Sam Hanks

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Sam Hanks
Born(1914-07-13)July 13, 1914
DiedJune 27, 1994(1994-06-27) (aged 79)
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited States American
Active years19501957
TeamsEpperly, Kurtis Kraft
Entries8
Championships0
Wins1
Podiums4
Career points20
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1950 Indianapolis 500
First win1957 Indianapolis 500
Last win1957 Indianapolis 500
Last entry1957 Indianapolis 500

Sam Hanks (July 13, 1914, Columbus, Ohio[1] - June 27, 1994, Pacific Palisades, California)[2] was an American racecar driver who won the 1957 Indianapolis 500. He was a barnstormer, and raced midget and Championship cars.

Racing career[edit]

Hanks was born in Ohio and lived in Alhambra, California from the age of six. He attended Alhambra High School. Hanks won his first championship in 1937 on the West Coast in the AMA. He barnstormed the country, racing on the board tracks at Soldier Field in Chicago. Hanks reportedly won the first two board track races at Soldier Field in 1939.[3] Hanks won the 1940 VFW Motor City Speedway championship in Detroit.

After World War II, he captured the 1946 URA Blue Circuit Championship. He won the 1947 Night before the 500 midget car race. He was the 1949 AAA National Midget champion. He won the 1953 AAA Championship in the Bardahl Special. He won the 1956 Pacific Coast championship in the USAC Stock cars.

Hanks considered retiring following the 1956 Indianapolis 500, but agreed to return for the 1957 race at the urging of car owner George Salih.[2] He would win in 1957 in his 13th attempt (the most tries of any Indy winner) and announced his retirement from racing in Victory Circle.[3] He did not stop racing immediately following his victory, however, but completed his contract to run a stock car for the remainder of the 1957 season.[2]

He drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 from 1958 to 1963.[3]

Hanks is believed to be the only Indianapolis 500 driver to participate in the race before World War II, serve in the war effort, then return to race again after the war. It has also been conjectured that Hanks may have been a distant relative to Abraham Lincoln.[4]

Awards[edit]

Complete AAA Championship Car results[edit]

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Pos Points
1946 INDY
31
LAN ATL ISF MIL GOS - 0
1947 INDY
DNQ
MIL LAN ATL BAI MIL GOS MIL PIK SPR ARL - 0
1948 ARL INDY
26
MIL LAN MIL SPR MIL DUQ ATL PIK SPR DUQ - 0
1949 ARL INDY
30
MIL
DNQ
TRE SPR MIL
DNQ
DUQ
DNQ
PIK SYR DET SPR LAN SAC
DNQ
DMR
DNP
- 0
1950 INDY
30
MIL
DNQ
LAN SPR MIL PIK SYR DET SPR SAC PHX BAY
2
DAR 23rd 240
1951 INDY
12
MIL LAN DAR SPR MIL DUQ
5
DUQ
3
PIK SYR
DNQ
DET
5
DNC
10
SJS
DNQ
PHX BAY 16th 421,4
1952 INDY
3
MIL
DNQ
RAL
18
SPR
3
MIL
14
DET
DNQ
DUQ
2
PIK SYR
12
DNC
4
SJS
5
PHX
2
3rd 1.390
1953 INDY
3
MIL
10
SPR
2
DET
4
SPR
1
MIL
22
DUQ
1
PIK SYR
4
ISF
5
SAC
3
PHX
3
1st 1.659,5
1954 INDY
20
MIL
DNQ
LAN
3
DAR
8
SPR
7
MIL
6
DUQ
1
PIK SYR ISF
3
SAC
15
PHX
5
LVG
DNQ
8th 858,5
1955 INDY
19
MIL LAN SPR MIL DUQ PIK SYR ISF SAC PHX
DNQ
- 0
1956 INDY
2
MIL LAN DAR ATL SPR MIL DUQ SYR ISF SAC PHX 9th 800
1957 INDY
1
LAN MIL DET ATL SPR MIL DUQ SYR ISF TRE SAC PHX 9th 1.000

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

* Shared drive with Duane Carter

World Championship career summary[edit]

The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA Formula One World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Sam Hanks participated in 8 F1 World Championship races. He started on the pole 0 times, won 1 race, set 0 fastest laps, and finished on the podium 4 times. He accumulated a total of 20 championship points.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1940; San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California; page 65, line 1, enumeration district 19-686 accessdate = May 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Glick, Save (June 29, 1994) Hanks, 79, Winner of '57 Indy 500, Dies : Auto racing: Alhambra High product retired from the event immediately after his victory. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Biography Archived 2012-02-05 at the Wayback Machine at the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame
  4. ^ Davidson, Donald (1999-05-23). "Indy 500 winner Hanks linked (maybe) to a presidential past". The Indianapolis Star/News. Retrieved 2014-04-09.[dead link]
  5. ^ Sam Hanks Indy 500 Race Stats
Preceded by
Pat Flaherty
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1957
Succeeded by
Jimmy Bryan