Sport: Ex-Bridesmaid

Jim Rathmann was only 20 in 1949 when he drove in his first Indianapolis 500. But he was already a veteran of the hot-rod and stock-car circuits, and he had scars and some chipped vertebrae to prove it. In that first start in Indianapolis' famed "Brickyard," Rathmann finished a creditable eleventh, and swore then and there that he would some day win the biggest event in U.S. racing.

Then started a decade of frustration for the taciturn driver. He was 4 min. 2.4 sec. behind the winner in 1952, and 17.35 sec. behind in 1957. Last year he trailed the winner, Rodger...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!