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
Anita Millican
 
Over the Wall: Pioneer Millican Reflects on One-of-a-Kind Career
First in a series on crewmen and women who have worked at the Indianapolis 500
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Rossi's Likeness Unveiled on Borg-Warner Trophy
Don’t miss your chance to see history unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on Wednesday, December 7 at 5 p.m. Champion of the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Alexander Rossi, will have his likeness unveiled on the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy during a special ceremony on the museum’s main floor. Fans are invited to attend with paid admission to the museum.
Read More
Max Chilton
 
Chilton Returns to Ganassi for 2017 IndyCar Season
The Chip Ganassi Racing four-driver lineup will remain intact for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, with today’s announcement that Max Chilton is returning to compete with primary sponsorship from international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Read More
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
Rossi's Likeness Set to Unveil Dec. 7 on Borg-Warner Trophy
Don’t miss your chance to see history unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on Wednesday, December 7 at 5 p.m. Champion of the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Alexander Rossi, will have his likeness unveiled on the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy during a special ceremony on the museum’s main floor. Fans are invited to attend with paid admission to the museum.
Read More
Oriol Servia
 
Servia Joins Indy 500 Lineup for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that veteran driver Oriol Servia will return to the team for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, with the hope of adding more races during the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,395
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
Weird & wonderful Indy 500 cars: 1982-1983 Wildcats - Jay Johncock, Ganassi and Kimball + burning methanol drums.… https://t.co/PvN80RYLnx
about 16 hours ago