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 Don “The Racing Grandfather” Branson

Don “The Racing Grandfather” Branson

Birth
Death 12 Nov 1966 (aged 46)
Burial Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois, USA
Plot Garden of Devotion, Lot 86, Plot A1
Memorial ID 29398085 · View Source
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Race car driver. At the time of his death, Branson was the oldest driver in United States Auto Club championship circuit competition and one of the most consistent and popular. He had raced for 21 years and had won the Midwest Sprint championship in 1959 and the National championship in 1964. Between 1956 and 1966, he had 129 starts in championship car and sprint car competition, including each of the Indianapolis 500 classics from 1959 to 1966. He finished in the top ten 85 times, with 7 victories. His best finishes in the Indianapolis 500 were fourth in 1960 and fifth in 1963. Branson held the record for starting in the most consecutive national championship races with a streak of 56 when he was sideliined for one race when he suffered a broken arm in a sprint race in 1964. At the time of his death, Branson was a member of the USAC Board of Directors and almost invariably was assigned to take rookie drivers on their first orientation ride at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A few months before his death, he was named championship racing representative for Goodyear. Branson and another driver, Dick Atkins, were tragically killed in a fiery accident on the fifth lap of a USAC sprint car race at Ascot Park in Gardena, California.


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  • Created by: Warrick L. Barrett
  • Added: 29 Aug 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 29398085
  • jecoll
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Don “The Racing Grandfather” Branson (2 Jun 1920–12 Nov 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 29398085, citing Grandview Memorial Gardens, Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Warrick L. Barrett (contributor 395) .