Henry Banks was born in England, but brought up in Royal Oak, Michigan in the United States. He was the son of an early European race-driver. Henry began competing in 1932, when he was 19-years-old, and became successful in the midget cars.
He was the first driver to pass the qualifying "rookie test" at the Indianapolis 500 in 1936. He also drove as a relief driver in 1937, 1939, and 1940, with a 21st place finish in 1938.
He won the 1941 ARDC championship in New England.
After a break during the war, when he worked at Ford’s aero-engine division, Banks’ career took off. He 1947 he won 30 midget car races. In 1950, he was the AAA National Champion and, in the same year, came second in the National Midget points.
Also at this time, Banks appeared in two films. The first was To Please A Lady, starring Clark Gable and with lots of racing action. The second, less successful film, was Roar of the Crowd, another movie about motor racing.
He was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Formula One Indy 500 results