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Throwback Thursday - February 2

The Groundhog Day edition of Throwback Thursday is dominated by the Copper World Classic.


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This week's Throwback Thursday is dominated by the Copper World Classic. The annual event held at what is now Phoenix Raceway drew a variety of racing machines, including USAC's open-wheel divisions, Supermodifieds, Late Models and even the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' inaugural points-paying event. Naturally, the event drew a who's-who of some of the best racers in the United States over the years.

- Red Farmer bested the field in a 50-lap Modified race at West Palm Beach Speedway back in 1958. Rod Perry finished second in this clash in early February.

- Chuck Gurney won the California Racing Association race on this date in 1975. At that time, the win came in the Copper State Classic at FasTrack International Raceway. Chuck Gurney won again on this date in 1992, but this time it was at the same track in the same event in the Midget division. Of course, then it was the Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway.

THE THIRD TURN: 1992 Skoal Copper World Classic (Midget) at Phoenix International Raceway

- Mike Bliss won the Copper World Classic at Phoenix on this day in 1986. Bliss beat out Joe McCarthy and Jeff Nish. The victory came in Bliss’ second start at the one-mile track. He won USAC Silver Crown races there in 1993, 1995 and 1996. His biggest win at Phoenix came in the NASCAR Truck Series in 1998 when he won from the pole in the penultimate race of the season.

THE THIRD TURN: 1986 Copper World Classic - Sprint Division at Phoenix International Raceway

- Ken Schrader had some fun in the desert on Groundhog Day. In 2002, he won the NASCAR Southwest Late Model race. One year later he was in victory lane again, but this time in the NASCAR West Series where he led 124 laps from the outside pole.

THE THIRD TURN: 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series 100 at Phoenix International Raceway

- Billy Moyer or Bill Murray? Bill Murray was the star of the movie Groundhog Day in which he lives the same day over and over again. You could say the same for Billy Moyer, who got these five wins on February 2. Moyer won the All Star Circuit of Champion Late Model features in 1985, 1990 and 1991 at East Bay Raceway (FL). He also added a win at Putnam County (FL) in 2002 and a win at Golden Isles Speedway (GA) in 2003.

- On this day in 1997, Tony Stewart won the Copper World Classic's Midget Division at Phoenix International Raceway (AZ). Stewart was already on the fast track to the top of the racing world when he won this Midget race. The late Kenny Irwin Jr. was second, rolled by Billy Boat, Ryan Newman and Todd Thomas. Groundhogs day was also kind to Tony Stewart again in 2019 when he won a Sprint Car race at Bubba Raceway (FL).

THE THIRD TURN: 1997 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic - Midget Division at Phoenix International Raceway