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Jack McGrath

JACK McGRATH, who did much of the mechanical work on his own cars, was one of the nation’s outstanding drivers in American Automobile Association Contest Board championship races from 1948 through 1955. He participated in 67 races during that time, winning four and placing fifth or better 21 times for a total of 6,196 championship points — more than any driver at that time except Johnnie Parsons and Tony Bettenhausen. In eight races at Indianapolis, he set new one-lap and four-lap qualifying records on two occasions, earned front row starting positions six times, and led the field in four Indianapolis 500 races for a total of 70 laps. He ranked third in the 1952 American Automobile Association Stock Car Championship and was fifth in 1953 and 1955. He won seven races both years, including a 200-mile race at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in September 1955, the last American Automobile Association stock car race held. As part of the official Lincoln-Mercury team in 1953, he placed third overall in the “heavy” stock car class of the grueling eight-day Carrera Pan-Americana. He lost his life in the final stages of the Phoenix 100 (Arizona) in November 1955, the last American Automobile Association National Championship race held.