Joie Chitwood  United States

  • Full name George Rice Chitwood
  • Birth date April 14, 1912
  • Birthplace Denison, Texas, United States
  • Date of death January 3, 1988 (75 years 264 days)
  • Place of death Tampa, Florida, United States
  • Teams Kurtis Kraft
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1950 Kurtis Kraft 1 1 0 0 1 5 0 0 9 0 0 1 20
Total 1 1 0 0 1 5 0 0 9 0 0 1
Race Circuit Date
Only race Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis May 30, 1950 [race_results]

Joe Chitwood began racing on dirt tracks in 1934, and progressed to circuit racing throughout the US. He competed at the Indianapolis 500 seven times, including 1950 when the race counted towards the Formula One world championship. He finished fifth, but as he shared the drive with Tony Bettenhausen, he only scored one championship point.

However, this was not what he is most famous for. Away from the race track he was a stuntman, running a show called the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show - it was so successful it forced him to give up racing. It had four different units which drew huge audiences as they toured all over North America.

He was also a highly in demand as a stunt driver or stunt coordinator for films, most notably for the 1950 film about motor racing called To Please a Lady, which starred Clark Gable. In 1973 he worked on the stunts for the James Bond movie Live and Let Die.

When he retired his sons, Joie Jnr and Tim, took over the Thrill Show. His grandson, Joie Chitwood III, became president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2004.

Chitwood was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.

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