23/5/1935 - 18/5/1972
Jim Malloy started racing in 1955. In 1968 he was the fastest rookie qualifier at Indy and in 1971 he drove Dan Gurney's Olsonite Eagle to 4th. He was killed the following year in pre-season testing. His best Indycar finish was 2nd in the 1969 Milwaukee 150. Jim Mallory died 50 years ago, he was 37 , He would have been 87.
Jim Malloy was born May 23, 1935 in Columbus Nebraska. A football and baseball player, he attended Colorado State University for a while before he began his racing career in 1955. He quit racing to work in Denver; but he wanted to go racing so badly that he suddenly cleaned off his desk, split a $100 with his wife and proclaimed he was going racing.
He started with sprint cars out east. By 1968 he had made it to Indy and was the fastest rookie qualifier. He drove the Jim Robbins car to 22nd place that year and returned in 1969 to finish 11th.
In 1970, Malloy's car broke a radius rod and hit the northwest wall on the pace lap, but in 1971 he drove Dan Gurney's Olsonite Eagle to 4th.
Gary Bettenhausen decided to switch to Penske in '72, and Malloy was happy to take his seat at Gerhardt - an Eagle with turbo-Offy power for the 1972 season.
On May 1 1972 in pre-season testing, Jim Malloy went out to test the circuit. He had been running at 185 mph during tire tests and decided with the chief steward, Harlan Fengler, that the 170 mph limit could be lifted to 180mph for '72.
Then on Sunday Morning, May 14th, he had just run a lap at 186mph when he lost control of the car going in to turn three. With no time to brake, the Thermo King Eagle veered right and crashed almost head-on into the wall. There were skid marks and a debris trail for 150 yards. The car was almost folded in half and it took over 10 minutes to extricate the unconscious Malloy. Suffering from head injuries, fractures of both legs and hips, a broken right arm, and second-degree burns on his hands and feet, Malloy never regained consciousness. He died four days later, just before his 37th birthday. Malloy's parents and his wife, Mary, were with him. He and Mary had two sons, Jim and Pat, and a daugher, Cheryl.
Jim Malloy's best Indycar finish was 2nd in the 1969 Milwaukee 150.