(Born December 5, 1932) -- The list of local race car drivers who ran at Indianapolis no doubt is a small one. We still remember one who did, Jim Hurtubise.
The North Tonawanda driver was known as someone who would race almost anything with four wheels. Hurtubise first ran at Indy in 1960, finishing 18th and was the rookie of the year. He drove in nine other races. The driver tried to qualify with a front-engine car from 1975 to 1981, but came up short.
Hurtubise raced in the USAC Championship Car series for about 15 years from 1959 to 1974, with four victories in almost 100 starts.
He did some racing of NASCAR vehicles, and even got a win in Atlanta in 1966. He also drove Formula One machines.
Hurtubise might be best known, though, for an accident. He suffered serious burns in 1964. When asked about how he wanted his hands permanently shaped, he replied, “Just make ‘em so I can hold a steering wheel.”
--- Budd Bailey