Duane Carter

Duane Carter

5/5/1913 - 7/3/1993

His friends called him 'Pappy' and he was one of the few college-educated drivers to come out of the early midget ranks. Duane began racing midgets at the fifth-of-a-mile dirt track on the west side of Fresno while attending Fresno State College. Duane was one of six drivers to travel to Auckland, New Zealand in 1937 to compete. In 1939 he was a consistent winner at the famous Nutley board track and he won the 1940 Detroit VFW Motor Speedway title. In 1942 he captured the crown at Sportsman Park in Cleveland, Ohio and in 1947 he captured the 500-lap midget race in the L.A. Coliseum in a disputed finish after Danny Oakes had been flagged the winner. Driver and track official, he took a leave of absence from his successful driving career to serve as the first director of competition for the United States Auto Club from the fall of 1955 until January 1959. He pushed for numerous advancements in the area of safety, while also overseeing the Monza (Italy) 500-mile races of 1957 and 1958 and USAC's landmark road-racing series, the first ever to offer prize money for such competition. Carter was a specialist on half-mile banked tracks in sprint cars and captured the Midwest title in 1950. He began his Indianapolis 500 Mile Race career in 1948 and started every race until 1956 when he retired to take the job as the Competition Director for the newly formed United States Auto Club. After being replaced by Henry Banks in his USAC post, Duane returned to driving and competed in the 1959, '60 and '63 Indianapolis races as well as a few midget events. Duane Carter died on March 7, 1993.