Jim Hurtubise

James Hurtubise (December 5, 1932 – January 6, 1989) was an American race car driver who raced in USAC Champ Cars (including the Indianapolis 500), as well as sprint cars and stock cars (USAC and NASCAR). He was from the Buffalo suburb of North Tonawanda, New York. Hurtubise enjoyed a lot of success in sprint cars, champ dirt cars, and stock cars but never achieved the success at the Indy 500 that his rookie qualifying run promised when he out qualified pole sitter Eddie Sachs by three mph, nearly breaking the 150 mph mark. "Herk" was a fan favorite throughout much of his career because of his fun-loving attitude and his hard driving style.[1]

Jim Hurtubise
Jim Hurtubise.jpg
Born(1932-12-05)December 5, 1932
DiedJanuary 6, 1989(1989-01-06) (aged 56)
Resting placeCrown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
NationalityAmerican
AwardsNational Sprint Car Hall of Fame 1993 Inductee
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1960
TeamsChristensen
Entries1
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1960 Indianapolis 500
Last entry1960 Indianapolis 500
NASCAR Cup Series career
36 races run over 13 years
Best finish46th (1968)
First race1957 Ascot Stadium race
Last race1977 Delaware 500 (Dover)
First win1966 Atlanta 500 (Atlanta)
Last win1966 Atlanta 500 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 11 0

Hurtubise raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1959–1968 and 1970–1974 seasons, with 97 career starts. He finished in the top ten 38 times, with 4 victories, in 1959 at Sacramento, 1960 at Langhorne, and 1961 and 1962 at Springfield.[2] In 1964, after suffering serious burns in an accident during the Rex Mays Classic at the Milwaukee Mile, doctors asked Hurtubise how he wanted his hands shaped permanently. "Just make 'em so I can hold a steering wheel," he replied.[1]

Hurtubise died January 6, 1989 after suffering a heart attack near his home in Port Arthur, Texas. He was 56 years old. He is interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.[3][4]

Indianapolis 500Edit

Hurtubise ran in ten Indianapolis 500 races between 1960 and 1974. His best finish was a 13th in 1962.

In 1965 He qualified using a Novi engine, the last year that engine would be used in the race, have been considered obsolete several years before.[5] The engine failed on the first lap, and he finished last.[6]

In 1966 He entered a rear-engined car, which was taking over from the front-engined roadsters as the standard for the race, and finished 17th.

After failing to qualify in 1967, in 1968 he ran the last front engined car to date in the race. He owned and had built the car himself, and named it the "Mallard". He claimed the car was lighter than previous roadsters, which would allow it to be competitive with the rear-engine cars.[7]

From 1969 through 1971, he would continued to attempt to qualify the roadster, but failed to make the field, which was now fully rear-engined cars.

In 1972, he had qualified a rear-engine car 13th.[8] However on "bump day", he put the roadster, sponsored by Miller Beer in line to make a qualification attempt shortly before the closing deadline of 6:00 pm. The time expired before it was his turn to qualify. He then removed the engine cover to reveal that the car had no engine, but five chilled cases of his sponsor's product, which he shared with the other pit crews and race officials[1][9]

In 1973 through 1975 he attempted to qualify rear-engine cars, missing the field in 1973 and 1975 while qualifying 28th in 1974, finishing the race 28th after blowing the engine on lap 31. This would be the last year he would successfully qualify for the race.

For 1976 he was back in the Mallard. In 1978, while once again attempting to enter the roadster (a type of car which had now not qualified for the race in a decade) Tom Binford, the chief steward, refused to allow him an attempt to make the race, stating the car had not showed it was capable of race speed during practice. He then sat in entrant Bob Harkey’s car for ten minutes refusing to move. After finally leaving the car he ran on the track where he was tackled and apprehended by the police.[10]

In subsequent years he continued to attempt to get the Mallard into the field, with his final attempt in 1981. This was the final attempt for any front-engine car in the race, 13 years after the last time a car of that type had qualified for the race, and 17 years since the last time one had won.[11]

Final race for the MallardEdit

In 1972 Hurtubise drove the Mallard in an IndyCar race at Michigan in 1972, qualifying 26th (last) and finishing 23rd. He drove the same car a year earlier at the Pocono 500, qualifying 33rd (last) and finishing 30th.[12] This would be the last time a front-engine car ran in an IndyCar race.

NASCAR careerEdit

In 1957, Hurtubise started his NASCAR career running two races. Over the next twenty years, he would race 36 races, winning one race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and amassing eleven top ten finishes.[13]

AwardsEdit

He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.[14] Hurtubise was the 1998 pioneer selection for the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame.[15]

