January 18, 1945 - October 26, 1975
Douglas "Jimmy" Caruthers
Born in Anaheim, California, USA.
Jimmy raced midget cars, sprint cars, and IndyCars. Caruthers won the 1970 USAC National Midget Series championship. His championship was the closest in USAC midget history, as he beat Dave Strickland by 12.48 points. He finished second to his brother Danny Caruthers in 1971. Jimmy won 21 USAC midget car features between 1967 and 1975.
He competed in the ARDC while stationed on the East Coast during his tour of duty in the armed forces. He was transferred to Phoenix, and race in caged sprint cars on weekends. He almost won the championship, but was transferred overseas before the end of the season.
He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1970-1975 seasons with 43 starts, including the 1972-1975 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 21 times. His best finish were second place finishes at the 1974 California 500 at the Ontario Motor Speedway and 1974 Pocono 500. He drove in four Indianapolis 500s.
He won the 1975 USAC Silver Crown Series championship while suffering from cancer. He captured the title by finishing third at the Hoosier 100 six weeks before he died. He died of cancer in October 1975 before claiming his championship trophy.
USAC has annually awarded the "Jimmy Caruthers Award" in his honor since 1978. Initially given to the Rookie of the Year, it was rededicated to honor his spirit and determination, shown in winning the Silver Crown championship in the year of his death.
He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1992 and the USAC Hall of Fame in 2015.
His father Doug Caruthers and brother Danny Caruthers also died before accepting their USAC series championship at the end of the year awards banquet. The Caruthers family is synonymous with midget car racing.
Danny Caruthers (5) and brother Jimmy Caruthers (1) pose with car owner & father Doug Caruthers (left), along with a crew member.