Dick Rathmann

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Dick Rathmann
Born (1924-01-06)January 6, 1924
Los Angeles, California
Died February 1, 2000(2000-02-01) (aged 76)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
128 races run over 5 years
Best finish 3rd - 1953 Grand National Series season
First race 1951 Carrell Speedway race
Last race 1955 Langhorne Speedway race
First win 1952 Martinsville Speedway race
Last win 1954 Santa Fe Speedway race
Wins Top tens Poles
13 79 13
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 1950, 19561960
Teams Watson, Kurtis Kraft, Lesovsky
Races 6 (5 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 2
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 0
First race 1950 Indianapolis 500
Last race 1960 Indianapolis 500

Dick Rathmann (born James Rathmann January 6, 1924 Los Angeles, California – February 1, 2000 Melbourne, Florida) was an American racecar driver.

He drove in the AAA Championship Car series in the 1949 and 1950 seasons with 4 starts, including the 1950 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten once, in 6th position at Milwaukee in 1950.

In 1951, he moved to NASCAR, where he was a very successful Grand National driver through 1955.

In 1956, he returned to the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1956-1964 seasons with an additional 41 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1956 and 1958-1964. He finished in the top ten 21 more times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1959 at Daytona.

Dick sat on the pole for the 1958 Indianapolis 500. On the first lap, he and fellow front-row starter Ed Elisian raced into turn 3 and started a chain-reaction accident which involved 15 cars and cost the life of Pat O'Connor. With that accident, Rathmann became the first Indy pole-sitter to complete no laps. This feat has been repeated only twice in Indy history, first by Roberto Guerrero and then by Scott Sharp.

Dick was the elder brother of 1960 Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann. Jim and Dick switched names in 1946 so that his younger brother could enter a race while underage. For what was supposed to be a short time, he adopted the name "Dick" and his brother adopted the name "Jim." The name change stuck for life.

In 2009, Rathmann was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.[1]

World Championship career summary[edit]

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. Dick Rathmann participated in 5 World Championship races. He started on the pole once and accumulated a total of 2 World Championship points.

Indy 500 results[edit]

  • Rathmann qualified for the 1957 race, but was mugged the night before the event. He was replaced in the car by Johnnie Parsons.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame". West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Wheeling, dealing for final spot in Indy 500 is under way". St. Joseph Gazette. 1984-05-24. Retrieved 2012-04-02.