News & Multimedia

Three-Time Indianapolis 500 Starter Russo Dies at 86

Eddie Russo, the second-oldest living Indianapolis 500 driver, died Oct. 14. He was 86.

Russo had lived for the last few years of his life in a veterans’ retirement home in King, Wis. He was tied with Chuck Weyant – the oldest living “500” starter – for having the earliest Indianapolis 500 start (1955) among living drivers.

The Chicago-born Russo, whose forte was midget car racing, passed his rookie driver's test at Indianapolis in 1954 and succeeded in qualifying for the "500” in 1955, 1957 and 1960 although he did not finish in any year. He also served as a relief driver in 1956.

A warrant officer in the U.S. Marines who spent 37 months in the South Pacific, Russo came from a racing family. His father was Joe Russo, who lost his life at Langhorne, Pa., less than two weeks after placing fifth in the 1934 "500," while Paul Russo, of Novi fame, was an uncle.

Had rain not prematurely ended the final day of qualifying in 1956, Eddie Russo may have joined his uncle Paul in the lineup as a Novi driver. He was sitting in line with the second tail-finned V-8 supercharged monster when the weather intervened.

Eddie Russo made 21 National Championship starts between 1952 and the 1960 "500," the latter event being the one which ended his career after an excursion into the outside wall in Turn 2 resulted in the loss of an eye. While never enjoying a top finish, he led the first four laps from the pole in 1955 at Du Quoin, Ill.

After his driving days were over, Russo couldn't stay away for long and resurfaced for a couple of seasons in the late 1960s as the owner of a USAC midget car.

No services were planned.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Three-Time Indianapolis 500 Starter Russo Dies at 86
 
Three-Time Indianapolis 500 Starter Russo Dies at 86
Read More
Related Media
Josef Newgarden 500
 
New Champion Newgarden Shifts Sights to Next Big Goal: Winning Indy
The surprise celebration at IMS reminded Newgarden of the place he wants to enjoy his next life-changing moment – Victory Circle at IMS on Sunday, May 27, 2018 after winning the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Takuma Sato
 
Indy 500 Champion Sato Joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2018 Season
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to their Verizon IndyCar Series team in 2018.
Read More
Josef Newgarden
 
Newgarden Clinches IndyCar Championship in Sonoma Finale
Josef Newgarden did everything he needed to do to claim the Verizon IndyCar Series championship except win today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. That honor went to Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, but Newgarden’s second-place race finish was enough to wrap up his first series title.
Read More
Josef Newgarden
 
Weld Your TV to NBCSN and Strap in for Super Sunday of Racing
Here’s a bit of unsolicited advice for race fans this weekend: Get all of your weekend chores done Saturday. Load up on your snacks and beverages of your choice. Tell your non-racing friends and family you’ll see them Monday.
Read More
spencer-pigot-0913
 
Pigot Joins Ed Carpenter Racing for Full-Time 2018 Season
Spencer Pigot has shown enough promise in racing primarily on road and street courses for two years to earn a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series ride with Ed Carpenter Racing next season.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,484
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21