Bill Taylor dies at 84

Former Indy Driver, Racing Executive Taylor Dies at 84 INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 17, 2004 -- Bill Taylor, who passed his Indianapolis 500 rookie test in 1949 driving the radical Rounds Rocket, died May 16 in his hometown of Auburndale, Fla. He...

Former Indy Driver, Racing Executive Taylor Dies at 84

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 17, 2004 -- Bill Taylor, who passed his Indianapolis 500 rookie test in 1949 driving the radical Rounds Rocket, died May 16 in his hometown of Auburndale, Fla. He was 84.

Taylor came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the same time as Troy Ruttman in 1949. Both were hotshot drivers from the West Coast. Ruttman won the 1952 Indianapolis 500 while Taylor failed to qualify for the race. Driving the Blue Crown Spl., Taylor crashed during a practice run.

He later became racing director for Mobil Oil and handled logistics for cross-country runs, as well as world speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and Daytona Beach, Fla. At one of those Daytona runs, he met female race driver Nicki Griffin. They soon were married and were inseparable over the ensuing years.

Taylor became director of USAC's stock car program after the Mobil program was suspended. In later life, Bill and Nicki represented Simpson Racing Equipment at all NASCAR tracks. Bill Taylor was a licensed chief steward and member of the NASCAR National Racing Commission and the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club. He was recipient of the Buddy Shuman Award, one of NASCAR's most prestigious awards.

Survivors include his wife. Services are pending.

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About this article
Series General , NASCAR , USAC
Article type Obituary