Sam Hanks  United States

  • Full name Samuel Hanks
  • Birth date July 13, 1914
  • Birthplace Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Date of death June 27, 1994 (79 years 349 days)
  • Place of death Pacific Palisades, California, United States
  • Teams Kurtis Kraft, Salih
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1950 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 25 0 0 0 -
1951 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 12 0 0 0 -
1952 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 5 0 0 4 12
1953 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 9 0 0 2 13
1954 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 0 1 11 0 0 10 0 0 0 -
1955 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 6 0 0 0 -
1956 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 13 0 0 6 7
1957 Salih 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 13 0 0 8 8
Total 8 8 1 4 5 1 0 0 5 0 0 20
Race Circuit Date
First race Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis May 30, 1950 Race results
Last race Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis May 30, 1957 Race results
Profile

Sam Hanks won first championship in 1937 on the West Coast in the AMA and travelled the country racing wherever he could. He won the 1940 VFW Motor City Speedway championship and when racing resumed after World War Two, he captured the 1946 URA Blue Circuit Championship. He won the 1947 Night before the 500 midget car race and was the 1949 AAA National Midget champion. He won the 1956 Pacific Coast championship in the USAC Stock cars.

He will be best remembered for winning the 1957 Indianapolis 500 at the age of 42 at his 13th attempt. He had finished third in 1952 and 1953 and then come second in 1956, but stormed to victory the following year and immediately announced his retirement in the victory circle.

He was director at the Indianapolis Speedway from 1957 to 1978 and drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 from 1958 to 1963.

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May 16, 1957

Sam Hanks (rear) and the builders of the Belond Exhaust Special pose for the cameras

     

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