Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1960 – Jimmy Bryan injuries fatal at Langhorne

Jimmy Bryan
 
 
Langhorne, Penn. (June 19, 1960) – Jimmy Bryan, winner of the 1958 Indianapolis Memorial Day classic, was killed Sunday when his racing car rolled over several times on the first lap of the 100-mile National Championship at Langhorne Speedway.

The 33-year-old driver from Phoenix, Ariz., was dead on arrival at Lower Bucks County Hospital. His car started to skid sideways just after the race started and then rolled over. There was no fire. His Leader Card Special was wrecked.

Bryan had qualified in the car, which Roger Ward usually drives, with the second fastest time, 110:321 miles per hour.

The feature race was restarted after the accident. The winner was Jim Hurtubise, of Lennox, Calif., in a field of 17 cars. His time was 59 minutes and 31.92 seconds and his speed 100.78 miles per hour on the one-mile track.

Bryan raced in the Indianapolis 500 mile classic nine times, winning it in 1958. He also won the 500-miler at Monza, Italy, in 1957.

The cigar-chewing Bryan was known in racing circles as "the earth mover" for his uncanny ability at winning on dirt tracks. He won the national big car driving championship three times - in 1954, 1956 and 1957.

Bryan began racing in 1948 and had won 19 championship auto races. He leaves his widow, Luella, and a 3-year-old daughter Stephanie Lou.

Bryan was the fourth Indianapolis race winner killed in a race since World War II. George Robson, winner in 1946, was killed later the same year in a race at Atlanta. Bill Vukovich, Indianapolis winner in 1953 and 1954, died in a smashup during the 1955 500-mile race

The 1955 champion, Bob Sweikert was killed later that year in a race at Salem, Indiana.

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