17/11/1929 - 28/9/1958
Record updated 28-Sep-06
Jimmy Reece raced in the Indy 500 6 times, finishing in the top ten in 1952, 1956 and 1958. He was killed in a championship car race at the Trenton Speedway in New Jersey.
Jimmy Reece raced in the Indy 500 6 times, finishing in the top ten in 1952, 1956 and 1958. In 1956 it was Reece who captured Bob Sweikert's fatal accident at the Salem Speedway on June 17 on a home movie camera.
Reece reportedly held himself responsible for Pat O'Connor's death in the 1958 Indy 500. The start was chaotic. The pace car did not speed up which caused the need for a second pace lap. In the ensuing confusion the race started with Rathmann and Elisian going wheel to wheel in the first two turns. It is generally accepted that it was Elisian spinning and hitting Rathmann, sending him into the wall, that caused the fifteen car pile-up that involved Reece. Reece was hit by Bob Veith, causing his car to spin in front of O'Connor, who catapaulted over Reece, flipped and was killed. Elisian was suspended by USAC for going into the turn too fast.
Reece felt that his breaking maneuver during the accident. may have played a role in O'Connor's death and later that year during a championship car race at the Trenton Speedway in New Jersey, Reece was dueling Johnny Thomson for second place on the last lap when he got out of shape. Rather than breaking had and possibly putting Thomson at risk, Reece didn't brake enough, if at all, and plowed through a barrier. He was killed instantly when he was thrown from his car and landed over 50 feet away.