Indianapolis 500 Driver Art Malone Dies at Age 76
Malone was one of last surviving front-engined car drivers at IMS
Art Malone (photo courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
Art Malone, one of the last surviving drivers who competed in a front-engined car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, died Friday at the age of 76.
Malone is best known to local racing fans for having driven one of the famous Novi cars in the Indianapolis 500 in 1963 and 1964, with a top finish of 11th in the 1964 classic. Prior to driving in the 500, Malone was known as an outstanding drag racer. In 1959, he substituted for the legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, while the star driver recovered from injury.
In an interview with WIBC today, Garlits called Malone “a man’s man, tough, no nonsense, but had a heart of gold.” Malone is also known for becoming the first driver to do a lap of 180 miles per hour at the Daytona International Speedway, claiming a $10,000 prize offered by NASCAR founder Big Bill France to anyone who could break the barrier.
Malone returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2011 for the Centennial Celebration, and posed with more than 150 other “500” veterans in front of the Pagoda.
Malone's passing leaves just 11 drivers living who drove a front-engine car in the Indianapolis 500. Five of those 11 drivers went on to win the race.