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Tony Bettenhausen


Melvin E. "Tony" Bettenhausen (September 12, 1916 - May 12, 1961) was an American racing driver, who won the National Championship in 1951 and 1958.

Born in Tinley Park, Illinois, Bettenhausen was killed in a crash at Indianapolis while testing a car for Paul Russo. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1941 and 1946-1961 seasons with 121 starts, including 14 in the Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 74 times, with 21 victories.

As the Indianapolis 500 counted as a round of the Formula One World championship from 1950 to 1960 his career is credited with participation in 11 grands prix, with 1 podium and 10 championship points scored.

Bettenhausen was the father of Gary Bettenhausen, Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. and Merle Bettenhausen.

Award

He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1997.

AAA Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1946 Wetteroth Miller 26th 20th
1947 Stevens Offy 25th 18th
1948 Stevens Offy 22nd 14th
1949 Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo Failed to Qualify

Formula One Indy 500 results

Season Driver# Team Grid Classification Points Note Race Report
1950 14 Deidt-Offenhauser 8 SHR 1 Wheel Bearing Report
1951 5 Deidt-Offenhauser 9 Ret   Spun Off Report
1952 27 Deidt-Offenhauser 30 Ret   Oil Pressure Report
1953 98 Kuzma-Offenhauser 6 9   Accident Report
1954 10 Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 21 Ret   Wheel Bearing Report
1955 10 Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 2 2 *PODIUM* 3   Report
1956 99 Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 5 Ret   Accident Report
1957 27 Kurtis Kraft-Novi 22 15     Report
1958 33 Epperly-Offenhauser 9 4 3   Report
1959 1 Epperly-Offenhauser 15 4 3   Report
1960 2 Watson-Offenhauser 18 Ret   Engine Report