Mike Mosley

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For the American football player, see Mike Mosley (football).

Mike Mosley (December 13, 1946 - March 3, 1984), was an American racecar driver.

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Mosley was a driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series. He raced in 17 consecutive seasons from 1967 through 1983, with 166 combined career starts, including every Indianapolis 500 in that span except 1967 and 1982. He finished in the top ten 80 times and had 5 career victories.

Mosley was known for a "charger" driving style and for his smooth driving technique. Many of his peers felt Mosley never had the opportunity to showcase his talent due to second-rate equipment. Longtime motorsports writer Robin Miller quoted Gary Bettenhausen, a close friend and contemporary of Mosley, as saying: "If Mike had been driving a McLaren (Indianapolis car) in the early 1970s, we would all have been racing for second place."

Mosley was known for having a perceived "jinx" at Indianapolis. He qualified near the front several times, including second in 1981 and 1983, and was often a pre-race favorite. However, in 15 starts, he finished the 500 miles only once -- a third place result in 1979. On his first visit to Indianapolis in 1967, he lied about his age (20 at the time) to gain entry; after two crashes in practice, he told the car owner he was not yet ready to tackle Indy's 2 1/2-mile oval. The next year, he returned and qualified for the race.

Mosley was particularly effective at the flat Milwaukee Mile paved oval, where he used an unusual driving line and recorded three victories. In the 1981 race there, added as a promoter's option, he came from the back of the field to win the race.[1] It was the last win for a normally-aspirated engine in the CART/Champ Car era and also the last win in open wheel racing for a Gurney Eagle.

Mosley died in an off-road vehicle accident near Riverside, California in which he lost control of the van he was driving and it caught fire. His teenaged son, Michael, was also riding in the van but was uninjured.[2]

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