Lloyd Ruby

by Donald Davidson of Indianapolis, IN

Lloyd Ruby came out of Wichita Falls, Texas in the late 1940’s, racing motorcycles, then midgets, stock cars, sports cars and finally Indianapolis cars in a career that spanned four decades.LloydRuby-1950-OkC-midget

In sports cars, he won the 24 hours of Daytona twice and the Sebring 12 hours once.   He racked up 177 starts in champ cars, with seven wins and 88 top ten finishes.  He helped start the rear-engined revolution in USAC, putting an underpowered Lotus on the pole for a race at Trenton in 1963.

It was, however, his career at Indianapolis from 1960 to 1977 that led one biographer to crown him “the Greatest Driver Never to Win the Indy 500.”   He led 126 laps in five different years, but bad luck always kept him from Victory Lane.5-31-65-SI-Ruby

His friendly, quiet personality and determination won him a legion of fans and friends, including the round table members, three-time “500” winner Johnny Rutherford,  Indianapolis Speedway historian Donald Davidson and special friend Mike Devin.  They were with Lloyd for many of the highs and lows of his career, and they shared their personal stories and insights into the life of “The Quiet Texan.”