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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.

Contents

Early years

Shierson was instrumental in the development of the Toyota 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. Shierson racing moved up to CART with Holmes in 1982. Holmes drove the team's car to 10th in its first Indianapolis 500 and 13th in points with a 4th place finish at Milwaukee Mile. Holmes repeated his 13th place points finish and finished 6th at Indy the following year.

Climb to the top

Danny Sullivan replaced Holmes in 1984 and brought the team its first three CART wins at Cleveland, Pocono, and Sanair on his way to 4th place in points. The team also experimented with its own DSR-1 chassis that was designed by Ian Reed of March Engineering and built by laid off Williams F1 fabricators but it had been 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 the following his successful 1984 season. Initally, Shierson signed John Paul, Jr.; however, Paul would unfortunately be jailed.[2]. After attempting to hire Al Unser, Shierson secured the services of Al Unser, Jr., who would come into his own as a driver during his stint with the team. Unser finished runner up in the championship in 1985 and won back to back mid-season races at the Meadowlands and Cleveland. 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 end Unser elected to return to Galles Racing who had the new Chevrolet-Ilmor engine which would go on to dominate IndyCar until 1992. 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 as the team was forced to use underpowered Cosworth and Judd engines. The highlight of the season, however, was a surprising third place at the Indy 500.

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.[3]

End of team

Shierson elected to close his team following the 1990 season having accomplished his goals in the sport. 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.

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

Drivers in CART

References

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