|First race||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis||May 30, 1950||Race results|
|Last race||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis||May 30, 1957||Race results|
Sam Hanks won first championship in 1937 on the West Coast in the AMA and travelled the country racing wherever he could. He won the 1940 VFW Motor City Speedway championship and when racing resumed after World War Two, he captured the 1946 URA Blue Circuit Championship. He won the 1947 Night before the 500 midget car race and was the 1949 AAA National Midget champion. He won the 1956 Pacific Coast championship in the USAC Stock cars.
He will be best remembered for winning the 1957 Indianapolis 500 at the age of 42 at his 13th attempt. He had finished third in 1952 and 1953 and then come second in 1956, but stormed to victory the following year and immediately announced his retirement in the victory circle.
He was director at the Indianapolis Speedway from 1957 to 1978 and drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 from 1958 to 1963.