John Frankenheimer's death Saturday, July 6, coincided with our Molson Indy weekend. The director of such classics as The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Birdman Of Alcatraz (1962) and Seven Days In May (1964) was a huge racing fan. When I interviewed him in 1991 for the forgettable thriller Year Of The Gun (starring the about-to-break Sharon Stone), we spent most of our time talking about Grand Prix, his 1966 Panavision racing flick. Frankenheimer was still visibly irked that the studio interfered with his vision of making the greatest racing film of all time, and even though the film was a dramatic mess, its use of split screens to capture the action remains fresh to this day. Frankenheimer's best work, live TV he directed during the 50s and his politically inspired 60s dramas, came early in his career, and he spent the next 30 years trying to recapture that magic. There were moments when he succeeded -- check out the tension-filled terrorist sports flick Black Sunday (1977), which seems even more relevant today than when it was first released. And 1998's spy drama Ronin featured an inspired car chase that the speed-loving Frankenheimer could be proud of.