One of the most fan-friendly drivers in recent history, Howdy Holmes was the 1979 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.

Of course, Holmes didn’t have much competition in the 1979 field, in fact, as the only rookie in the race, he didn’t have ANY competition.

Holmes drove in six Indianapolis 500’s, and is probably best-known for his front-row start in 1984. Holmes is seen in the front-row photo that year, in between defending champion, and teammate, Tom Sneva, and eventual winner Rick Mears.

That front-row start came just over a month after Holmes posted his best career IndyCar finish, a 2nd place at Phoenix.

Holmes best finish at the Brickyard was 6th in 1983. He drove in 74 career IndyCar races from 1979 through 1988.

Today, Holmes is president and CEO of Chelsea Milling Company, which manufactures the world-famous Jiffy Mixes. Holmes’ grandmother, Mabel White Holmes invented the product.

He returns to the Speedway each May to visit with fans and friends, and to pass out a few Jiffy Mix t-shirts.

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