Jack Brabham named in Indianapolis honour list

Gordon Lomas

Tuesday 3rd May, 2016 - 12:23pm


Sir Jack Brabham has been named in the top 100 list of the most important people in the history of the Indy 500

Sir Jack Brabham has been named in the top 100 list of the most important people in the history of the Indy 500

The late Sir Jack Brabham has been honoured on a list naming the 100 most important people in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

Brabham was instrumental in influencing the switch from front to rear-engine machinery for Indy cars when he first tackled The Brickyard in 1961.

The triple World Formula 1 champion’s Kimberly Cooper T54 was the only rear-engine car in the 1961 race and by 1969, there were no front-engined cars in the field.

While not successful in his four attempts in the Indy 500, Brabham left an indelible mark on the country’s most famous motor race.

This year the Indy 500 will be staged for the 100th time with Sir Jack’s grandson Matthew Brabham making his rookie start in a Pirtek Team Murray entry which fittingly carries the #61.

The list of influential people includes investors, drivers, team owners, promoters, media, officials, track staff, celebrities and team members.

Young Brabham, 22, says it is a privilege to become the third generation from his famous family after his grandfather and father Geoff Brabham to race in the Indy 500.

Matthew Brabham is set to follow in his dad Geoff and grandfather Sir Jack Brabham's footsteps by racing at the Indy 500 on May 29

Matthew Brabham is set to follow in his dad Geoff and grandfather Sir Jack Brabham’s footsteps by racing at the Indy 500 on May 29

“We have been involved in several major activities in recent weeks around the 500, which has been amazing, but to see my grandfather on the list of the 100 most important people in the history of Indianapolis 500 is really surreal,” Matthew Brabham said.

“When you go through that list there are some amazing names in front of him and behind him.

“I continually find the history and stories of the 500 and the Speedway so interesting.

“I know my grandfather would be have felt quite honoured to be on that list and have his contribution to the rear-engine revolution recognised in such a manner.

Matthew’s dad Geoff competed in 10 Indy 500s with a best result of fourth in 1983.

Matt will become just the third third generation driver in the Indy 500 alongside the famous Vukovich and Andretti clans.

The top 100 list was compiled by journalist Curt Cavin from the Indianapolis Star and USA Today.

The list was topped by Tony Hulman, who purchased the track in 1945 and rejuvenated the venue after it had deteriorated during the war years.

The Hulman-George family maintain ownership of the Speedway to this day and have just completed another multi-million dollar upgrade of the facility in time for this month’s 100th running, which is set to draw the biggest crowd in the race’s history.


1. Tony Hulman
2. Carl Fisher
3. Wilbur Shaw
4. A.J. Foyt
5. Mario Andretti
6. Parnelli Jones
7. Roger Penske
8. Sid Collins
9. Eddie Rickenbacker
10. Tom Carnegie
11. Louis Meyer
12. James Allison
13. Rick Mears
14. Andy Granatelli
15. Bill Vukovich
16. Colin Chapman
17. Tom Sneva
18. Nigel Mansell
19. Bobby Unser
20. Tony George
21. Al Unser
22. Jim Clark
23. Emerson Fittipaldi
24. Rodger Ward
25. Johnny Rutherford
26. Jim McKay
27. A.J. Watson
28. Dan Gurney
29. Ralph DePalma
30. Bill Simpson
31. Mauri Rose
32. Jim Rathmann
33. Danny Sullivan
34. Jim Nabors
35. Mari Hulman George
36. Jackie Stewart
37. Joe Cloutier
38. Tom Binford
39. Chip Ganassi
40. Lou Moore
41. Ray Harroun
42. Sam Hanks
43. Eddie Sachs
44. George Bignotti
45. Leo Mehl
46. Al Unser Jr.
47. J.C. Agajanian
48. Danica Patrick
49. Paul Newman
50. Jim Hurtubise
51. Arie Luyendyk
52. James Garner
53. Helio Castroneves
54. Tony Stewart
55. Paul Page
56. Jack Brabham
57. Fred Offenhauser
58. Frank Kurtis
59. Alberto Ascari
60. Clint Brawner
61. Clarence Cagle
62. Tim Richmond
63. Dean Sicking
64. Fred Duesenberg
65. Billy Arnold
66. Michael Andretti
67. Mike Boyle
68. Rex Mays
69. Johnnie Parsons
70. Al Dean
71. David Letterman
72. Harry Miller
73. Tony Kanaan
74. Mark Donohue
75. Dario Franchitti
76. Gordon Johncock
77. Tommy Milton
78. Bobby Rahal
79. Dan Wheldon
80. Lloyd Ruby
81. Jimmy Bryan
82. Arthur Chevrolet
83.Louis Chevrolet
84. Smokey Yunick
85. Jim Hall
86. Lem Trotter
87. Jim McGee
88. Harlan Fengler
89. Donald Davidson
90. Bob Collins
91. Sarah Fisher
92. Peter de Paolo
93. Steve Hannigan
94. Frank Lockhart
95. Willy T. Ribbs
96. Kevin Forbes
97. Janet Guthrie
98. Troy Ruttman
99. Frank Wheeler
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