Record updated 21-Mar-23
Kenny Bräck is a Swedish former race car driver. Until his retirement from racing, he competed in the CART, Indy Racing League and the IROC series. He won the 1998 Indy Racing League championship and the 1999 Indianapolis 500, becoming the first Swedish driver to win the race.
Photo coutesy PSParot
Born in Arvika, Sweden, he grew up in the small village of Glava, where his father taught him to drive cars on the frozen lakes in winter. He was introduced to racing when at 13 he got a part time job with 1977 Formula Ford Champion Nils-Arne Johansson who bought him a kart.
He drove Formula Ford and Formula 3 both in Sweden and England during the 1980s, winning the Swedish Junior Formula Ford Championship in 1986. Bräck won all the Formula 3 races he drove in Sweden in 1989. He drove Formula Opel Lotus in Europe in the early 90s. In 1992 he won the Scandinavian Renault Clio Cup.
In 1993, Kenny Bräck went to the USA and won the Barber Saab Pro Series with six victories out of a possible 12. That year he also tested a Williams FW15C F1 car at Paul Richard in France.
Between 1994 and 1996 he competed in the European F3000 Championship finishing third in the Championship in 1995. The following year he went one better, finished second for Team Super Nova, only loosing out on the Championship folloing a disqualification in the final heat at Hockenheim.
He tested for the Arrows F1 team in 1995 but turned down a Formula 1 contract as he felt the team would not be competetive. Instead he returned to racing in the USA.
He was IRL champion in 1998 and won the Indianapolis 500 in 1999.
In 2000 he switched to the CART circuit, finishing as runner-up in 2001, but came back to IRL on 2003. In the final race at Texas Motor Speedway he suffered a serious crash that almost cost him his legs.
Kenny Brack's car went airborne at 220 mph and smashed into the chain-link catch fence. The impact reduced his car to a smoldering, unrecognizable hunk of twisted metal and splintered carbon fiber.
He had eight major surgeries since the October 2003 crash at Texas Motor Speedway. Fans covered their eyes. Track officials turned away from the monitors. Everyone braced for the worst. Brack survived, but barely.
After recovering from his injuries, he raced in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, replacing an injured Buddy Rice who effectively replaced him in the 2004 race, although this appears likely to be his final race.
He now lives in England. In 2017 set a street legal record for the nurburgting for McLaren and worked as a test driver for their sports car program. He plays with his rock band "Bräck" and writes music with the band's singer Franc Aledia.