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Rotten Red’s Final Lap

Don Edmunds, aka Rotten Red, the 1957 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year who was also renowned as a race car builder after his driving career, died Aug. 11. Edmunds was 89, and he was the second-oldest living “500” starter behind 94-year-old Paul Goldsmith. With Edmunds’ passing, Goldsmith and A.J. Foyt are the only living drivers who started in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in the 1950s, both making their debuts in 1958.

Southern California native Edmunds earned Rookie of the Year honors after placing 19th in the No. 92 McKay Special, spinning out due to an oil leak after completing 170 laps. He was the top-finishing rookie that year among five first-timers in the race. Edmunds nearly didn’t qualify for the “500” in 1957. He came to the Speedway after a successful career in jalopy and midget-car racing in California, driving a car owned by Doug Caruthers… read more >

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