Ray Keech flashed into international prominence by setting a new world land speed record at Daytona Beach on April 22, 1928. Driving J.W. White’s unique Triplex Special, which was powered by three V-16 Aero Liberty aircraft engines, he averaged 207.552 miles per hour for the two-way run to erase the former mark established by Malcolm Campbell of England. Keech’s performance led to an opportunity to drive in the Indianapolis 500 race for the first time in May 1928, in which he finished fourth with Wilbur Shaw serving as a relief driver.
Later in the same season, Keech won the championship races at Rockingham, New Hampshire, Detroit, Michigan, and Syracuse, New York. In 1929, he returned to the Indianapolis 500 to score an impressive victory over Louis Meyer by a margin of more than six minutes. He was runner-up in the American Automobile Association National Championship in 1928 and then again posthumously in 1929. His racing career was cut short by a fatal accident at Altoona, Pennsylvania, on June 15, 1929.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum