Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bruce Jacobi Born In Salem, Indiana - June 23, 1935

June 23, 1935 - February 4, 1987
Bruce Jacobi
Born in Salem, Indiana, USA.
He grew up near the Salem Speedway and "got racing in his blood." He participated in both USAC and NASCAR competition. He had 37 USAC Champ Car starts between 1960 and 1970, with a best finish of fourth at Springfield in 1970. He qualified for the 1962 Indianapolis 500, but was "bumped" from the starting field by a faster qualifier. Jacobi also completed rookie refresher testing in preparation for the 1967 Indianapolis 500, but did not attempt to qualify.

He competed in twenty Winston Cup Series events in his career, spanning from 1975 to 1983. Most of those races came in 1975, when Jacobi finished 25th in points after his only three career top-tens. Those top-ten efforts were bested by an 8th at Talladega.

In 1987, Jacobi, 51, died of head injuries sustained in a NASCAR race crash at the Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 1983. Jacobi came to Speedweeks without a ride but picked one up with a smaller independent team by the time of the Twin 125 qualifiers. During the first qualifying race, he lost control of his No. 05 Pontiac at the exit of turn two and flipped upon entering the grass infield, eventually coming to a stop near the inside dirt bank. Jacobi suffered extensive head injuries from the crash and remained in a comatose state for almost four years before dying at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

One of Salem's "favorite sons," many of his racing memorabilia are kept at the Stevens Museum in Salem.

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