In 1912 Harry Martin was the riding mechanic for
Joe Dawson, helping him win the Indy 500. Ralph
DePalma led the first 198 laps and Dawson, the last
two, a record that would be held for the fewest led
laps in history until 2011.
Martin garnered further attention at the 1913 Indy 500
when he was the riding mechanic for Charlie Merz.
The Stutz they were racing caught fire toward the
end of the race and Martin climbed precariously onto
the hood and tried to beat the flames out with his
coat. He untied the straps too, so that the pit crew
could get the engine hood open to help extinguish the
flames. They finished the race in 3rd place!
Martin had hopes of driving in the following year's
500-mile race for Stutz.
He showed up at the speedway a few months after
the 500 to test the new Stutz racer with Frank Agan,
another riding mechanic.
Near the completion of the 5th lap, their tire blew
off the car and they careened into the retaining wall,
then bounced away and began flipping, landing
upside down. Martin was killed instantly and Agan
was severely injured, but survived.
Martin was 23 years old and had lived in Peru
Indiana. Agan was 31 and lived in Indianapolis.
Year Car No. Car Laps Completed Start Finish
1912 8 National 200 7 1
1913 Stutz Died during testing
|Mount Hope Cemetery, Peru, IN
|The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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