By Michael T. Lynch
Dan Gurney (April 13, 1931 – January 14, 2018) has left us, and we have lost one of the most charismatic American race drivers of any era. As the son of an opera singer on Long Island, he got the racing bug early, watching the midgets at Freeport Stadium. His hero of the day was midget driver Ted Tappet, whose real name was Phil Walters. Walters would go on to be the first great American postwar road racer, putting America on the international racing map with Briggs Cunningham’s cars.