Jerry Hoyt

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Jerry Hoyt
Born (1929-01-29)January 29, 1929
Chicago, Illinois
Died July 10, 1955(1955-07-10) (aged 26)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 19501951, 19531955
Teams Kurtis Kraft, Stevens, Ewing
Entries 5 (4 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1950 Indianapolis 500
Last entry 1955 Indianapolis 500

Gerald F. Hoyt (January 29, 1929 – July 10, 1955) was American racing driver from Chicago, mainly competing in the National Championship. He died in 1955 after crashing in a Sprint car race at Oklahoma City.

Indy 500[edit]

In the 1955 Indianapolis 500 Hoyt surprised many, including himself, by winning the pole (first starting position) in qualifications. His average speed for the run of 140.045 miles per hour was at the time the second fastest ever at the speedway.[1] However an oil leak would force him to retire from the race after 40 laps. As the 500 was part of the FIA World Championship at the time, Hoyt was credited for being the youngest pole sitter in the history of the series to that point. In his four races at the speedway, he would never complete more than 130 laps in the 200 lap race.


In July 1955, two months after winning the pole at Indianapolis, Hoyt was entered into a sprint car race in Oklahoma City. On the first lap, his car made contact with a fence, causing it to overturn. The cars of the time provided little protected for the driver's head, and Hoyt died the next morning of brain injuries. He had been married just two weeks earlier.[2]

He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.[3]

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

  • Although Hoyt started the 1955 race from the pole position, his qualifying speed ranked tenth behind fastest qualifier Jack McGrath. This is the lowest speed rank for a pole sitter in the Indianapolis modern era.

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. Jerry Hoyt participated in 4 World Championship races, starting on the pole once but scoring no World Championship points.


  1. ^ Speedway Gamble: Hoyt risked wind, won pole position United Press, May 25, 1955. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Jerry Hoyt dies after crash in Oklahoma City Associated Press, July 11, 1955. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "Indianapolis Auto greats" (PDF). Celebrating Automotive Heritage at Crown Hill Cemetery. Crown Hill Cemetery. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
José Froilán González
28 years, 282 days
(1951 British GP)
Youngest Grand Prix Polesitter
26 years, 121 days
(1955 Indianapolis 500)
Succeeded by
Eugenio Castellotti
24 years, 238 days
(1955 Belgian GP)