In Memoriam: Bill Whittington

By: Spencer Neff
April 26, 2021

On Friday, former IndyCar driver Bill Whittington passed away in a plane crash in Holbrook, Arizona.

Like many of his contemporaries, Whittington’s career started in road racing. His family owned the Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Georgia. Additionally, the Lubbock, Texas native raced airplanes, winning races in 1978 and 1983 in Reno, Nevada.

In 1979, Bill and his brother Don teamed with Klasus Ludwig in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driving their Porsche 935 K3, the trio took home the overall win in the prestigious race.

A year later, the Whittington brothers attempted to qualify for their first Indianapolis 500 and both made the race. Bill qualified 27th and finished 30th following a Lap 10 crash.

Bill Whittington after qualifying for his first Indianapolis 500 in 1980 (Image by IMS/INDYCAR)

Bill and Don both raced in four of the next five Indianapolis 500s (neither participated in 1984). In 1982, their brother Dale made the race and the Whittingtons became they first trio of brothers to ever make the race.

A year later, Bill earned his best career starting position when he qualified fifth at Pocono Raceway. During the 1985 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, he earned his best finish of fifth.

In 1986, he was sentenced to prison on drug trafficking and tax evasion charges. By 2005, his family purchased a hotel and resort in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. In 2018, he was sentenced to prison on tax evasion.

IndyCar1909.com would like to thank Bill Whittington for his contributions to racing and offers condolences to his friends and family.

Header Image By IMS/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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