Shav Glick passes away at age 87 UPDATE #2 The following is a statement made by three-time IndyCar/CART champion Bobby Rahal regarding the passing of longtime Los Angeles Times sportswriter Shav Glick. "Shav Glick was one of the great racing writers of my time or of any other and I feel that motorsports has lost one of its great supporters with his passing. Shav was one of a handful of journalists that helped carry auto racing into the everyday consciousness of America, helping our sport grow with each column he wrote. He and I played golf a lot and I will miss his friendship, humor, intelligence and love for the sport."
10/21/07 Shav Glick, whose insightful coverage of motor sports for The Times made him nearly as famous as the racing stars he chronicled, died Saturday at his Pasadena home of complications from melanoma, said his companion, Doris Syme. He was 87. The complete LA Times article can be viewed at here.
Former Los Angeles Times beat writer Shav Glick passed away Saturday morning in his Pasadena (Calif.) home after a bout with cancer. He was 86 years old.
A native Californian, Glick got his first byline in a daily newspaper in 1935 at the Pasadena Post – he was 14 years old. In 1954, legendary publisher Otis Chandler recruited Glick to the Los Angeles Mirror, which became a part of the Los Angeles Times in 1963. In 1969, Glick began covering motorsports for the Times, retiring from that post in January 2006.
"Shav was a legendary journalist who brought a greater understanding of NASCAR, in fact all motorsports, to West Coast racing fans," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "Shav will be missed by all of us in the NASCAR community, but his contributions will never be forgotten."
"Shav never met a stranger," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. "He was a great guy, always fair. His contributions to the sport reached well beyond the pages of the Los Angeles Times."
Glick won countless awards in a career that spanned nearly 70 years. In 2004, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He won the Jim Murray Outstanding Journalist Award; STP/AARWBA Writing, Broadcast and Photography honors; and the AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award. He was only the fourth person in the 18-year history of the Motor Press Guild to receive a lifetime achievement award, and was a member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Shortly after his retirement, Glick was honored as the Grand Marshal of the 2006 Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.
Below is a media profile on Glick conducted in 2005:
Los Angeles Times
Pasadena, different house same city.
Have you ever moved away from the town?
“Only for college and war.”
“Golf and I love traveling. Traveling is one of the reasons I like the job.”
Past work experience
“I’ve been with the Times for 51 years in November. That includes time at The Mirror, which merged into the Times in 1963, and I’ve been there ever since.”
“The biggest award I received was being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America last year in Detroit. It was really something because Johnny Rutherford introduced me and all of the people who are important were there. Mike Helton, Tony George and all the people like that were there. It was very impressive. I also got a number of awards in AARWBA writing awards, but the biggest award is the Hall of Fame.”
First race you attended
“My uncle was a lap counter at Legion-Ascot speedway in the 1930’s when I was about six or seven years old and I used to go with him. The first race I worked was at Riverside. I used to go out and help out as a secondary writer in the early days of the Can-Am and the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix. That was when they used to get the European drivers. They had Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill, and Jackie Stewart along with A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty. A real mixture of drivers almost like IROC is now, only that time it was serious.”
Favorite race you’ve ever covered
“I really like outdoor Motocross better than anything else. One of the greatest things I’ve seen was the world championship road race at Laguna Seca a couple of months ago. The best NASCAR race I have seen, actually the best race I’ve seen in any sport really was Atlanta the year Kulwicki won the championship. Elliott won the race, Petty retired and it was Gordon’s first race. What was so intriguing about it was that they give five points to anyone for leading and also five points for leading the most laps. Kulwicki’s crew chief had it figured out that he could lead one lap more than Elliott, finish third, and have Elliot win and still win the championship. So in the middle of the race, it seemed like the most insignificant thing, Kulwicki zoomed by Elliot just to lead the lap and led 65 laps to Elliott’s 64. Elliott did win the race, and Kulwicki won the championship by 10 points. Along with Petty’s retirement it was really a dramatic time.”
Best column/story you’ve ever written
“The one that sticks out is about Junior Johnson. I went down to his place in Wilkes County in about 1974 and followed him around for a couple days and talked about his background and his importance to NASCAR. He is the guy who introduced Ralph Seagraves to Bill France, which in turn began Winston’s support of NASCAR and helped NASCAR take off. Before that NASCAR was just a regional sport, then they started racing in California, which is the reason we had an interest in them. It was really a story about how the sport had evolved from running whiskey through the back hills of North Carolina, and Junior Johnson had evolved from a moonshiner to a great racer, and then a great spokesman for the sport.”
Funniest behind-the-scenes story
“The most enjoyable thing I did was in 2002 when Tony Stewart won the championship and went to New York for the banquet and the paper decided to send me as well. I spent the whole week with Tony, rode around with him and had dinner with Tony and Joe Gibbs at the banquet. It was really quite a thrill for me, and I was still working.”
Favorite interview subject in the garage (current)
“They are all pretty good; I recently spent some time with Tony Stewart while he was building a playground in Pomona. I got along very well with Dale Earnhardt. Rusty Wallace is also one of my favorite interviews. Those are probably the tops. I also get along well with Robby Gordon since I have known him since he was 15 years old.”
Favorite interview subject in the garage (all-time)
“Richard Petty, by far.”
Best NASCAR driver you’ve ever seen
“Jeff Gordon. Foyt and Andretti are also great drivers. I always thought Ayrton Senna was the best Formula One driver I ever saw. It is almost impossible to compare Gordon and Petty. He is still so young, and if you look at it from a purist’s standpoint, he actually won his fifth championship last year even though Busch is the acknowledged champion. That would have been Gordon’s fifth title under the old system to Petty and Earnhardt’s seven, and I think it is very reasonable for Gordon to win two or three more.”
“I love Daytona; I’ve been to all but one Daytona 500 since 1979. The first one I saw was the Allison /Yarborough fight 500, a rather memorable story.”
Favorite restaurant on the NASCAR circuit
“I go to the Outback whenever I can. At Indy I go to Dunaway’s, I used to go to St. Elmo. I would never turn down St. Elmo, but I prefer Dunaway’s. I usually find someone who knows the town and find out where they go and try to go there.”
Favorite sports team
“I am a big baseball fan. I don’t usually root for the Dodgers because I am in competition with them. The more they win, the fewer stories I can get printed, so I am not a real Dodger fan. When I was a kid I was a great Cardinals fan, but now days I enjoy watching individuals like Ichiro, Guerrero, and Rodriguez.”
Favorite athlete of all time
“Golf would have to be Jack Nicklaus, racing would probably be Petty, but it is hard to say.”