90 Ascot drivers who were also Indy 500 drivers

Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti

Alphabetically, here are the 90 drivers who raced midgets or sprint cars at Ascot and who also raced in the Indianapolis 500. I have added more data on the 78th through 90th drivers on my list because they are the drivers I uncovered during my more extensive discovery phase. Their racing experience at Ascot surprised other racing historians and yours truly.

A – George Amick (ran # 15 Harold Guidi Offy midget in 12/28/58 Ascot 100-lap race seven weeks before he was killed on the final lap of a USAC Champ Car race at the new 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway); John Andretti; Mario Andretti; Frank Armi – ran four USAC midget races at Ascot 4/61 (#20 Ward Offy), 4/62 (# 99jr Eddie Meyer Offy), plus 4/63 and 8/64 (# 35 A. J. Walker Offy); Chuck Arnold (raced a # 97 Vel's Ford sprint car 11/6 and 11/13/65); Charles "Sonny" Ates-one 500 start in 1969 and ran USAC sprint car at Ascot.

B – Gary Bettenhausen; Tony Bettenhausen (ran in the first ever Ascot USAC Midget race on 12/28/58 in the # 5 Jack London Bowes Seal Fast Offy and again 11/24/60, and in the # 15 Glen Dennee Offy on 2/7/60. Tony lost his life during Indy 500 practice in May 1961); Tom Bigelow; Art Bisch, Sr; Billy Boat; Johnny Boyd (ran # 4 Jack London Offy in 3/59 and # 5 Jack London Offy in 1960); Don Branson (lost his life at Ascot in late 1966 USAC sprint car race).

C – Larry Cannon; Duane "Pancho" Carter; Jimmy Caruthers; Bill Cheesbourg (ran # 38 Waddell Offy USAC midget 2/15/59); Steve Chassey; Gary Congdon; Ray Crawford (ran his own # 49 Offy 2/7/60 and 11/24/60).

D – Jimmy Davies – set one-lap track record in his own # 1 Offy midget on 12/28/58 and drove his own # 1 Offy 4/15/61 and in the USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix (TNGP) on 11/28/63; Don Davis; Larry Dickson.

E – Don Edmunds – (1957 Indy 500 rookie of the year in his only 500) ran # 95 Clawson Offy at Ascot 2/15/59; Billy Engelhart (1971 & 1973 TNGP winner).

AJ Foyt as Ascot
AJ Foyt as Ascot

F – A. J. Foyt, Jr; Stan Fox. (NOTE: Al "Cotton" Farmer raced one time with USAC at Ascot on 11-10-62 in # 22 Bromme Offy, but he never raced in an Indy 500.)

G – Elmer George (ran # 2 Jack London Offy midget 10/21/61 and 11/23/61 and # 34 Doug Caruthers Offy 7/28/62, plus his # 21 HOW Chevy USAC sprinter in 11/62 and 11/63); Bobby Grim (ran # 33 Coxie Bowman Offy midget 10/20/63 and # 98 in 1966 TNGP); Mike Groff (ran red # 5 Groff midget in 1990).

H – Norm Hall (ran his own # 14 Offy midget 4/14/62 and in 1963 as well); Bob Harkey (flipped # 10 Walt Flynn Offy sprinter 11/2/63 and ran # 20 Harlan Dismuke Chevy 11/9/63); Jack Hewitt; Bill Homeier – (ran three midget races–in Marv Edwards Offy 2/15/59, # 10 Ernie Alvarado Offy 2/7/60 and # 95 Tim Sullivan Offy 12/7/60); Chuck Hulse; Jim Hurtubise.

J – Norman "Bubby" Jones (ran one Indy 500 in 1977); P. J. Jones (ran # 11 CRA sprint car in 1988 and his own # 21 USAC midget in 1989-90 and ran two Indy 500s-2004 and 2006); Parnelli Jones. (NOTE: Bruce Jacobi raced midgets and sprints at Ascot but never made the Indy 500).

K – Mel Kenyon; Sheldon Kinser; Steve Kinser; Arnie Knepper (ran own # 31 midget in TNGP); Lee Kunzman.

L – Jud Larson; Greg Leffler; Joe Leonard (ran # 72 Adolph Bonini Offy on 2/7/60).

