Gerald "Jerry" Karl lost his life on Saturday, February 16, in a car accident in Baltimore County, Maryland. The York, Pennsylvania resident competed in both the USAC and CART (now Champ Car) racing series. He leaves behind his wife of over 45 ...
Gerald "Jerry" Karl lost his life on Saturday, February 16, in a car accident in Baltimore County, Maryland. The York, Pennsylvania resident competed in both the USAC and CART (now Champ Car) racing series. He leaves behind his wife of over 45 years, Linda.
At the time of his accident, he had sold his business and was simply enjoying life. Born in Jamaica, New York on April 29, 1941, the mechanic turned racer had 75 career starts in the two series from 1969 to 1984 with eight top-10 finishes; his best was 7th at the former Ontario, California oval.
Over his career, Karl started six Indianapolis 500 races our of 16 attempts with a best finish in 1975, racing an Eagle Chevrolet, of 13th. Like many who raced at Indy, Karl started racing sprints and midgets where he did his own mechanical preparation. He carried that over with several of the team he ran for at Indy. His final two attempts at the famed Brickyard was in cars he owned, prepared and raced.
Karl's best run at Indy was in 1974 when he ran has high as 7th before hitting the wall in the third turn on the 2.5-mile oval. He was best known for his determination and pure racing enjoyment.
From sprint car racing to the top open-wheel ranks, Karl was determined to make it to the top.
His career in motor sports included road racing events: Formula 5000, Can-Am and the Daytona 24 hour race. In 1966 and '67, he ended third in the URC Sprint Series standings.
Upon his hanging up his racing helmet, he became a race car owner and formed his own company, Karl Racing Enterprises. Karl had a pilot license and started his aviation business in his home town (York, PA).
Karl is survived by his wife and two children: Donna Krumm and Scott Karl, plus eight grandchildren and his brother James.