Racing Legends Spotlight: Dan Gurney

By Auto News Log • January 23rd, 2012

Daniel Sexton Gurney (born April 13, 1931) is an American racing driver, race car constructor, and team owner. He has been a driver, a car manufacturer, and a team owner at racing’s highest levels since 1958.

Gurney won races in the IndyCar, NASCAR, Can-Am, and Trans-Am Series. Gurney was the first driver to win races in Sports Cars (1958), Formula One (1962), NASCAR (1963), and Indy Car (1967) (the other two being Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya). In 1967, after winning the 24 hours of Le Mans together with A.J. Foyt, he spontaneously sprayed champagne while celebrating on the podium. Apart from starting this tradition, he also was the first to put a simple right-angle extension on the upper trailing edge of the rear wing. This device, called a Gurney flap, increases downforce and, if well designed, imposes only a relatively small increase in aerodynamic drag. At the 1968 German Grand Prix he became the first driver ever to use a full face helmet in Grand Prix racing.


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