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Joe Leonard


Joe Leonard (born August 4, 1932, San Diego, California), is a retired American racecar driver and motorcycle racer.

Leonard won the first AMA Grand National Series Championship in 1954 and won it again in 1956 and 1957. His record totals 27 wins, including the 1957 and 1958 Daytona 200.

He retired from motorcycle racing at the completion of the 1961 season and turned his attention to auto racing.

Leonard raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1964-1974 seasons, with 98 career starts, including the 1965-1973 Indianapolis 500, sitting on the pole in 1968 in the Granatelli turbine car. He finished in the top ten 60 times, including 6 wins: 3 times at Milwaukee (1965, 1970, 1972), and once each at Ontario Motor Speedway (1971), Brooklyn (1972), and Pocono (1972). His victories propelled him to the 1971 and 1972 USAC Championship Car Season Championship.

He is the only American to win the national championship in both automobile and motorcycle racing and in 1991, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in the "Motorcycles" category.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1965 Halibrand Ford 27th 29th
1966 Eagle Ford 20th 9th
1967 Coyote Ford 5th 3rd
1968 Lotus Pratt & Whitney 1st 12th
1969 Eagle Ford 11th 6th
1970 Colt Ford 18th 24th
1971 Colt Ford 8th 19th
1972 Parnelli Offy 6th 3rd
1973 Parnelli Offy 29th 18th