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
Scott Dixon
 
Pruett's Preview: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
With two rounds complete and 14 left to run, drawing any significant conclusions on how certain drivers will fare in their quest for the Astor Cup would be premature, but it's hard to ignore some of the notable trends leading into this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Read More
Pippa Mann
 
Mann Teams Up With Susan G. Komen for Indy 500
Veteran Verizon IndyCar Series Driver Pippa Mann will again race in the Indianapolis 500 with Dale Coyne Racing. For the second consecutive year, she will be driving in her familiar pink gear as she races in support of Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, and its mission to end breast cancer forever.
Read More
Oriol Servia
 
Servia Joins RLL Racing for Indianapolis 500
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Oriol Servia will return to the team for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.
Read More
Sebastien Saavedra
 
Saavedra Confirmed For Indianapolis 500 With Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced today that Sebastian Saavedra will drive the No. 8 AFS Chevrolet in the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Hinchcliffe Prevails in Wet, Wild Indy GP of Louisiana
James Hinchcliffe had a premonition midway through the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana when his crew ordered him not to make a pit stop like the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series field leaders at NOLA Motorsports Park. The hunch came true when the Canadian took the checkered flag to win a wild and unpredictable series debut on the 2.74-mile road course outside New Orleans.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 912
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
We are celebrating spring at PlayFit at @TCMIndy from 10a-3p learning about Kids Club and @OutrunSun sun safety! Come see us on Level 2!
about 2 hours ago