M – Jim Malloy (ran Harry Conklin Offy in 1962 and in 1966 TNGP); Bobby Marshman (ran # 5 Jack London Bowes Seal Fast Offy midget 7/28/62 and 11/62 and # 5 Jack Colvin KEY Chevy USAC sprinter); Bob Mathouser – (ran # 7 Bill Sikes Chevy sprint car 11/3/62 and # 58 Jim Kierce Chevy 11/2/63); Jim McElreath (ran # 20 Ward Offy 3/11/62 and own # 23 USAC sprinter in 1960s); Roger McCluskey; Rick Mears (CRA sprint); Roger Mears (CRA sprint); Mike Mosley. (NOTE: Bobby Marvin (raced # 52 Clem Tebow Chevy sprinter at Ascot on 11/3 and 11/10/62 but he never raced in the Indy 500. He had a ride for the 1963 500 but was killed 4/7/63 in the John Werglund Chevy during the second 50-lap feature of a USAC Sprint Car twin-50s at the Langhorne, PA one-mile dirt track. He started 7th and finished 4th in the first 50 and was in the top five of the second 50 when his fiery flip took place on lap 41, ending the event after 40 laps. Bobby expired two days later. He had raced Wally Meskowski's USAC champ dirt car in 1962, including events at Sacramento and Phoenix.)

N – Cal Niday – (ran three USAC midget races–in # 92 Babe Stapp Offy 2/7/60, # 97 Dick Betts Offy 4/2/60 and # 95 Tim Sullivan Offy 11/24/60).

O – Bobby Olivero; Jan Opperman (ran in the 1974 and 1976 Indy 500s).

P – Johnny Parsons (Jr); Johnnie Parsons (Sr) – ran # 45 Fred Gerhardt Offy midget 2/15/59; Bill Puterbaugh.

R – Roger Rager (ran # 4J sprint car in mid-1970s in Ascot Pacific Coast Open and in 1980 Indy 500 in a 1966 Wildcat chassis with a school bus Chevy engine); Larry Rice; Chuck Rodee (ran # 87 Ed Loniewski Offy midget 10/20/63); Lloyd Ruby (ran # 15 Glen Dennee Offy midget 4/2/60); Johnny Rutherford; Troy Ruttman (ran # 6 Famighetti Chevy in USAC sprint car race 11/3/62). (NOTE: Keith "Porky" Rachwitz raced midgets and sprint cars at Ascot but never qualifie for the Indy 500).

S – Joe Saldana (ran 1971 TNGP); Billy Scott; Sam Sessions; A. J. Shepherd (ran Van Berckelaer Offy midget in TNGP 11/24/60); Dick Simon (ran a CRA sprint car race in mid-1970s); George Snider; Len Sutton (ran # 55 Hal Robb Offy 2/7/60). (NOTE: Colby Scroggin raced CRA sprints and USAC midgets at Ascot but did not qualify for the 1963 Indy 500 in his only attempt. Ron Shuman and Sammy Swindell raced sprints and midgets at Ascot but they never raced in the Indy 500).

T – Clark "Shorty" Templeman – (ran midgets # 4 Jack London Offy 2/15/59, # 1 Jack Whelan Bardahl Offy 2/7/60, and # 99jr Eddie Meyer Offy 10/21/60 and 11/24/60); Bud Tingelstad; Johnnie Tolan.

U – Al Unser, Jr; Al Unser, Sr; Bobby Unser.

V – Rich Vogler; Billy Vukovich II. (NOTE: Bill Vukovich III never raced at Ascot.)

W – Bruce Walkup; Rodger Ward (ran # 51 A. J. Murphy Offy 11/24/60); Wayne Weiler (ran # 32 Blakely Oil Offy 2/15/59 and # 54 Marv Edwards Offy 2/7/60); Greg Weld; Bob Wente (ran # 36 Hamm Offy 11/24/60 and # 23 Shadday Offy midget 10/20/63 and # 8 Clem Tebow Chevy in 11/2 and 11/ 9/63 USAC sprint car races); Johnny White (ran # 8x midget 10/20/63 and # 1 Fike Plumbing Chevy sprinter 11/2/63); Carl Williams (ran his own # 21 sprint car in fall 1966 USAC races); Dempsey Wilson.

The 90 driver names listed above comprise 11 different Indianapolis 500 winners and 26 total Indy 500 victories by drivers who also raced at legendary Ascot Park. They developed some of their early racing skills on the Ascot clay oval and also perfected their racing expertise on paved tracks en route to the fabled "Brickyard"- the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the historic pinnacle of auto racing for more than 90 years.

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