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Henry Banks


Henry Banks (June 14, 1913 - December 18, 1994) was an American midget car and "big car" driver. He competed as a Formula One driver in the Indy 500 only.

Background

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.

Racing career

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.

He started two Indianapolis grands prix, debuting on May 30, 1951. He scored 0 championship points.

Actor

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.

Race Executive

He later retired from racing and became USAC Director of Competitions. He died at Indianapolis in 1994.

Award

He was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Formula One Indy 500 results

Season Driver_Number Output Grid Classification Points Note Report
1951 1 Moore-Offenhauser 17 6 0 Report
1952 2 Lesovsky-Offenhauser 12 19 0 Report