Norm Batten drove relief for Peter DePaolo on his way to winning the 1925 Indianapolis 500, making him one of only two drivers that won the Indy 500 the year before they became a Rookie at the Brickyard. He died along with Earl DeVore when the SS Vestris sank in 1928 on their way to race in South America.
American driver, won the 1925 Indianapolis 500 as a relief driver for Peter DePaolo. When Peter DePaolo pitted his Duesenberg, just past the half way point while leading easily, Fred Duesenberg noticed his hands were badly blistered and ordered DePaolo out of the car and Norm Batten in as a relief driver. Peter was almost heart broken when Batten almost stalled the Duesenberg pulling out of the pits. He was taken to the infield care center where his damaged hands were repaired. Twenty-one laps later Norm was out of the car and Peter was in, taking the car back to the front from fifth place.
Norm Batten took one of the warmest rides in Speedway history during the 1927 race when he drove his car standing up the full length of the straight while it was engulfed in flames. He jumped from the car only after he had stayed with it for the full stretch, steering it away from the pits and the crowd.
In November of 1928 Norm Batten (Indy1925-28) and Earl DeVore (Indy 1925-28) set sail from New York to Buenos Aires on the SS Vestris. They brought along at least one Miller race car and intended to race in Argentina for the winter season. The Vestris was in very poor condition and heavily overloaded. About a day out of New York the ship sank with a loss of 114 people. Batten and DeVore were among the dead.