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 William “Bill Mackey” Gretsinger

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William “Bill Mackey” Gretsinger

  • Birth 15 Dec 1927 Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
  • Death 29 Jul 1951 Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana, USA
  • Burial Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
  • Memorial ID 1410

Race Car Driver. He was one of three big-time drivers, each of whom were veterans of the Indianapolis 500, to lose their lives on the same day. At the Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, Walt Brown was warming up an ill-handling car, the Jack Robbins Special. This car, as the Noc-Out Hose Clamp Special, had been driven to victory in the 1941 Indianapolis 500 by Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose. Brown suffered critical injuries during a slow tumbling accident in the second turn, and died just after arriving at Carlisle Hospital. Meanwhile, at the Winchester Speedway in Indiana, Cecil Green lost control and went over the embankment between the first and second turn while attempting to qualify the J.C. Agajanian "98jr." car. He died on the way to the hospital while the other drivers waited for the ambulance to return. Next in the qualifying line was Bill Mackey, driver of the Joe Langley Special. No sooner had the ambulance returned than Mackey began his qualifying attempt, only to fly out of the track at the same spot Green had, also suffering fatal injuries. Mackey, whose real name was William C. Gretsinger, Jr., had been having reservations about continuing his racing career, in spite of a run of recent success, including participation in his first Indianapolis 500 in May. During the second wait for the ambulance to return, drivers in the qualifying line had considerable time to ponder the hazards of their profession. Fortunately, the next driver up was the inimitable Duane Carter, the defending AAA Midwest sprint car champion. He had come to Winchester only because promoter Frank Funk had offered him a special appearance bonus to assure himself of at least one "headliner," while most of the stars were racing at Williams Grove. Without a flicker of reluctance, Carter raced through three consecutive laps, all under the track record. After establishing these records and winning the fast qualifier of the day accolades, he proceeded to win both his preliminary heat race and the day's feature race.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1410
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William “Bill Mackey” Gretsinger (15 Dec 1927–29 Jul 1951), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1410, citing Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .