Tony in his brand new 1969 Eagle at Riverside - on the way to winning the 1969 Formula 5000 Championship.  Dan Gurney, the constructor, would later praise Tony as "The winningest Eagle driver ever".

   1969  Formula 5000

   Series Champion

    My first race ever in a open wheel machine, 460 HP TRACO Chevy and all.  This was entering turn 7 at Riverside.  I was leading Lothar Motchenbacher in a McLaren Chevy.  I relinquished the lead in turn nine.  I was hurting so badly from bruised ribs after a test crash at Willow Springs less than one week earlier, that I had to be helped in and out of the vehicle.  I thought third was better than nothing the first race.  John Cannon won the race, but in the long run we won the championship!

Another shot at Riverside on the same day

    In 1969, Mac Tilton left Milestone Racing to work with BRE, Pete Brock's Datsun team.  Don Breslauer stayed partially into the year while we fielded an AAR Eagle Formula A/5000 to a championship.  Milestone Racing became known as a proficient team to contend with.  Carrol Smith had joined our team after the 3rd race of the season.  On loan from Carrol Shelby, at the time, he was very instrumental, along with Roy Wade my former Group 44 roommate and mechanic to provide me a winning Championship platform.  It was the first time ever for me to drive a Formula car and what a ride it was for the history books.

Believe it or not, no damage was done with the over-exuberant driving style at Lime Rock

    I called it the Race of the Tow Trucks, the only race that included several tow trucks navigating the course while the race was in process.  Talk about dodging big iron, it was overkill by Sears Point officials.

    That was my third race in the Eagle, I never expected the radius rod mount to shear off.  Immediately we had to bring it back to Gurney's shop, where Pete Wilkins performed his magic repair to tub, etc. Carroll Smith suggested a doubler plate to be added to the mounts with staggered rivets. We had the only Eagle with that Mod, so goes the saying, "when the horse gets out of the barn, install a bigger padlock".

    It was quite an installation of the Ford engine.  We had to carve away some of the inner tub for clearance.  The engine still sat with a higher center of gravity than the Chevy and affected the handling somewhat.  The sound of the air intakes were awesome, listening from the cockpit.  The 4 exhaust headers were almost a 180 degree exhaust system.  A large oil cooler behind the air intake was added for additional cooling.  No real thought was given to streamlining back then.  The wing was a modified airfoil shape taken from a drag race design.  The original wing from the AAR shop had a much thinner airfoil.  Also note we had knock-off hubs at the rear, after exhausting F/A hub parts supply from Gurney.  The original design was not as beefy as the champ car hubs, and cracked where the machined radius was too sharp.

    We never had any further problems with the knock offs, although at the end of the season, both John Cannon and Bobby Brown crashed/broke standard hubs at Thompson race in the banking.  Despite all our early warnings to Gurney's shop and other Eagle drivers, no one took heed.

A test session at Riverside with newly installed Ford engine in preparation for the season's last race at Sebring.

    Here's a rare photo of a testing session at Riverside with newly installed Ford engine in preparation for the last race at Sebring.  Note the reinforced radius arm mounts to the tub.  I sheared off a lower one at Sears Point, in the sweeper, one heck of a ride.  No harm came to me or car at the time, however the tow truck driver picked up the entire car by the roll bar and proceeded to remove it from the scene. He opened the entire left side of tub and fuel bladder like a can opener, as he rounded the end of the guardrail.

Through Riverside's Esses at 170 mph

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz







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Tony bends the Eagle into Riverside's Turn #7

Riverside Turn 9, Tony drives inside Dick Simon's Lola

Tony at speed in the Eagle/Chevy, 1969 Riverside Raceway

Tony a2z idles toward the garage area at Riverside Raceway