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Kevin Cogan
Born 31 1956 (1956-Template:Pad2digit-Template:Pad2digit) (age 61)
Culver City, California
Died {{{death_date}}}
{{{death_place}}}
Formula One career
Nationality USAflagsmall American
Years 19801981


Kevin Cogan (born in Culver City, CA, March 31, 1956) is a former racecar driver who drove in Formula One from 1980 to 1981. Driving a RAM Williams in the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix, he failed to qualify, suffering the same result driving for Tyrrell at the 1981 US GP West. He then moved over to Indy cars in 1982 but his career was cut short by a series of accidents.

1982 Indianapolis 500Edit

For 1982, showing much potential, despite not having yet won a race, Cogan was hired to drive for Penske Racing. During time trials, he set a new one-lap track record of 204.638 mph (329.333 km/h), and a record four-lap average of 204.082 mph (328.438 km/h). He was beaten only by his Penske teammate Rick Mears.

Cogan started from the middle of the front row, next to pole-sitter Mears, and A.J. Foyt. As the field approached the start/finish line to start the race, Cogan suddenly swerved right, touching and bouncing off of A.J. Foyt's car, and directly into the path of and collecting Mario Andretti. The cars of Dale Whittington and Roger Mears, deeper in the field, were also damaged due to the field checking up. Bobby Rahal also reported getting hit from behind, but was undamaged. The race was immediately red flagged.

Cogan's shocking accident took out four cars, including himself and Andretti. Foyt's team was able to make repairs, and pushed his car out for the restart attempt. Meanwhile, Andretti and Foyt were furious and outspoken about their displeasure with Cogan. Andretti shunned Cogan's attempts to explain himself with a light shove.

Andretti on live radio and television[1] made the comment:

This is what happens when you have children doing a man's job up front.

Back in the garage area, Andretti complained about Cogan's abilities, claiming that Cogan was "looking for trouble,"[2] that he "couldn't handle the responsibilities of the front row,"[2] and that the Penske car he was driving was "too good for him."[2]

The commonly outspoken Foyt also chimed in during comments to ABC-TV's Chris Economaki with:[1]

...he ran right square into my goddamned left front...'Coogin'

Later Foyt said back in the garage area[2][3] of the crash and of Cogan that:

It was a stupid deal. The guy had his head up his ass.

Johnny Rutherford[2] and Bobby Unser[1] later placed some blame of the accident on the polesitter Rick Mears, for bringing the field down at such a slow pace. Gordon Johncock, who went on to win the 1982 race, pointed out that Andretti had jumped the start, and could have avoided the spinning car of Cogan had he been lined up properly in the second row.[3] Neither observation gained much attention.

AftermathEdit

Cogan quickly fell out of favor following the humiliation stemming from the accident. It was followed by a noticeable "blacklisting" by fans and press. Cogan nearly had the dubious distinction of taking out two of the most famous American auto racing legends (Foyt and Andretti) in one move in the biggest race of the season. The incident also further rehashed a standing feud between Penske Racing and Patrick Racing. A year earlier, Penske and Patrick were the key fixtures in the controversial 1981 race.

Cogan never managed to win a race in 1982, and was possibly fired by Roger Penske because of it.[4]

The accident was never explained by the Penske team, however, several experts had reasonable opinions. Rodger Ward, working for the IMS Radio Network immediately believed the rear brakes locked up.[5] It was a common practice for drivers in the turbocharged era to "ride the brakes" during warm up laps in order to engage the turbocharger. Others theorized it may have happened due to a broken CV joint. Some feel that Sam Posey on ABC-TV inadvertently may have added to the controversy when he proclaimed "absolutely no idea" to the question of how it could have happened,[1] and saying "it was as if he turned the wheel intentionally."[1] The comments led many to conclude, albeit unfairly, that the accident may have been entirely of Cogan's doing. As soon as he climbed from the car, Cogan was observed looking at the rear end axle, suggesting that he thought something broke.

Years later Donald Davidson, the historian for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, mentioned that team driver, and the more experienced, Rick Mears had a nearly identical accident during private testing at Michigan International Speedway.[6] The accident was never disclosed to the public, even though it could have vindicated Cogan.

Later racesEdit

Four years later in 1986, Cogan switched to the Patrick Racing team and scored his first victory at Phoenix. At Indianapolis, Cogan was among the leaders all afternoon. With 13 laps to go, he made a bold pass from third to first on the mainstretch when Mears and Bobby Rahal were blocked by a slower car. Cogan held the lead late, but a yellow flag came out bunching the leaders. With 2 laps to go, the green came out and Rahal got the jump on the restart. Rahal passed Cogan just prior to crossing the start/finish line, a move that was permissible under the rules at the time, and went on to win. Cogan settled for second.

Cogan had a huge crash during the 1989 Indianapolis 500. Coming out of turn four, Cogan spun and hit the end of the pit wall. His car exploded into hundreds of pieces. The tub came to rest on its side with the engine still loosely mounted to it in one of the first few pit boxes. Cogan climbed out of the wreck. As a result of crashes like this one and a horrific 1991 practice session crash by Mark Dismore, IMS improved the pit attenuator at the end of the wall. It was tested in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 by Tomas Scheckter who walked away from a very similar crash with a very different result.

At the 1991 Indianapolis 500, Cogan broke his arm and leg in an accident during the race. Original video footage was inconclusive, and it appeared perhaps that Roberto Guerrero was to blame. An amateur home video shot from the grandstands, however, surfaced,[7] clearly showing that Cogan was at fault for the crash.

Cogan retired from racing in 1993, with the win at Phoenix as his lone victory.

Racing recordEdit

Complete Formula One World Championship resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Points
1980 RAM / Rainbow Jeans Racing Williams FW07B Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN
DNQ
USA NC 0
1981 Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell 010 Cosworth V8 USW
DNQ
BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL NC 0

American Open Wheel racing resultsEdit

(key)

CARTEdit

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1981 Jerry O'Connell Racing USAflagsmall
PHX
USAflagsmall
MIL
2
USAflagsmall
ATL1
Ret
USAflagsmall
ATL2
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
RIV
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL2
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIS2
USAflagsmall
WGL
25px-Mexicoflag
MEX
USAflagsmall
PHX2
23rd 23
1982 Team Penske USAflagsmall
PHX
3
USAflagsmall
ATL
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
5
USAflagsmall
CLE
10
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL2
5
USAflagsmall
POC
2
USAflagsmall
RIV
Ret
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIS2
Ret
USAflagsmall
PHX2
4
6th 136
1983 Bignotti-Cotter USAflagsmall
ATL
Ret
USAflagsmall
INDY
5
USAflagsmall
MIL
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
POC
Ret
USAflagsmall
RIV
Ret
USAflagsmall
MDO
6
USAflagsmall
MIS2
Ret
USAflagsmall
CEA
Ret
USAflagsmall
LS
Ret
USAflagsmall
PHX
6
15th 26
1984 All American Racers USAflagsmall
LBH
Ret
USAflagsmall
PHX
8
USAflagsmall
INDY
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
9
USAflagsmall
POR
Ret
USAflagsmall
MEA
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
Ret
24th 17
Forsythe Racing USAflagsmall
MIS
8
USAflagsmall
ROA
10
USAflagsmall
POC
DNS
USAflagsmall
MDO
25px-Canadaflag
SAN
USAflagsmall
MIS2
USAflagsmall
PHX2
USAflagsmall
LS
USAflagsmall
CEA
1985 Kraco Enterprises USAflagsmall
LBH
Ret
USAflagsmall
INDY
11
USAflagsmall
MIL
16
USAflagsmall
POR
5
USAflagsmall
MEA
7
USAflagsmall
CLE
9
USAflagsmall
MIS
7
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
POC
Ret
USAflagsmall
MDO
Ret
25px-Canadaflag
SAN
9
USAflagsmall
MIS2
4
USAflagsmall
LS
Ret
USAflagsmall
PHX
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIA
Ret
14th 44
1986 Patrick Racing USAflagsmall
PHX
1
USAflagsmall
LBH
Ret
USAflagsmall
INDY
2
USAflagsmall
MIL
Ret
USAflagsmall
POR
Ret
USAflagsmall
MEA
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
Ret
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
5
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
POC
2
USAflagsmall
MDO
4
25px-Canadaflag
SAN
4
USAflagsmall
MIS2
4
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
LS
9
USAflagsmall
PHX2
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIA
4
6th 115
1987 Patrick Racing USAflagsmall
LBH
Ret
USAflagsmall
PHX
Ret
USAflagsmall
INDY
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
Ret
USAflagsmall
POR
USAflagsmall
MEA
12
USAflagsmall
CLE
Ret
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
POC
9
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
MDO
5
USAflagsmall
NAZ
5
USAflagsmall
LS
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIA
Ret
16th 25
1988 Machinist Union Racing Team USAflagsmall
PHX
8
USAflagsmall
LBH
3
USAflagsmall
INDY
11
USAflagsmall
MIL
Ret
USAflagsmall
POR
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
10
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
Ret
USAflagsmall
MEA
USAflagsmall
MIS
USAflagsmall
POC
USAflagsmall
MDO
USAflagsmall
ROA
Ret
USAflagsmall
NAZ
Ret
USAflagsmall
LS
9
USAflagsmall
MIA
4
13th 40
1989 Machinist Union Racing Team USAflagsmall
PHX
10
USAflagsmall
LBH
Ret
USAflagsmall
INDY
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
Ret
USAflagsmall
DET
Ret
USAflagsmall
POR
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
11
USAflagsmall
MEA
Ret
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
9
USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
POC
Ret
USAflagsmall
MDO
10
USAflagsmall
ROA
18
USAflagsmall
NAZ
USAflagsmall
LS
8
14th 18
1990 Granatelli Racing USAflagsmall
PHX
USAflagsmall
LBH
USAflagsmall
INDY
9
USAflagsmall
MIL
USAflagsmall
DET
USAflagsmall
POR
USAflagsmall
CLE
USAflagsmall
MEA
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
23rd 4
Stoops Racing USAflagsmall
MIS
Ret
USAflagsmall
DEN
25px-Canadaflag
VAN
USAflagsmall
MDO
USAflagsmall
ROA
USAflagsmall
NAZ
USAflagsmall
LS
1991 Team Menard 25px-AustraliaFLAG
SRF
USAflagsmall
LBH
USAflagsmall
PHX
USAflagsmall
INDY
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
USAflagsmall
DET
USAflagsmall
POR
USAflagsmall
CLE
USAflagsmall
MEA
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
USAflagsmall
MIS
USAflagsmall
DEN
25px-Canadaflag
VAN
USAflagsmall
MDO
USAflagsmall
ROA
USAflagsmall
NAZ
USAflagsmall
LS
51st 0
1993 Galles Racing 25px-AustraliaFLAG
SRF
USAflagsmall
PHX
USAflagsmall
LBH
USAflagsmall
INDY
Ret
USAflagsmall
MIL
USAflagsmall
DET
USAflagsmall
POR
Ret
USAflagsmall
CLE
13
25px-Canadaflag
TOR
15
USAflagsmall
MIS
USAflagsmall
NHM
USAflagsmall
ROA
25px-Canadaflag
VAN
USAflagsmall
MDO
USAflagsmall
NAZ
USAflagsmall
LS
35th 0

