Lloyd Ruby

Lloyd Ruby (January 12, 1928 – March 23, 2009)[1] was an American racecar driver.

Lloyd Ruby
Nationality American
Born January 12, 1928
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Died March 23, 2009 (aged 81)
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Awards
Champ Car career
176 races run over 20 years
Years active 1958-1977
First race 1958 Bobby Ball Memorial (Phoenix)
Last race 1977 Indianapolis 500 (Indy)
First win 1961 Tony Bettenhausen 200 (Milwaukee)
Last win 1970 Trenton 200 (Trenton)
Wins Podiums Poles
7 29 8
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 19601961
Teams Watson, Lotus
Entries 2
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1960 Indianapolis 500
Last entry 1961 United States Grand Prix

Racing career

Ruby raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1958-1977 seasons, with 177 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 from 1960-1977. He achieved 88 top-ten finishes, and seven victories. His best finish at Indy was third, in 1964. In 1966, he led the Indy 500 for 68 laps.

Ruby also had two endurance racing victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona (1965-1966), both times partnering with Ken Miles. Ruby and Miles teamed up to win the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 World Sportscar Championship. Ruby was scheduled to drive in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, however he was forced to withdraw due to spinal injuries suffered in a plane crash.[2] A year later, he teamed with Denny Hulme in a Ford GT 40 Mk IV for the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ruby played a key role in Ford Motor Company's GT40 program in the mid-1960s. He also raced in the 1961 United States Grand Prix.

Indianapolis 500

Despite a Championship Car career replete with success, Ruby is probably best remembered for his many misfortunes at the Indianapolis 500. His biography, written by Ted Buss in 2000, was titled, Lloyd Ruby: The Greatest Driver Never to Win the Indy 500. Ruby led the race in five different years, for a total of 126 laps, however, his best finish at Indianapolis was third, in 1964. His only other top-five finish at Indy came in 1968. In 1991, he was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Perhaps Ruby's most notorious hard-luck bout at Indy came in 1969. With race leader Mario Andretti experiencing overheating problems, Ruby was in a strong position to score a victory. During a pit stop around the halfway point, a crew member motioned Ruby to pull away too soon. The refueling nozzle was still engaged in the car's left saddle tank, and as Ruby dropped the clutch, the car lurched forward. The nozzle ruptured a hole in the gas tank, ending Ruby's day.

Death

He died in 2009 at the age of 81 in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas.[3]

Legacy and halls of fame

Ruby’s racing career was honored with the Bruton Smith Legends Award at the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Fort Worth in 2005. He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. Ruby was also named co-recipient of the Louis Meyer Award along with Hélio Castroneves at the induction ceremony and special recognition dinner in Indianapolis. In 2015, he was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.[4]

Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson joined racing greats Johnny Rutherford, Parnelli Jones and Al and Bobby Unser in Wichita Falls when the Lloyd Ruby Overpass was named in honor of their racing friend.

Indianapolis 500 results

Year Car Start Qual Rank Finish Laps Led Retired
1960 98 12 144.208 15 7 200 0 Running
1961 5 25 146.909 2 8 200 0 Running
1962 12 24 146.520 24 8 200 0 Running
1963 65 19 149.123 15 13 200 0 Running
1964 18 7 153.932 8 3 200 0 Running
1965 7 9 157.246 9 11 184 0 Blown engine
1966 14 5 162.433 5 11 166 68 Cam stud
1967 25 7 165.229 8 33 3 0 Valves
1968 25 5 167.613 5 5 200 42 Running
1969 4 20 166.428 20 20 105 11 Fuel tank
1970 25 25 168.895 6 27 54 2 Drive gear
1971 12 7 173.821 7 11 174 3 Gears
1972 5 11 181.415 20 6 196 0 Flagged
1973 18 15 191.622 18 27 21 0 Piston
1974 9 18 181.699 20 9 187 0 Out of fuel
1975 7 6 186.984 7 32 7 0 Piston
1976 51 30 186.480 7 11 100 0 Flagged
1977 10 19 190.840 11 27 34 0 Crash T2
Totals 2431 126
Starts 18
Poles 0
Front rows 0
Wins 0
Top-5s 2
Top-10s 7
Retired 10
  • Ruby owns three of the top-ten 5-race finishing streaks in the 1960s

World Championship career summary

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. Ruby participated in two World Championship races: the 1960 Indianapolis 500 and the 1961 United States Grand Prix. He scored no championship points.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 WDC Points
1960 J C Agajanian Watson Offenhauser straight-4 ARG
MON
500
7
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
POR
ITA
USA
NC 0
1961 J Frank Harrison Lotus 18 Climax straight-4 MON
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
GER
ITA
USA
Ret
NC 0

References

  1. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (March 25, 2009). "Lloyd Ruby, Star-Crossed Indy 500 Racer, Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Baime, A, J. 2009. Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their battle for speed and glory at Le Mans. London: Bantam Books p. 309.
  3. ^ "Wichita Falls". Wichita Falls. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Mark Martin, Ricky Carmichael among 2015 inductees into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America". Fox News. Retrieved January 24, 2015.

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