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Bobby Marshman

Bobby Marshman (September 24, 1936 - December 4, 1964), was an American racecar driver.

Born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Marshman died in San Antonio, Texas from injuries sustained in a tire test in Phoenix, Arizona. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1961-1964 seasons, with 49 career starts, including each Indianapolis 500 contest in that span. He finished in the top ten 25 times, with one victory, in 1962 at Phoenix. His 7th place finish at the 1961 Indianapolis 500 earned him co-Rookie of the Year honors with Parnelli Jones. Marshman may be best known for his performance during the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Early in the race, following a fiery crash that clained the lives of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald, Marshman took the lead from polesitter and race favorite Jim Clark. Marshman, driving a Lotus 29-Ford, extended his lead until the 37th lap, when he was forced off the track to avoid hitting a slower car driven by Johnny White. The instant he spent off the track tore loose oil and water lines, and retired the car. Many observers felt Marshman was on his way to a comfortable victory before luck intervened. A story from the time holds that Marshman wandered the crowd for an hour before returning to the pits and his crew. Marshman, dressed in his fireproof overalls and with oily goggle-marks around his eyes, was holding a race program. Jack Beckley, Marshman's crew chief, studied him quizzically and finally asked, "what are you doing with that?" An embarrassed and crestfallen Marshman replied, "I thought if I bought it no one would know I was a driver and they wouldn't ask me silly questions."

On the day of his fatal accident in November 1964, Marshman was conducting tire tests at the Phoenix 1-mile paved oval. The weather was hot that day and Marshman, like many drivers of the era, conducted the test wearing nothing but a T-shirt and jeans. As a result, when he crashed and ruptured the fuel tank, he had no fire-retardant clothing to protect him.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1961 Epperly Offy 33rd 7th
1962 Epperly Offy 3rd 5th
1963 Epperly Offy 7th 16th
1964 Lotus Ford 2nd 25th
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jim Hurtubise
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

1961
With Parnelli Jones
Succeeded by
Jim McElreath


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