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Dennis "Duke" Nalon (March 2, 1913 – February 26, 2001) was an American midget car, sprint car, and Indy 500 driver from Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Duke Nalon
Born(1913-03-02)March 2, 1913
DiedFebruary 26, 2001(2001-02-26) (aged 87)
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited States American
Active years19501954
TeamsKurtis Kraft
Entries5 (3 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions1
Fastest laps0
First entry1950 Indianapolis 500
Last entry1954 Indianapolis 500

Contents

Racing careerEdit

Nalon began as a pit crew member for Wally Zale. Nalon occasionally warmed up the car. When Walter Galven needed a driver, Zale convinced Galven to allow Nalon to race. Nalon won the feature event.[1]

Nalon was nicknamed "The Iron Duke." Nalon was part of the "Chicago Gang" with Tony Bettenhausen. They toured tracks in the Midwest and East Coast of the United States.[1]

Midget carsEdit

Nalon won races on the United States' East Coast in the 1930s. Nalon competed in midget cars throughout his career. He ran his final career race at the only 100-mile (160 km) midget race ever run at Terre Haute. He raced Johnny Pawl’s famous midget to victory. He ended his career the way he started it: with a win.[1]

Sprint carsEdit

He won the 1938 East Coast AAA Sprint car championship.[1]

Indy carsEdit

Nalon started ten Indianapolis 500-mile (800 km) races, finishing only 3. He started from the pole twice, and was twice the fastest qualifier. In 1947, he competed in a Mercedes-Benz W154.

1949 Indianapolis 500 CrashEdit

In 1949, he was involved in a massive, fiery crash in Turn 3. He backed into the wall and the car burst into flames. He survived only because he held his breath (to prevent asphyxiation), and he jumped out of the car while it was still moving. He had severe burns to his legs which gave him trouble until his death in 2001.

Indy 500 resultsEdit

Complete Formula One World Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1950 Novi Mobil Kurtis Kraft Novi L8 GBR MON 500
DNQ
SUI BEL FRA ITA NC 0
1951 Novi Purelube Kurtis Kraft Novi L8 SUI 500
10
BEL FRA GBR GER ITA ESP NC 0
1952 Novi Pure Oil Kurtis Kraft Novi L8 SUI 500
25
BEL FRA GBR GER NED ITA NC 0
1953 Novi Governor Kurtis Kraft Novi L8 ARG 500
11
NED BEL FRA GBR GER SUI ITA NC 0
1954 Novi Pure Oil Kurtis Kraft Novi L8 ARG 500
DNQ
BEL FRA GBR GER SUI ITA ESP NC 0

World Championship career summaryEdit

The Indianapolis 500 was idered part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Duke Nalon participated in 3 World Championship races. He started on the pole once but scored no World Championship points.

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Biography at the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Duke Nalon Indy 500 Race Stats Archived May 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Mark Martin, Ricky Carmichael among 2015 inductees into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America". Fox News. Retrieved January 24, 2015.