Complete USAC Championship Car resultsEdit

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Pos Points
1959 DAY TRE INDY MIL LAN SPR MIL DUQ SYR ISF
16
TRE
7
SAC
DNQ
PHX
1
21st 260
1960 TRE
17
INDY
18
MIL
11
LAN
1
SPR
10
MIL
26
DUQ
13
SYR
15
ISF
12
TRE
13
SAC
14
PHX
2
16th 420
1961 TRE
2
INDY
22
MIL
5
LAN
8
MIL
7
SPR
1
DUQ
18
SYR
3
ISF
18
TRE
2
SAC
14
PHX
DNS
6th 939
1962 TRE
6
INDY
13
MIL
3
LAN
3
TRE
5
SPR
1
MIL
21
LAN
2
SYR
4
ISF
8
TRE
9
SAC
4
PHX
5
6th 1,340
1963 TRE
3
INDY
22
MIL
19
LAN
3
TRE
4
SPR
17
MIL
8
DUQ
8
ISF
10
TRE
24
SAC
11
PHX
9th 660
1964 PHX
16
TRE
2
INDY
14
MIL
14
LAN TRE SPR MIL DUQ ISF TRE SAC PHX 25th 160
1965 PHX
4
TRE
19
INDY
33
MIL
DNQ
LAN
21
PPR TRE
2
IRP
18
ATL
4
LAN
21
MIL
16
ISF
DNQ
MIL
21
DSF
7
INF
16
TRE
25
SAC PHX
16
14th 743
1966 PHX
13
TRE INDY
17
MIL
22
LAN
17
ATL
26
PIP IRP LAN SPR
DNQ
MIL
26
DUQ ISF TRE
17
SAC PHX
DNQ
- 0
1967 PHX TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL
16
LAN
15
PIP MOS
8
MOS
9
IRP
11
LAN
13
MTR
17
MTR
7
SPR
5
MIL
19
DUQ ISF
DNQ
TRE SAC HAN PHX RIV
18
23rd 280
1968 HAN LVG PHX TRE INDY
30
MIL MOS MOS LAN PIP CDR NAZ IRP IRP LAN LAN MTR MTR SPR MIL DUQ ISF TRE SAC MCH HAN PHX RIV - 0
1969 PHX HAN INDY
DNQ
MIL LAN PIP CDR NAZ TRE IRP IRP MIL SPR DOV DUQ ISF BRN BRN TRE SAC KEN KEN PHX RIV - 0
1970 PHX SON TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL LAN CDR MCH IRP SPR MIL ONT
32
DUQ ISF SED TRE SAC PHX - 0
1971 RAF RAF PHX TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL POC
30
MCH MIL ONT
DNQ
TRE PHX - 0
1972 PHX
12
TRE
21
INDY
23
MIL
DNQ
MCH
23
POC
DNQ
MIL ONT TRE PHX 41st 15
1973 TWS TRE TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL POC
23
MCH MIL ONT ONT ONT
DNQ
MCH MCH TRE TWS PHX - 0
1974 ONT ONT ONT
DNQ
PHX TRE INDY
25
MIL POC
24
MCH MIL MCH TRE TRE PHX - 0
1975 ONT ONT ONT PHX TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL POC MCH MIL MCH TRE PHX - 0
1976 PHX TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL POC MCH TWS TRE MIL ONT MCH TWS PHX - 0
1977 ONT PHX TWS TRE INDY
DNQ
MIL POC MOS MCH TWS MIL ONT MCH PHX - 0
1978 PHX ONT TWS TRE INDY
DNQ
MOS MIL POC MCH ATL TWS MIL ONT MCH TRE SIL BRH PHX - 0
1979 ONT TWS INDY
DNQ
MIL POC TWS MIL - 0
1980 ONT INDY
DNQ
MIL POC MDO - 0
1981-82 INDY
DNQ
POC ILL DUQ ISF INDY - 0

Complete PPG Indy Car Series resultsEdit

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos. Pts
1979 Hurtubise Racing PHX ATL ATL INDY
DNQ
TRE TRE MCH MCH WGL TRE ONT MCH ATL PHX - 0
1980 Hurtubise Racing ONT
INDY
DNQ
MIL
POC
MDO
MCH
WGL
MIL
ONT
MCH
MEX
PHX
- 0

Indianapolis 500 resultsEdit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1960 Christensen Offy 23rd 18th
1961 Epperly Offy 3rd 22nd
1962 Watson Offy 29th 13th
1963 Kurtis Kraft Novi 2nd 22nd
1964 Hurtubise Offy 11th 14th
1965 Kurtis Kraft Novi 23rd 33rd
1966 Gerhardt Offy 22nd 17th
1967 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1968 Mallard Offy 30th 30th
1969 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1970 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1971 Mallard Offy Qualifying Crash
1972 Coyote Foyt 13th 23rd
1973 Lola Offy Failed to Qualify
1974 McLaren M16 Offy 28th 25th
1975 Eagle Offy Failed to Qualify
1976 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1977 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1978 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1979 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1980 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1981 King Offy Failed to Qualify

World Championship career summaryEdit

The Indianapolis 500 was 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. Hurtubise participated in one World Championship race, finishing eighteenth and receiving no points.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Chapin, Kim (1978-05-15). "The Ghost Of Indy's Past". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  2. ^ Kavanagh, Rick. "Jim Hurtubise Remembered". Merrittville Speedway. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  3. ^ KUPPER, MIKE (10 January 1989). "FLAMBOYANT FIGURE : Auto Racing World Will Miss Fun-Loving Driver Jim Hurtubise". Retrieved 14 January 2019 – via LA Times.
  4. ^ "Indianapolis Auto greats" (PDF). Celebrating Automotive Heritage at Crown Hill Cemetery. Crown Hill Cemetery. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  5. ^ Studebaker Indianapolis 500 Novi Race car Studebakerinfo.org. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Race Results - Indianapolis 500 - 1965 Indianapolis 500 Historical Stats at Indianapolis Motor Speedway website. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  7. ^ 1967 Hurtubise Mallard Offy: The last roadster to run at Indy Autoweek, September 20, 2001. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Miller, Robin (May 16th, 2018) Robin Miller's Mailbag for May 16 Racer.com. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Larson, Mike (April 28, 2016). "#31 Jim Hurtubise fails to qualify for Indy 500, treats everyone to beer instead". AutoWeek. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Hurtubise Disrupts Indy 500 Qualifying". The New York Times. May 22, 1978. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Kelly, Paul (May 10, 2018) Indy Memories: A.J Foyt takes last win for a front-engine car WKRN Television. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Driver Jim Hurtubise's AAA / USAC Champ Car Series Results at Michigan International Speedway - Racing-Reference.info". www.racing-reference.info. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Jim Hurtubise". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  14. ^ "inductees". National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  15. ^ Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

1960
Succeeded by