Pete DePaolo

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250pxDePaolo beats Harry Hartz to win at the Fulford-Miami Speedway board track on February 22 1926, courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection.
Pete DePaolo
Owner(s) Name Pete DePaolo
Racing Series NASCAR Grand National
Number of Championships 0
Number of Wins 21
Car Number(s) 12, 22, 87, 97, 98, 99, 297
Notable Driver(s) Bill Amick
Buck Baker
Ralph Moody
Marvin Panch
Fireball Roberts
Curtis Turner
Joe Weatherly
Notable Sponsor(s) DePaolo Engineering, Southeastern Dealers
Manufacturer Ford
Shop Location
Year Opened 1955
Year Closed 1957

Pete DePaolo (born April 15, 1898 in Roseland, New Jersey - died November 26, 1980) was an American race car driver. He won the 1925 Indianapolis 500.

Racing career

Pete saw his first race in 1919, where he watched his uncle Ralph DePalma win. He drove his first Indianapolis 500 in 1920.

He pulled out to a huge lead in the 1925 Indianapolis 500. His fingers became badly blistered around the midpoint of the race, and car owner Fred Duesenberg pulled DePaolo out of the car. DePaolo had his hands repaired in the infield car center, and returned in the car after missing 21 laps. He had dropped to fifth. He raced his way to the win on his way to the series drivers championship. The race was the first Indianapolis 500 to average over 100 miles per hour (101.270 mph). Pete did not consider this to be his greatest win (since he was replaced for 21 laps).

He began his only team in 1927. He finished second in the Indianapolis 500, and added two wins on his way to the series drivers championship.

He decided to retire after he was in a coma for 11 days after crashing in Spain in 1934.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1922 Frontenac Frontenac 12th
1924 Duesenberg Duesenberg 13th 6th
1925 Duesenberg Duesenberg 2nd 1st
1926 Duesenberg Duesenberg 27th 5th
1927 Miller Miller 2nd 26th
1928 Miller Miller Practice Crash
1929 Miller Miller 5th 30th
1930 Duesenberg Duesenberg 21st 33rd

Car owner

He was car owner and team manager for Kelly Petillo's 1935 Indianapolis 500 victory.

He was a successful NASCAR team owner from 1955 to 1957. His drivers finished second, third, and second in the final points standings. The drivers accumulated 21 wins and 109 Top 10 finishes in 178 starts.



  • He wrote his biography in the book Wall Smacker, published in 1935
  • DePaolo was an Associate Editor at Speed Age magazine when he wrote an eight part series "I Drove The Boards" from July 1951 through August 1952.

External links

Indianapolis 500 Winners
Four-time winners

A. J. FoytAl Unser, Sr.Rick Mears

Three-time winners

MeyerShawRoseRutherfordB. Unser

Two-time winners

MiltonVukovichWardJohncockFittipaldiLuyendykUnser, Jr.Castroneves

One win

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