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Jim Rathmann (born Richard Rathmann July 16, 1928 from Alhambra, California) is a former American race car driver who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1960.

He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series in the 1949-1950 and 1952-1963 seasons with 42 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 in each of those seasons. Rathmann also participated in the two runnings of the Race of Two Worlds at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy, winning the 1958 event. He had 6 victories in addition to his Indy 500 win. He also drove in 3 races in the NASCAR series from 1949-1951.

Since retiring, Rathmann has owned Chevrolet dealerships in Palm Bay and Melbourne, Florida. Mr. Rathmann is now retired from the car business. He is currently the oldest living winner of the Indy 500.

It was announced on February 20, 2007 that Rathmann will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 15, 2007. The ceremony will take place in Detroit.[1]

Contents

NASCAR career

Rathmann drove in 3 NASCAR Strictly Stock/Grand National races from 1949 to 1951, competing in one race in each of those years. He debuted in 1949 at Langhorne. Starting 13th in the race, Rathmann slid to 32nd by the end of the race. In 1950, Rathmann raced at the pretigious Daytona Beach Road Course. Starting 17th in this event, Rathmann finished a career-best 12th, two laps down. In his final race in 1951, Rathmann started a career-best 9th at Detroit. He finished 52nd in this race. NASCAR Stats from Racing-Reference.info

Indy 500 Win

After starting in the middle of the first row, Rathmann ran in the front the entire race. From the midway point on, Rathmann and fellow driver Rodger Ward were locked in a neck and neck duel for first. Tire wear became an issue as the race wore on and Rathmann was able to keep his wheels fresh long enough to outrace Ward to the finish. The race featured the most recorded lead changes in 500 history.

Indy 500 results

Year[2] Car Start Qual Rank Finish Laps Led Retired
1949 68 21 126.516 29 11 175 0 Flagged
1950 76 28 129.959 24 24 122 0 Flagged
1952 59 10 136.343 7 2 200 0 Running
1953 2 25 135.666 28 7 200 1 Running
1954 38 28 138.228 21 28 110 0 Crash T4
1955 33 20 138.707 24 14 191 0 Flagged
1956 24 2 145.120 3 20 175 3 Rings
1957 26 32 139.806 31 2 200 24 Running
1958 2 20 143.147 15 5 200 0 Running
1959 16 3 144.433 4 2 200 19 Running
1960 4 2 146.371 4 1 200 100 Running
1961 4 11 145.413 13 30 48 6 Magneto
1962 44 23 146.610 21 9 200 0 Running
1963 16 29 147.838 32 24 99 0 Magneto
Totals 2320 153
Starts 14
Poles 0
Front Row 3
Wins 1
Top 5 5
Top 10 7
Retired 4

World Championship career summary

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. Jim Rathmann participated in 10 World Championship races. He won 1 race, set 2 fastest lead laps, and finished on the podium 4 times. He accumulated a total of 29 championship points. This total is the largest number of World Championship points earned by a driver in the Indianapolis 500.

Trivia

Jim and his older brother James (now known as Dick Rathmann) switched names so that he could enter a race while underage. This was only supposed to be for a short time, however, he adopted the name "Jim" and his brother adopted the name "Dick" and because of this he has been known as Jim ever since.

References

Preceded by
Rodger Ward
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1960
Succeeded by
A. J. Foyt
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