Jim McElreath, American race car driver, Died at 89


Jim McElreath was born on February 18, 1928, Arlington, Texas and died on May 18, 2017.

He was a driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series.

He started his racing career in 1945 at the age of 17.

McElreath raced stock cars in Dallas, Texas.

McElreath raced in the 1961-1983 seasons, with 178 combined career starts, including 15 in the Indianapolis 500 in 1962-1970, 1973–1974, and 1977-1980.

McElreath ended the race 48 times in the top 5, with five victories.

McElreath was runner-up in the 1966 championship and third in 1963, 1965 and 1970.

In 1962, McElreath was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, a result of his 6th-place finish.

His son, James Jr., was killed in a sprint car crash at Winchester in October 1977.

His son attempted to qualify for the 1977 Indy 500 earlier that year.

Along with his father, they attempted to become the first father and son combination to qualify for the same race. However, James, Jr. was too slow to make the field.

His daughter, Shirley, married racing driver Tony Bettenhausen, Jr.

However, the couple died when their private plane crashed in Kentucky in February, 2000.

Jim McElreath passed away at 89 years old.