Indianapolis 500Edit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Entrant
1981 Phoenix 80 Ford Cosworth DFX 12 4 Jerry O'Connell Racing
1982 Penske PC-10 Ford Cosworth DFX 2 30 Team Penske
1983 March 83C Ford Cosworth DFX 22 5 Bignotti-Cotter
1984 Eagle 84SB Pontiac V8 27 20 All American Racers
1985 March 85C Ford Cosworth DFX 32 11 Kraco Enterprises
1986 March 86C Ford Cosworth DFX 6 2 Patrick Racing
1987 March 87C Chevrolet 265A 24 31 Patrick Racing
1988 March 88C Ford Cosworth DFX 13 11 Machinist Union Racing Team
1989 March 88C Ford Cosworth DFX 27 32 Machinist Union Racing Team
1990 Penske PC-18 Buick 15 9 Granatelli Racing
1991 Lola T91/00 Buick 16 29 Team Menard
1993 Lola T93/00 Chevrolet 265C 14 14 Galles Racing

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1982 Indianapolis 500 television broadcast, ABC Sports, May 30, 1982
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "1982 Indianapolis 500 Daily Trackside Report" (PDF). Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 1982-05-30. http://www.indy500.com/images/stats/pdfs/dtr/1982.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 1982 Indianapolis 500 broadcast, ESPN Classic, May 2006
  4. Bob Varsha, on WindTunnel with Dave Despain, 10 June 2007
  5. 1982 Indianapolis 500 radio broadcast, May 30, 1982
  6. "All night race party," WIBC (FM)| 1070-AM, May 30, 2004
  7. 1992 Indianapolis 500 television broadcast, May 24, 1992

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