Johnny McDowell

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29 Jan 1915
Delavan, Illinois


08 Jun 1952
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


United States

Grands Prix:

3 (1950-1952)

Indy 500s:

4 (1949-1952)

Killed in a crash in practice at Milwaukee. Started as early as 1934 as a racing mechanic and also in sprint cars in California. Later moved to midget cars, in which he became a legend. McDowell, who moved to California when he was a small boy, started racing as a teenager at the local Legion Ascot Raceway, but when this circuit shut in 1936, he went racing in the Midwest, Pacific Coast and even the Eastern circuit. He drove in midgets and in 1937, appeared at the Indianapolis 500 as riding mechanic for Frank Wearne. He settled in midget car racing from 1939 and won the 1947 Thanksgiving (later called Turkey Night) Grand Prix. As well as his racing, McDowell owned and cared for his avocado orchard in Fallbrook, California.

Biography last updated 28 Jan 2017