31/8/1918 - 5/2/2001
Record updated 16-Jul-09
Bill Homeier drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series. He holds a unique record from the 1954 Indianapolis 500; he finished in last place, but completed 74 laps, the most for a last place finisher.
Bill Homeier was born in Rockport, Texas, and started racing in 1946. He achieved success in midget racing, finishing second in the national point standings in 1953.
He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1953-1955 and 1958-1960 seasons with 14 starts, including the 1954 and 1960 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 5th position, in 1959 at Sacremento.
He passed his rookie test at Indy in 1953 but did not make a qualifying attempt.
In 1954 he qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 start driving the Jones & Maley Special. He pitted on Lap 75 with the entire field still running. During the stop his foot accidentally slipped off the clutch, and the car lunged into the pit wall. The damage was sufficient to put him out of the race. No last-place finisher has driven more laps before dropping out in the history of the race. In fact, Greg Ray came closest in 2000 when he crashed out of the race after completing 67 laps and was placed 33rd.
Returning to Indy in 1955 he spun in practice and once again did not make a qualifying attempt. However he drove relief during the race for Walt Faulkner, who finished fifth.
Homeier was injured in a midget race at Gardena, Calif., which kept him out of racing for most of the 1956 season.
Back at Indy in 1958, mechanical problems kept him from qualifying.
In 1960 Homeier qualified for his second and last Indianapolis 500. He put the Ridgewood Builders Special, a car that Troy Ruttman and Chuck Daigh had been unable to qualify the previous two years, in the 31st starting spot and finished 13th.