Sam Posey Receives 2012 Spirit of Competition Award
Racer, broadcaster, author and artist Sam Posey received the fifth annual Spirit of Competition Award on December 5th, 2012, at a gala dinner at the Simeone Automotive Museum, presented by Wilkie Lexus of Haverford, Pa. Past recipients of the award include Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie, John Fitch and Craig Breedlove. Bill Warner, Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, presented the award.
Sam Posey has distinguished himself both on the race track and in the broadcast booth, bringing a rare level of intelligence and insight to the world of motorsports. Posey is also an author (Playing With Trains and The Mudge Pond Express), painter, and architect; he designed the Paddock Building at Lime Rock Park.
Posey began his career as an amateur but was able to transition into professional status at a time when drivers drove everything. His racing resume includes Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 1, Formula 5000, and endurance events at Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans. In 1968, Roger Penske selected him to team with Mark Donohue driving the famous Sunoco Camaros. Posey’s consistent finishing record helped Chevrolet win the manufacturer’s championship that year. In 1969, he won the Trans-Am race at Lime Rock – his home track – in a factory Ford Mustang. In 1970, Posey was the driver for Ray Caldwell’s factory-backed Autodynamics Dodge Challenger in Trans-Am, racing against Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue and Jim Hall in what most racing historians regard as the greatest season of professional road racing in US history.
As an endurance racer, Posey appeared at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 10 times (1966, 1969–1973, and 1975–1978) and finished in the top 10 five times. His best finish was 3rd position during the 1971 competition in which he drove the Ferrari 512M. He also won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring, teaming with three other drivers. He participated in two Formula One world championship events, the 1971 and 1972 United States Grand Prix. Posey also raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1969 and 1972-1974 seasons, including the 1972 Indianapolis 500. He drove an Eagle in Formula 5000, twice earning the runner-up title in 1972 and 1971. In 1972, he was consistent in his finishing positions, placing second three times and third twice.
Posey went on to become an auto racing commentator for ABC Sports. Posey debuted on ABC for the Indianapolis 500 in 1974, and continued to report on IndyCars until the end of 1995. Posey also appeared on selected NASCAR broadcasts on ABC, and was brought in as part of the ABC Sports broadcast team covering the 1989 Tour de France. Many people were surprised by Posey’s knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the sport. Posey also worked the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo as the play-by-play announcer for luge and returned for ABC’s coverage of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Today, Posey is the voice for the pre-race build-up montage slotted between the Mercedes-Benz Pre-Race Show and the actual race coverage for each Formula 1 race shown on the Speed Channel. Posey also comments on recent Formula 1 races and the championship in a segment called “Posey’s Perspective” as part of the Formula 1 Debrief show (also featuring Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett, and Will Buxton) on the Speed Channel.