American racing legend Dan Gurney, the first driver with victories in Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR Cup series and a Newport Beach resident, has died from complications of pneumonia. He was 86.
“With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today,” his wife Evi and family said in a statement released Sunday. “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.”
Mario Andretti is one of the only other drivers to win the Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR Cub series.
“RIP Dan Gurney. I was first inspired by him when I was in midgets dreaming of being like him. I was last inspired by him yesterday,” Andretti said on Twitter.
Gurney also invented champagne-spraying celebrations on the podium, according to BBC Sport.
He began racing in 1955 and retired from driving in 1970 with 51 victories, according to the Orange County Register.
—City News Service
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