Billy Carlson

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William "Billy" Carlson
Carlson-william 1915 indy.jpg
Nationality American
Born (1889-10-17)October 17, 1889
San Diego, California
Died July 4, 1915(1915-07-04) (aged 25)
Tacoma, Washington
Years active 1914-1915
Teams Maxwell
Championships 0
Wins 0

Billy Carlson (17 October 1889 San Diego, California – 4 July 1915 Tacoma, Washington) was an American racecar driver. He was killed in an AAA National Championship race at Tacoma Speedway.[1]


Billy Carlson began his career competing in races on the Pacific coast and was a comparative unknown before he started in the 500-mile classic at Indianapolis in 1914. He took ninth in the event and "immediately attained prominence on the gasoline circuit."[1]

He was a member of the Maxwell team for two years in 1914 and 1915 after he was "discovered" by Ray Harroun, a Maxwell engineer. His most notable achievement after joining Maxwell was his world's non-stop record of 305 miles made at San Diego, California, in January 1915. He came in second to Barney Oldfield at Venice, California.[1]

Carlson sustained fatal injuries in the Montamarathon race at Tacoma Speedway on July 4, 1915.[2] Maxwell suspended their racing game for the remainder of the season and the team was disbanded and the automobiles were shipped back to the factory in Detroit.[1]

Indy 500 results[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Motor age, Volume 28, No. 2. The Trade Press Co., Chicago, Illinois - July 1915. 
  2. ^ "Auto Driver Dies. Billy Carlson Victim of Accident at Tacoma Speedway Races". The New York Times. July 6, 1915. Retrieved 20 July 2012.