News & Multimedia

Remembering Scott Brayton

If you’re driving from Detroit to Indianapolis via Interstates 94 and 69, you’ll pass Coldwater, Michigan, a town of about 11,000 residents on the edge of Michigan’s Irish Hills region.

Whenever I’m on that route, I’ll inevitably think of Scott Brayton, the two-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner who was a resident of Coldwater. Sadly, Brayton was killed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway while practicing for the 1996 ‘500.’ He was 37.

Across the border, about an hour south of Coldwater, Brayton is remembered with a display of cars and memorabilia at the Kruse Automotive and Carriage Museum. Just off Exit #126 on I-69, the Kruse Museum features a diverse range of vehicles from over the last century that will appeal to anyone who enjoys the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame collection.

The Brayton display includes the Menard V-6 powered Lolas he drove to the Indianapolis 500 pole in 1995 and ’96. Brayton’s 233.718-mph average in 1996 is actually the fastest pole speed in Indianapolis 500 history, though Arie Luyendyk set the actual track record a day later when he qualified for the ’96 500 on the second day with a 236.986 mph average.

Brayton’s fatal accident occurred after qualifying when he was practicing in his back-up car. The car on display at the Kruse Museum is the pole winner that Danny Ongais took over and drove to a seventh place finish after starting 33rd.

Another historically significant car that Scott Brayton drove at Indy is the 1985 March-Buick that he qualified in the middle of the front row. Brayton’s father, Lee, was an engine developer who was instrumental in converting a production Buick V-6 into a racing powerplant capable of running 220 mph at Indianapolis.

Brayton became synonymous with the Buick Indy program, and those ties continued when lumber magnate John Menard took over the Buick program in 1993. The Menard V-6 engine that powered Brayton’s pair of Indianapolis poles was a direct descendant of the Buick he ran so fast with in 1985.

Brayton was renowned as a bit of an Indianapolis specialist and a better qualifier than racer. As the CART-sanctioned Indy car series became more focused on road racing, Brayton’s performances suffered and by 1994, the Indianapolis 500 was the only race he ran. With the advent of the all-oval Indy Racing League sanctioned Indy car series in 1996, Brayton was on the brink of a career revival that was tragically cut short.

His best Indy car race finish was third place at the Milwaukee Mile in 1992. He finished the Indy 500 only five times, but on four of those occasions brought his car home in the top ten, including sixth place finishes in 1989 and 1993. His best finish in the CART championship was 12th in 1991.

Several other cars with IMS ties are currently on display at the Kruse Museum, including the Treadway Racing cars that finished 1-2 in the 1997 Indianapolis 500 as driven by Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear. There’s also a Richard Chidress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo similar to the one in which Dale Earnhardt won the 1995 Brickyard 400 at IMS.

Telsvision and movie buffs will enjoy a range of historic vehicles from the screen, including the A-Team van, two versions of Knight Rider cars and a Batmobile. There’s also an extensive collection of hot rods from custom builder Carl Casper that you have to see to believe.

A separate collection within the same building houses the Kruse World War II Victory Museum, and less than three miles away you can find the renowned Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum for classic cars, plus the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the U.S.

Any car or racing fan will appreciate the fascinating history of Auburn, Indiana. Make it a destination the next time you’re passing by.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Remembering Scott Brayton
 
Remembering Scott Brayton
If you’re driving from Detroit to Indianapolis via Interstates 94 and 69, you’ll pass Coldwater, Michigan, a town of about 11,000 residents on the edge of Michigan’s Irish Hills region
Read More
Related Media
Kirby Chambliss
 
Kirby is King in Kazan: American Wins Russian Debut
The USA’s Kirby Chambliss is back – back-to-back, in fact. Just three weeks after winning his first race in nine years at the Budapest stop of the Red Bull Air Race, the two-time titleholder triumphed again on Sunday, at the first World Championship stop ever held in Russia. In a North American sweep, Pete McLeod of Canada finished second, while the USA’s Michael Goulian was third.
Read More
Kasey Kahne
 
Kahne Stakes Claim To Keep Hendrick Ride with Dramatic Victory in Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400
At the end of a physically and emotionally draining Sunday, in a crash-filled race that took 6 hours, 14 minutes to finish and included three red flags, Kahne drove with determination until dark and departed minutes before sunset with a much-needed confidence boost to win the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400.
Read More
2018 Indy Car
 
Fans Can Watch Testing of New IndyCar Aero Kit Tuesday, July 25 at IMS
Fans are welcome to watch the inaugural test of the Dallara universal aero kit to be used by all Verizon IndyCar Series teams starting in the 2018 season on Tuesday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Kasey Kahne
 
Race Fans: Renew Your Tickets Now for New Era of Big Machine Brickyard 400 To Lock In 2017 Prices
Race fans can renew their tickets now for the 2018 Big Machine Brickyard 400 and Lilly Diabetes 250 – at 2017 prices – as the annual NASCAR race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway enters an exciting new era next year.
Read More
Kasey Kahne
 
Kahne Uses Late Move To Win Wild Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400
Kahne passed Brad Keselowski on the final restart in overtime to win the 24th annual Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The epic race started at 2:44 p.m. and finished at 8:58 p.m., just eight minutes before sundown. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was halted three times for red flags for a total of two hours, 31 minutes, including a rain delay of one hour, 47 minutes after the first 12 laps were completed.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,701
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