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Buddy Martin and Larry Lombardo at Indy '79.
It was during Sunday qualifying. Things were a bit more laid back then.
Martin-Lombardo Indy 79.png

I forgot Lee Beard came up with the actual "Terrible Towel" when he put one on the accelerator pedal on Gary Ormsby's TF when he had a string of great reaction times, just to fool with the other racers. Dale's towel came later, with that great question mark on it. It covered an air operated lean out system that opened up a jet at about 3.6 seconds into the run.
Dale had a lot of tricks, like using a kickdown switch from a junkyard GTO hooked to the shifter and to a light bulb on the back of Kenny's FC to find out KB was shifting right after launch, not where he needed to.....sort of a lie-detector system!
Actually Dales towel was well before Ormsby and Beards towel. Dales was in 85 I believe and Lees came around 89