Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chet "Dean Of The Speedway." Miller Born - July 19, 1902

July 19, 1902 - May 15, 1953
Chester Miller
Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Chet drove his first race in Saginaw Michigan in 1924 at the age of 22. During his long Indy career, spanning from 1928 to 1953, Miller earned the nickname "Dean of the Speedway."

In the 1934 Indy 500 after only 11 laps, he hit some oil on the track left by a car that had thrown a rod. He went about 30 yards through the air and over the wall and landed on all four wheels in a backyard. The car never stopped and Chet drove it through the gates to the garages without missing a shift.

In 1939 he was involved in a three-car collision that killed Floyd Roberts. When Bob Swanson collided with Roberts, Swanson's tank exploded and the car burned. Swanson was thrown out of his car until the track. To avoid hitting him, Chet Miller crashed in the infield, broke his shoulder, and was hospitalized for six months. Swanson suffered only minor injuries.

In 1952, Miller set a one-lap qualifying record at 139.60 mph.

Miller was killed in a crash in the south turn of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the 1953 Indianapolis 500, at age 50. Some of his friends said that he had promised his wife that 1953 would be his last year.

Gertrude Miller was in Indianapolis at the time of her husband's death. They had no children. Most of his relatives lived in Detroit, but Chet made his home in Glendale California where he sold cars and owned a upholstery business.

He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis on May 19th, 1953. Fellow competitors Louie Meyer and Wilbur Shaw were amoung the pallbearers.

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