Jim Hurtubise

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Jim Hurtubise
Jim Hurtubise.jpg
Jim Hurtubis
Born (1932-12-05)December 5, 1932
North Tonawanda, New York
Died January 6, 1989(1989-01-06) (aged 56)
Port Arthur, Texas
Resting place Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality United States American

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame 1993 Inductee

Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1960
Teams Christensen
Entries 1
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1960 Indianapolis 500
Last entry 1960 Indianapolis 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
36 races run over 13 years
Best finish 46th (1968)
First race 1957 Ascot Stadium race
Last race 1977 Delaware 500 (Dover)
First win 1966 Atlanta 500 (Atlanta)
Last win 1966 Atlanta 500 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 11 0

James "Jim" Hurtubise (December 5, 1932 – January 6, 1989) was an American race car driver who raced in USAC Champ Cars (including the Indianapolis 500), as well as sprint cars and stock cars (USAC and NASCAR). He was from North Tonawanda, New York. Despite his limited success, he was a fan favorite throughout much of his career as many characterized him as an "old style" racecar driver.[1]

Hurtubise raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1959–1968 and 1970–1974 seasons, with 97 career starts. He finished in the top ten 38 times, with 4 victories, in 1959 at Sacramento, 1960 at Langhorne, and 1961 and 1962 at Springfield.[2] In 1964, after suffering serious burns in an accident during the Rex Mays Classic, in Milwaukee, doctors asked Hurtubise how he wanted his hands shaped permanently. "Just make 'em so I can hold a steering wheel," he replied.[1]

Hurtubise died January 6, 1989 after suffering a heart attack near his home in Port Arthur, Texas. He was 56 years old. He is interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.[3]

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Hurtubise ran in ten Indianapolis 500 races between 1960 and 1974. His best finish was a 13th in 1962. In 1972 he ran out of fuel, but was towed through the infield, which resulted in his disqualification. In the 1968 race, he ran the last front engined car to date in the race. He attempted to qualify a front engined car for the Indy 500 every year from 1975 to 1981 but failed to do so in each of those years. On May 21, 1972, on "bump day", he put his Miller Beer sponsored car in line to make a qualification attempt shortly before the closing deadline of 6:00 PM. The time expired before it was his turn to qualify. He then removed the engine cover to reveal that the car had no engine, but five chilled cases of his sponsor's product, which he shared with the other pit crews and race officials.[1] In 1978, he did not meet the certified speed and was denied an attempt to make the race. He sat in Bob Harkey’s car and locked the brakes. He then ran on the track until he was apprehended by the police. Hurtubise drove the last front engined car, the Mallard/Offy, in an IndyCar race at Michigan in 1972, qualifying 26th (last) and finishing 23rd. He drove the same car a year earlier at the Pocono 500, qualifying 33rd (last) and finishing 30th.[4]

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1960 Christensen Offy 23rd 18th
1961 Epperly Offy 3rd 22nd
1962 Watson Offy 29th 13th
1963 Kurtis Kraft Novi 2nd 22nd
1964 Hurtubise Offy 11th 14th
1965 Kurtis Kraft Novi 23rd 33rd
1966 Gerhardt Offy 22nd 17th
1967 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1968 Mallard Offy 30th 30th
1969 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1970 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1971 Mallard Offy Qualifying Crash
1972 Coyote Foyt 13th 23rd
1973 Lola Offy Failed to Qualify
1974 McLaren M16 Offy 28th 25th
1975 Eagle Offy Failed to Qualify
1976 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1977 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1978 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1979 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1980 Mallard Offy Failed to Qualify
1981 King Offy Failed to Qualify

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. Hurtubise participated in one World Championship race, finishing eighteenth.

NASCAR career[edit]

In 1957, Hurtubise started his NASCAR career running two races. Over the next twenty years, he would race 36 races, winning one race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and amassing eleven top ten finishes.[5]


He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Chapin, Kim (1978-05-15). "The Ghost Of Indy's Past". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  2. ^ Kavanagh, Rick. "Jim Hurtubise Remembered". Merrittville Speedway. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  3. ^ "Indianapolis Auto greats" (PDF). Celebrating Automotive Heritage at Crown Hill Cemetery. Crown Hill Cemetery. 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  4. ^ http://www.racing-reference.info/rquery?id=hurtuji01&trk=058&series=UO
  5. ^ "Jim Hurtubise". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  6. ^ "inductees". National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bobby Grim
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

Succeeded by
Bobby Marshman
Parnelli Jones