Sam Hanks

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Sam Hanks
Born (1914-07-13)July 13, 1914
Died June 27, 1994(1994-06-27) (aged 79)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 19501957
Teams Epperly, Kurtis Kraft
Entries 8
Championships 0
Wins 1
Podiums 4
Career points 20
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1950 Indianapolis 500
First win 1957 Indianapolis 500
Last win 1957 Indianapolis 500
Last entry 1957 Indianapolis 500

Sam Hanks (July 13, 1914 – June 27, 1994) was an American racecar driver who won the 1957 Indianapolis 500. He was a barnstormer, and raced midget and Championship cars.

Racing career[edit]

He 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 and the Los Angeles Coliseum Motordome. Hanks reportedly won the first two board track races at Soldier Field in 1939.[1] Hanks won the 1940 VFW Motor City Speedway championship. 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.

He won the 1957 Indianapolis 500 at his thirteenth attempt at the race, the most tries of any Indy winner, and announced his retirement from racing in Victory Circle.[1]

He drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 from 1958 to 1963.[1]

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.[2]


Indy 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.


  1. ^ a b c d Biography at the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Davidson, Donald (1999-05-23). "Indy 500 winner Hanks linked (maybe) to a presidential past". The Indianapolis Star/News. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  3. ^ Sam Hanks Indy 500 Race Stats
Preceded by
Pat Flaherty
Indianapolis 500 Winner
Succeeded by
Jimmy Bryan