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Race driver Lloyd Ruby dies at 81
March 26, 2009 2:12 PM   Subscribe

The best driver never to win the Indy 500. Despite winning in midgets, stock cars, and both the Sebring and Daytona road races, he will always be best known for the one race he didn't win - despite running in it for eighteen consecutive years. Though he would like to be remembered "just as old me. I enjoyed racing," if you ask a Gurney, Andretti or Foyt and they'll tell you he's "a soft-spoken Texas lead foot with enormous natural talent." Race driving legend Lloyd Ruby passes away at age 81 in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas.
posted by quartzcity (9 comments total)

 
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posted by Navelgazer at 2:20 PM on March 26, 2009


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posted by Thorzdad at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2009


.-. .. .--.
posted by found missing at 3:11 PM on March 26, 2009


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That being [un]said, "best driver never to win the Indy 500" is debatable. Certainly a strong case could be made for Michael Andretti.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:14 PM on March 26, 2009



Certainly a strong case could be made for Michael Andretti.

Then an even stronger case could be made for Nigel Mansell, who replaced Andretti at Newman-Haas after Michael left, thinking he was good enough for Formula One.
posted by Zambrano at 3:28 PM on March 26, 2009


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Then an even stronger case could be made for Nigel Mansell, who replaced Andretti at Newman-Haas after Michael left, thinking he was good enough for Formula One.

Michael was good enough for Formula One. His ride wasn't. There's a difference. (Juan Pablo Montoya will tell you all about that difference)

And by the way, an even stronger case could be made for Paul Tracy, except HE WON THE 2002 RACE, GODDAMMIT!
posted by mark242 at 3:37 PM on March 26, 2009


Don Freeland was a family acquaintance. It was fascinating to see his slideshows of Indy (while all the adults sat around and drank), and then listen on raceday. He never won, but must have been a fun life. I was too young to be anything other than awestruck, even though we were not racing fans, per se.
posted by Danf at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2009


Michael was good enough for Formula One. His ride wasn't.

That's funny. Almost as funny as the "They had to make Andretti look bad so they could sign Hakinnen". Using Montoya as an example of someone being let down by a car? That's even funnier. There just are drivers in this world that can excel at one level, but fall over when they try and move up. Some people just can't get over the fact that F1 is a huge, huge amount harder than any level of US motorsport. It just doesn't compare.

That is why these cross-Atlantic jumps fail (not so much in the other direction, however, and Mansell is a good example). It's not because US drivers get 'bad rides' or 'get screwed by the team', it's simply because motorsport over here is nowhere near as competitive as the environment that maintains and feeds Formula 1. European racing and US racing are very much two different worlds, and this doesn't seem to be recognised by anyone this side of the pond. Having switched from one side of the industry to the other myself, the difference couldn't be more obvious.
posted by Brockles at 9:22 PM on March 26, 2009


When I was about 7, my dad took me to the Brickyard to watch practice for the Inday 500. I was flabbergasted: The size, the sounds, the cars, the speeds. I had never encountered anything like that or close. I even got an autograph: Lloyd Ruby.
posted by ambient2 at 10:29 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


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