A 21-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 has died. Gary Bettenhausen notched the fastest qualifying time of any driver in the 1991 race and finished third at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1980. IMS President Doug Boles says Bettenhausen was the “perfect definition of a race car driver of his time.” He was 72. March 17, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles about the death of driver Gary Bettenhausen:
“Gary Bettenhausen was the perfect definition of a race car driver of his time. He raced successfully in many types of cars, on every type of track, and he possessed a work ethic that earned him rides based on his ability and his competitive nature. Gary will best be remembered by Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans for the manner in which he carried the Bettenhausen family's passion for the Indianapolis 500 and how he drove every lap at the limit when he was competing at IMS. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary's wife, his family, and his friends.”
Bettenhausen, 72, competed in twenty-one Indianapolis 500s between 1968 and 1993. His best finished was 3rd in 1980. Bettenhausen led 138 laps during the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and was the fastest qualifier for the 1991 Indianapolis 500.
Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway