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Phil Hill The Great, RIP.


Rich Kennedy
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He was the first American to win what we would call the Formula 1 Drivers championship (1961) today. To date, Mario Andretti is the only other American to do so.

Hill was a product of the postwar California sportscar culture, preceeding James Dean. He caught the early attention of Ferrari and drove for that marque in almost any situation as detailed in this summary by speedtv.com I was impressed to know that he won the Argentine 1000, a legendary race that was hard on cars and drivers racing through the Andes. Sort of a combination of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb (actually that is a sprint) and the old Mille Miglia.

Recently in a tribute to the late Jim McKay, Sam Posey quoted Hill (doing color for McKay at Indy on ABC) distinguishing Indy cars from Formula cars, "Think dog versus horse." The larger animal being the Indy car compared with a greyhound. That was Hill encapsulated. Economical, not quite terse. Warm, but to the point. All accounts suggest he raced that way too. He won't be honored as he should be, a great American hero who took it to European sportsmen on European turf and was admired by those sportsmen for his ability and guile.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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