Johnny Mauro

Johnny Mauro

25/10/1910 - 23/1/2003

Mauro raced for years in the Midwest, using the name "Jack Morris" so his parents wouldn't know he was racing. He finished eighth behind winner Mauri Rose in the Indy 500 in 1948.

Mauro, a resident of Lakewood, Colorado, raced for years in the Midwest, using the name "Jack Morris" so that his parents wouldn't know he was racing. He first came to Indianapolis in 1947 and took part of his rookie test but did not qualify for the race.

He returned with an outdated Miller in 1948. He then took over the wheel of an Alfa Romeo entered by Milt Marion. Mauro purchased the car and qualified it 27th, then drove it to eighth place with relief help from Lewis Durant. Marion was the chief mechanic.

Mauro brought the car back to the Speedway in 1949 and 1950. In 1949, he made two qualifying attempts and then turned the car over to Tony Bettenhausen, who also failed to make the field with the car.

Mauro skipped the 1951 race, but then was back at the track in 1952. He was the Ferrari importer for whole of the Denver region for many years and often raced in those cars in all disciplines. He purchased one the Ferraris brought to the Speedway. Alberto Ascari qualified the factory car, but the other three failed to make the race. Later in 1952 the car was raced in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, where Mauro finished second in 1951, finishing 10th. Johnny also tried to qualify the Ferrari for the 100 miler held at Denver but rolled it into the infield.

His 4th AAA event in Ferrari 375 was in 1954 at Pikes Peak where he finished 17th. This was his last AAA race.

After he retired from competition, Mauro returned to Indy each May and for several years would drive one of the Duesenbergs or other classic cars from the Museum in the downtown parade the day before the race. Speedway family members or officials would ride in the cars.

He was killed in a head-on collision with a teenage driver on Jan 23 2003 in the Denver area. Mauro's car crossed into incoming traffic on Interstate 70 at night, about 10 miles west of Denver. Both Mauro, 92, and Christopher Basinski, 17, were killed. A 16-year-old passenger in Basinski's car was injured. Mauro usually only drove a couple blocks every day to drop off bank receipts from the U.S. Truck Driving School he founded, but rarely drove on the interstate. he hadn't driven on I-70 for 20 years and no one knew how he got there.

Mauro raced for years in the Midwest, using the name "Jack Morris" for a time so his parents wouldn't know he was racing. He finished eighth behind winner Mauri Rose in the Indy 500 in 1948.

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