Hall of Fame: John Zink



John Zink, one of the premier car owners and sponsors of the 1950s and 1960s, won the Indianapolis 500 race and the American Automobile Association National Championship in 1955 with Bob Sweikert, and the Indianapolis 500 again in 1956 with Pat Flaherty. Zink’s cars won a total of 13 National Championship races from 1955 through 1966; four each with Jud Larson and Jim McElreath; two each with Sweikert and Flaherty, and one with Lloyd Ruby.


Zink also partnered with Bob Wilke (Leader Cards) in winning the 1958 Monza (Italy) 500 with Jim Rathmann, fielding the same car with which Troy Ruttman had finished second in the previous year’s race. Other notable drivers for this Tulsa, Oklahoma, industrialist and sportsman included Tony Bettenhausen, Jimmy Reece, and World Champion Jack Brabham. Zink’s 1964 chassis built and driven by Brabham inspired the series of Brawner Hawks that Mario Andretti drove with such success in the second half of the 1960s.


Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum

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