The Flyin’ Hawaiian Danny Ongais Dies Age 79

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Danny Ongais, an icon of the Indianapolis 500 and the one Hawaiian driver to contest the enduring race, has died in his house in Anaheim Hills, California on Feb. 26 on account of congestive coronary heart problems. He was 79 years outdated.

Ongais was born on Might 21, 1942 in Kahului, Hawaii. By age 14, he was racing motorbikes and, after a stint within the US Military that noticed him stationed in Europe, he returned to Hawaii to develop into the state’s 1960 bike champion. Whereas he was overseas, he skilled sportscar racing for the primary time. And there, he was hooked.

From there, Ongais moved onto automotive racing for an unbelievable profession that noticed him compete in the whole lot from NHRA drag racing to open-wheel racing in sequence as huge as Components One in a profession that spanned 5 many years.

Of his 11 Indy 500 begins, Ongais’ greatest begin was seventh place whereas his greatest end was fourth. In his six Components One races, Ongais solely completed a single occasion, which he did in seventh place — at the moment, not a points-scoring place. In USAC-sanctioned open-wheel racing, he gained six races for a greatest championship ending place of eighth. In IndyCar, his greatest championship end was sixth.

It is his profession that is most well-known, as Ongais was a notoriously personal man. Ongais did not converse to the press. He did not make many buddies within the racing world. Nobody knew the place he lived or if he was married or what he did exterior the observe. Jim Chapman of Interscope Racing mentioned, “No one actually knew a lot about him” and mentioned that it was solely effectively into their working relationship that he realized Ongais was married and had a son. Roger Penske as soon as mentioned of Ongais that “his entire coronary heart is racing, that is his life.”

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