23/8/1917 - 28/6/1949
Record updated 23-Aug-06
Unusual for racing drivers at that time, Bill Sheffler neither smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. He raced in the Indy 500 three times. He was killed in a AAA Cahmp car race at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds track in Trenton in 1949.
Bayard Taylor Sheffler was born in Dallas, Texas, His parents moved to Los Angeles, California when he was only six month old. He attended Manual Arts High School and graduated from the University of Southern California's engineering school.
He was an outstanding athlete and neither smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. He had pole vaulted 12'6" in high school, but was not the equal of two of the nation's top vaulters at USC.
Bill was a veteran of twelve years of racing, well known at the old Southern Ascot and Carrell Speedways. He set the world record for five-eights mile tracks of 102 mph for one lap at Oakland in 1946. He built his first racecar, "Little Abner", in 1938.
He raced in the Indy 500 three times, finishing ninth in the 1946 race. He won the Carl H. Wallerich Sportsmanship award and finished fourth in the National AAA championship points the same year, 1946. His two other appearances t the Brickyard resulted in DNFs in 1948 and 1949.
Bill crashed at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds track in Trenton, New Jersey, when a radius rod broke in qualifying for the Trenton 100 AAA National Championship race. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Trenton in a coma and died nine days later without regaining consciousness.