Henry Pens

Henry Pens

11/3/1940 - 9/4/1971

A good midget racer, Henry Pens was shot dead outside his garage after a disagreement with a local gang.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, was a pretty good Midget racer who took 16 USAC feature race wins during his career.

He made his racing debut in the late 1950's and quickly established himself, driving for the likes of Bob Steffes, 'Red' Herath, Howard Linne and the Famous 'Pizza Hut' car owned by George Middelton.

In 1962 he came close to winning the United Auto Racing Association championship, finishing behind Danny Kladis and Ray Elliott in the final standings.

After racing in the United Auto Racing Association at Joliet and the surrounding tracks he moved to USAC. In 1968 he went to Indy but his entry was declined on the grounds of inexperience. Later in the year he made his one and only Champ car start at Trenton in the Bryant Heating & Cooling Vollstedt. He qualified in 26 spot but retired with a blown engine on lap 94.

Henry continued to race Midgets in USAC and the UARA, as well as running his business, Henry Pens Auto Rebuilders' in Joliet. For many years Henry held a strange record, that of winning a USAC race in the highest car number ever. He took the chequered flag in car number 202.

Then in the spring of 1971 Henry's life was cut short in a tragic fashion at the age of just 31 when he was shot dead execution style outside his garage. It was rumored that Mr. Pens had been involved with a mob connected car theft ring. His murderer has never been caught.

historicracing.com

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