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Black Beast's triumphant return to Indy

Two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, left, with

Two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, left, with Howard Kroplick, owner of the Black Beast. They took the 1909 car around the Brickyard for a parade lap prior to the start of the 100th Anniversary Indy 500 race. Photo Credit: Howard Kroplick

The 1909 Alco 6 racer, known as the Black Beast, was invited back to Indianapolis to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500. The Black Beast finished 33rd in the initial race. Trading Paint reached out to Howard Kroplick, of East Hills, who owns the car, to see how the parade lap at the old Brickyard went.

"The day was spectacular," said Kroplick. "The Black Beast made the entire lap at the fastest speed of any of the 1911 parade cars. The 1911 winner Marmon stalled near the start and we were asked to go out first."

Two-time Indy 500 champ Emerson Fittipaldi drove the car with Kroplick riding shotgun as the mechanic.

"Emerson Fittipaldi was wonderful," said Kroplick. "We both wore vintage leather racing helmets and waved to the thousands in the stands. We averaged around 50 miles per hour and reached a max of 68 mph- the fastest that I ever have been in the Beast."

According to Kroplick, after the parade lap, the Black Beast was asked to be placed behind the ABC/ESPN booth as the backdrop for the pre-race broadcast.
 

 

 

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