Dan Gurney, the first driver to win in Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR, died Sunday, January 14, of complications from pneumonia. He was 86. His wife, Evi, announced his death in a statement distributed by All American Racers Inc.
“With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today,” said the statement signed by Evi Gurney, the Gurney family and AAR teammates. “In deepest sorrow, with gratitude in our hearts for the love and joy you have given us during your time on this earth, we say, ‘Godspeed.’”
During the ’60s, Gurney enjoyed considerable success overseas, including winning four Formula One World Championship Grand Prix events and sharing the winning car in the ’67 Le Mans 24 Hours with A.J. Foyt, plus the ’60 Nürburgring 1000-km with Stirling Moss.
But he also won at home, claiming seven United States Auto Club-sanctioned National Championship events in the late ’60s; five out of the six 500-mile NASCAR stock races held at the Riverside, California, road course between ’63–’68; numerous events in the SCCA Can-Am and Trans-Am series; and even the first professional road racing series ever conducted in the United States—the inaugural USAC Road Racing championship in ’58.
Gurney also drove in nine consecutive Indianapolis 500-mile races between ’62–’70—finishing second, second and third in the final three—and was the winning manufacturer three times.
Funeral arrangements are private, and the family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Hoag Hospital Foundation in Newport Beach, CA. Those who want to express their sentiments may write a note to [email protected].
Gurney is survived by his wife Evi, sons Alex, Justin, Jimmy, Danny and Dan Jr., and eight grandchildren.