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Bill Vukovich II

Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway/Penske Entertainment / other

INDIANAPOLIS — Bill Vukovich II, the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bill Vukavich who also made 12 starts of his own in the race, has died.

Vukovich II passed away on Sunday at the age of 79. He was part of a long line of racing families at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Vukavichs were one of only five families to have three generations of drivers compete in the Indianapolis 500.

Bill Vukovich won the “500” back-to-back race in 1953 and 1954. He tragically died while leading the race during an accident in 1955. Vukovich II followed his father into racing making 12 starts of his own between 1968 and 1980. He was Rookie of the Year in 1968.

Vukovich II’s son, Bill Vukovich III, also started the race winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1988. However, Vukovich III was killed in a racing accident as well during a sprint car race in November 1990 in California.

During Vukovich II’s career, he would go on make 158 starts in the IndyCar Series getting his own win in the first 125-mile race of a doubleheader at Michigan International Speedway in 1973. His best season came in 1972 when he finished second in the USAC Champ Car standings behind Joe Leonard.

He also had 23 USAC National Midget victories.

All three Vukovichs are enshrined in the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame, which is the city the family called their hometown.

The post Bill Vukovich II, Indy 500 Veteran, Dies At 79 appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM — Indy's Mobile News.

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