Racing pioneer and legend Dan Gurney dies after pneumonia complications

Tyler Owen
January 16, 2018

Mario Andretti, who followed Gurney as America's greatest road racer, was equally sorrowed by the loss of a man who was a great inspiration to him. Gurney also won at at Sebring, Daytona and at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967 with fellow racing legend A.J. Foyt.

The former driver, team owner, engineer and innovator, whom many considered one of the greatest all-around racing drivers of all time, reportedly died of of complications related to pneumonia.

Gurney had built cars - badged "Eagle" - which were raced by the likes of Bruce McLaren and Geoff Brabham across F1 and Indy respectively, as well as having driven them himself.

Dan Gurney, one of America's greatest racing talents on the global stage and a five-time victor in NASCAR's premier series, died Sunday.

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"With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018", Gurney's wife, Evi, and family said in a statement.

Andretti's respect for Gurney endures today, as he offers his condolences (as does his son Michael) and shares memories.

"I was first inspired by him when I was in midgets dreaming of being like him". "I was last inspired by him yesterday". Yes, I mean forever.

So it's worth a real-time reminder of some of the reasons why Dan Gurney was, and is, such a big deal. "He understood me better than anyone else, which is why he wrote the foreword for my book in 2001". "But in the case of Dan, he was a true legend of our sport". He was among the first drivers to useto a full-face helmet, and in winning the 1967 Belgium Grand Prix is the first and only American to win a Formula One race in a auto he designed. Four of those Riverside wins came with Wood Brothers Racing, the other with the Holman-Moody Ford operation.

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