Wally Zale

No picture available of Wally Zale.

Can you help?


19 Mar 1906
Chicago, Illinois


25 Apr 1942
Chicago, Illinois


United States

Indy 500s:

0 (1931)

A top midget driver, especially in Illinois, Wally was killed when his car was struck by a passenger train. Zale had proceeded across the track after seeing a train pass, only to be hit by another train coming from the opposite direction of the first train. Although born in the US, Wally was of Lithuanian stock. Zale won over 175 victories in the discipline, being at his very peak just before his death, with numerous wins in 1939, 1940 and 1941. A tough and uncompromising racer and man, he started racing in 1925 in nearby Decatur, initially racing big cars. He moved from big cars to midgets in 1936, finding much more success in that discipline than he had in big cars. Just before his death, Zale had become more involved in race promotion, but was a great self-promoter when racing, appearing in many races in a green sweater linked to his sponsors and also turned up to races with a pet monkey!

Biography last updated 13 Aug 2016