Jim McElreath

Posted on: May 19, 2017 at 06:37
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Hall of Fame open-wheel driver Jim McElreath passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday at his home in Arlington, Texas, at the age of 89. He made15 starts in the Indianapolis 500, McElreath began his rise in racing in 1945 as a 17-year-old youngster running modified stock cars at the renowned Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas. His open-wheel career began in 1961 with USAC,  and he competed in his first Indianapolis 500 a year later, finishing sixth. That performance earned him the honor of Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. He would go on to record three top-five and six top-10 finishes in those 15 Indy 500 starts.Through his illustrious 23-year career, McElreath competed in 183 open-wheel events and posted five victories, 48 top-five finishes and 22 podiums along with four poles. Those wins included the inaugural California 500 at Ontario, Calif., in 1970 driving A.J. Foyt's team car. He also had a pair of top-three finishes in the USAC national championship and also excelled in dirt cars. The versatile star also made four starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. Upon officially retiring from racing in 1984, McElreath worked on restoring vintage open-wheel race cars.

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