News & Multimedia

Indianapolis 500 Veteran Malone Dies At 76

Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Art Malone died Friday, March 29 in Tampa, Fla. He was 76.
Malone was a star in drag racing who also competed in open-wheel racing and NASCAR. He also was the first to lap the Daytona International Speedway faster than 180 mph.

Both of Malone's Indianapolis 500 starts – 1963 and 1964 – came at the wheel of one of the legendary, supercharged V8 Novi cars, his assignment there coming as somewhat of a surprise at the time. Perhaps it was his breathtaking 181.561-mph lap Aug. 28, 1961 at Daytona which had drawn the attention of new Novi owner Andy Granatelli. Partnered with fellow drag racer Bob Osiecki, Malone had taken "Mag Dog IV" – a much-modified 413-cubic-inch Chrysler "Hemi"-powered Kurtis "roadster," which had recently served as Firestone's tire test car – and had manhandled it around the 2½-mile speedway more than fast enough to claim the $10,000 prize posted by Bill France for turning Daytona's first 180-mph lap.

Malone had finished 10th in NASCAR’s Firecracker 250 on July 4, 1962 at Daytona and had raced the short tracks around Tampa for years. But because Malone needed at least a couple of open-wheel, oval-track races under his belt before he could be permitted to tackle the Novi at Indianapolis, Granatelli supplied him with a dirt car for the 1962 season-ending events at Sacramento and Phoenix. He "missed the show" at Sacramento but qualified fifth at Phoenix.

Perhaps to the surprise of many, Malone qualified for the 1963 “500,” the first time three Novis had ever qualified for the same race. His Novi was quite distinctive due to the large triangular-shaped stabilizer fin mounted on its tail. Clutch trouble intervened even as the race was starting. After four pit stops in the first 18 laps, Malone was obliged to call it a day.

In 1964, he returned to pull off something which had been achieved only five times previously with a Novi. He was still running when the race ended, flagged off in 11th position with 194 laps completed. As a further historical footnote, Malone would be the last person ever to be running at the end of a “500” while driving a Novi.

Malone had a total of 10 USAC National Championship starts up through 1965, his final appearance coming in 1966 when he crashed Wally Weir's rear-engined Gerhardt in practice on the morning of the first qualifying day at Indianapolis and jumped out to reveal that he had elected to drive in stocking feet.

For many years, Malone’s drag racing shop in Tampa was located only a couple of blocks from the shop of the great “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. The pair had been tight friends ever since Malone was 8 years old. Garlits was older, but they both rode the same school bus.

Malone drove one of Garlits' famed "Swamp Rat" dragsters when Garlits was injured in the late 1950s, and the pair teamed up for a very emotional reunion in 1984 at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Going in as huge underdogs, they came out on top, Garlits winning the race.

Malone had not been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in many years when he returned in May 2011 for the 100th anniversary of the first running of the "500." The 500 Oldtimers Club was honoring the living drivers who could claim at least one "500" start in a front-engined car, and of the 14 survivors, Malone was one of nine on hand to be honored.

His attendance in 2011 at IMS was quite noteworthy. Just over a week short of his 75th birthday, Malone drove up from Tampa in a 45-foot motor coach, nursing a broken leg and towing a little "drive-around-town" vehicle behind the motor coach.

Two days later, on Saturday morning, May 28, there he was again as one of 161 "500" veterans who were on hand for that never-to-be-forgotten "class" photo taken in the Pagoda Plaza.

Malone is survived by his wife, Sandra; daughters, Stephanie and Pam; and four grandchildren. Calling hours are from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 at the Garden of Memories Chapel in Tampa, with a funeral at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at the same location.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Indianapolis 500 Veteran Malone Dies At 76
 
Indianapolis 500 Veteran Malone Dies At 76
Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Art Malone died Friday, March 29 in Tampa, Fla. He was 76. Malone was a star in drag racing who also competed in open-wheel racing and NASCAR. He also was the first to lap the Daytona International Speedway faster than 180 mph.
Read More
Related Media
Indianapolis Monopoly Piece
 
Indianapolis Lands Spot in New 'Monopoly Here & Now' Game
On Thursday, March 19 – World Monopoly Day – Hasbro, Inc., named the cities to be featured in its newest Monopoly Here & Now U.S. Edition game. Cities were selected via a nationwide online vote on BuzzFeed.
Read More
IMS Golf Course
 
Golfers Can 'Pay The Temp' as Brickyard Crossing Opens March 20
The highly acclaimed Brickyard Crossing Golf Course will open for the 2015 season at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20, and players will receive a fantastic greens fee value through Tuesday, March 31, with the “Pay the Temperature” promotion.
Read More
Indianapolis 500
 
Join Us Championship Weekend at IMS
With the field set and excitement rising for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, it’s not too early to plan your visit to Indianapolis for the first weekend in April.
Read More
Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite
 
Kaskade, Steve Aoki and A-Trak to Perform in Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite
World renowned electronic DJs and producers Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak will perform in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite during the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
2015 Coors Light Carb Day
 
Jane’s Addiction, O.A.R. and 38 Special to Rock IMS for Coors Light Carb Day Concert on May 22
For the first time at the annual Coors Light Carb Day concert, three bands will deliver an afternoon of great music at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Popular rock groups Jane’s Addiction, O.A.R. and 38 Special will perform at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 22, on the Turn 4 Coors Light stage in the IMS infield.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 896
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
Donald Davidson’s class @IUPUI on #Indy500 history is a must for local diehard fans. More information on The Blog: http://t.co/WcxVkGlvIp
about 22 hours ago