10 16 12 4 27 16 10 5 10 13th 56
1983 ATL INDY MIL CLE MCH ROA POC RIV MDO MCH CPL LAG PHX
March 83C Cosworth DFX   Howdy Holmes 30 9 6 7 12 32 16 13 13 8 8 17 5 21 13th 39
1984 LBH PHX INDY MIL POR MEA CLE MCH ROA POC MDO SAN MCH PHX LAG CPL
DSR-1 Cosworth DFX   Danny Sullivan 30 24 6 16 4th 110
Lola T800 29 23 2 1 10 19 1 3 1 9 20 9 18
1985 LBH INDY MIL POR MEA CLE MCH ROA POC MDO SAN MCH LAG PHX MIA
Lola T800 Cosworth DFX   Al Unser, Jr. 30 9 25 7 2* 1* 1 15 17* 2* 4 3 23 3 2 3 2nd 151
  Tom Gloy DNS 0
1986 PHX LBH INDY MIL POR MEA CLE TOR MCH POC MDO SAN MCH ROA LAG PHX MIA
Lola T86/00 Cosworth DFX   Al Unser, Jr. 30 12 2 5 8 3 9 8 4* 8 6 5 2 21 11 23 6 1 4th 137
1987 LBH PHX INDY MIL POR MEA CLE TOR MCH POC ROA MDO NAZ LAG MIA
March 87C Cosworth DFX   Al Unser, Jr. 30 2 14 4 5 20 8 3 20 18 23 3 23 6 4 2 3rd 107
1988 PHX LBH INDY MIL POR CLE TOR MEA MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG MIA
March 88C Cosworth DFX   Raul Boesel 30 5 4 4 26 8th 89
Lola T88/00 7 5 8 9 11 5 6 14 5 21 22
1989 PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T89/00 Judd AV   Raul Boesel 30 14 6 3 4 28 7 8 6 7 20 20 23 9 11 10 11th 68
1990 PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH DEN VAN MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T89/00 Judd AV   Scott Goodyear 11 10 17 10 8 22 18 17 9 10 8 7 22 12 10 14 13th 36
28 10
Lola T90/00 Chevrolet 265A   Arie Luyendyk 30 9 7 1 19 5 6 6 4 5 19 13 26 21 6 17 9 8th 90
UNO-Granatelli Racing
1991 SFR LBH PHX INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH DEN VAN MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T91/00 Chevrolet 265A   Arie Luyendyk 9 9 5 1* 17 3 7 5 18 19 2 22 19 9 5 1 8 6th 134
1 3

IndyCar winsEdit

# Season Date Sanction Track / Race No. Winning Driver Chassis Engine Tire Grid Laps Led
1 1984 July 8 CART Grand Prix of Cleveland (S) 30   Danny Sullivan Lola T800 Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 5 7
2 August 19 CART Pocono 500 (O) 30   Danny Sullivan (2) Lola T800 Cosworth DFX Goodyear 9 22
3 September 9 CART Sanair Super Speedway (O) 30   Danny Sullivan (3) Lola T800 Cosworth DFX Goodyear 2 95
4 1985 June 30 CART Meadowlands Street Circuit (S) 30   Al Unser Jr. Lola T900 Cosworth DFX Goodyear 6 51
5 July 7 CART Grand Prix of Cleveland (S) 30   Al Unser Jr. (2) Lola T900 Cosworth DFX Goodyear 7 4
6 1986 November 9 CART Tamiami Park, Miami (S) 30   Al Unser Jr. (3) Lola T86/00 Cosworth DFX Goodyear 19 1
7 1990 May 27 USAC Indianapolis 500 (O) 30   Arie Luyendyk Lola T90/00 Chevrolet 265A Goodyear 3 35

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Mittman, Dick. 1990 Indy 500-Winning Team Owner Shierson Dies At 62 Archived May 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Indy500.com, May 28, 2004
  2. ^ Galpin, Darren. "Shierson DSR1-4C-Cosworth". The A-Z of Racing Cars. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2010-01-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Siano, Joseph. Luyendyk Wins in Fastest Indianapolis 500 Ever, The New York Times, May 28, 1990
  5. ^ Kallmann, Dave (1990-06-30). "Shierson sells part of team". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  6. ^ Woolford, Dave (1990-07-23). "Shierson likely to land on feet". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  7. ^ "Granatelli Makes Deal". The New York Times. 1991-01-11. Retrieved 2012-10-08.