Leroy Warriner

Leroy Warriner

1/3/1919 - 2/1/2003

Leroy Warriner won the first “Night Before the 500” Midget Race and was the 1953 AAA National Midget Racing Champion and the Midwest Champion.

Leroy Warriner made several attempts to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 between 1949 and 1958, but his principal achievements took place in the midgets where his name was a household word in the US and in Australia and New Zealand where he raced in 1961 and 1962.

He won the first “Night Before the 500” Midget Race, held in 1946 at the famous 16th Street Speedway and repeated the win in 1950.

He won the 1953 AAA National Midget Racing Championship and the Midwest Championship.

Durning the 1959 Bill Lipkey promoted Indiana Indoor Championship, he won so many races in a row at Lafayette that a $200 bonus was put up for anyone who could beat him. Leroy won the Championship that year.

Leroy joined former driver Gene Hartley in conducting races at the Indianapolis Speedrome. He became principal stockholder and operator of that facility in 1961. In 1972 he bought the Speedrome and continued to operate it until he retired to Florida in 1977. He was inducted into the Speedrome Hall of Fame in 1993. Warriner was ever present at local races and fan club meetings in Indianapolis, particularly after he returned from a long retirement in the Florida keys.

He died from a heart attack in 2003

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