News Indianapolis 500 fixture Jim McElreath dies at 89

06:25  19 may  2017
06:25  19 may  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Jim McElreath , a teenage dirt-track racer who went on to become the 1962 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and race in 15 Indy 500 s, has died . He was age 89 . Separate statements issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway say McElreath

The 61st International 500 Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Sunday, May 29, 1977. Considered one of the most historically significant editions of the Indianapolis 500

In this May 30, 1969, file photo, Jim McElreath leaps from his burning racer during the 53rd running of the Indianapolis 500. In this May 30, 1969, file photo, Jim McElreath leaps from his burning racer during the 53rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Jim McElreath, a teenage dirt-track racer who went on to become the 1962 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and race in 15 Indy 500s, has died. He was age 89.

Separate statements issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway say McElreath died Thursday in his sleep at his home in Arlington, Texas.

McElreath had been one of eight surviving drivers who had driven a front-engine car in the Indy 500, where rear-mounted engines are now standard. He finished sixth or higher in the 500 six times, finishing as high as third in the 1966 race.

McElreath retired from competition in 1984 and has been inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

Howard fastest, Honda dominates Indianapolis 500 practice .
Jay Howard topped the speed charts at Indianapolis 500 practice Thursday with a fast lap of 226.744 mph while Honda cars claimed nine of the fastest 11 speeds during the session. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 winner at Indy, was second fastest at 225.826 mph while teammates Marco Andretti (225.709) and Fernando Alonso (225.619) were third and fourth. Alonso, a veteran in Formula One, will be making his debut in the May 28 race.Josef Newgarden crashed early in the day when he lost control and hit the Turn 1 wall. He was later checked and released from the track's medical center and was fifth fastest at 225.

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