Gerald Frederick Hoyt (1929 – 1955)

Hoyt was from Chicago and served in the 101st Airborne Division during WWII. In the 1955 Indianapolis 500, Hoyt surprised many by winning the pole position using a car with outdated technology. Strong wind gusts that day caused several teams to postpone their qualification attempt until the next day.

Hoyt, however, decided to qualify on the first day — at this time, the driver with the fastest time on the first day of qualifying won the pole position. During the race, an oil leak would force him to retire from the race after 40 laps. Hoyt was credited for being the youngest pole sitter in history, to that point.

Photo credit: Lafayette Journal and Courier
Jerry Hoyt’s tombstone in Section 223, Lot 63