25/4/1910 - 14/6/1973
Raced in the Indy 500. Herb Ardinger died 49 years ago, he was 63
Raced in the Indy 500 six times between 1934 and 1947. He qualified third in 1937 in the Chicago Raw Hide Oil Seal Welch/Offy and led two laps. He went out after 106 laps when his engine let go. His best result came the following year driving a Miller-Ford/Offy entered by Offenhauser. After qualifying in 14th, he finished in 6th place picking up a cheque for $2,625.
In 1947 a driver's rebellion threatened the Indy 500. A group of car owners and drivers say they will boycott the race unless the purse is increased to 40% of the gate. The dispute is not settled until a few short days before the race. Practice time is cut short and only 30 cars can meet the 115 mph minimum qualifying speed. It marked the last time less than 33 cars faced the starter's flag for the Memorial Day Classic. Doc Williams was to be Cliff Bergere's team mate in the other Novi, but he was unable to come to grips with the beastly Novi and was replaced by Ardinger.
In the race Bergere was running easily in second place, after leading for 23 laps, when the Novi burned a piston and coasted to a stop after 63 laps. Meanwhile Ardinger is tooling along comfortably in ninth place when he pitted for fuel and tires on the 70th lap. Much to his surprise, Welch pulled him out of the car and put Bergere in the seat. Cliff finally worked his way to a fine fourth place finish.