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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Scottish Indy driver dies
The start of the 1993 Indy 500
Crawford last raced at Indy in 1993
Former Indianapolis 500 driver Jim Crawford has died at the age of 54.

The Scot, who also raced briefly in Formula One, competed in the USA's biggest motor race eight times, with a best finish of sixth in 1988.

Crawford had been running third in 1988 with three laps to go when he had to make a lengthy pit stop that dropped him back three places.

That result came just 12 months after a crash in qualifying for the previous year's race left him with severe leg injuries, for which he required lengthy rehabilitation.


Jim was the bravest man I ever knew
John Menard
Indy 500 team owner

Crawford became synonymous with running stock-block engines, which had a more generous turbo boost allowance than the designed-for-racing engines in the other cars.

The stock-block cars tended to go well in qualifying but be unreliable in the race - and in 1989, Crawford set qualifying records for a stock-block engine.

He started fourth and was running fourth in the Indianapolis 500 that year when sidelined by a broken drive line.

Three years later, Crawford set an unofficial Indy record with a lap of 233.433 mph.

He finished 24th in the 1993 Indy 500 and retired after failing to make the field in 1994 and 1995.

Team owner John Menard led the tributes, describing his former driver as "the bravest man I ever knew."

Menard added: "He was a wonderful, wonderful human being. We had some great times and memories. Jim had this wry Scottish sense of humour."

Fishing boat captain

Crawford was test driver for F1 team Lotus in 1975 and drove in the British and Italian Grands Prix before moving to the US.

News of his death on Tuesday was released by Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials. The cause of death was not released.

Crawford retired from racing after the 1993 Indy 500, and became a fishing boat captain in Florida.

He is survived by his wife Annie and son Geoffrey.

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