The Recuperation of Joe Dawson


This photo is of 1912 Indianapolis 500 Champion Joe Dawson getting some fresh air on the roof of Methodist Hospital in 1914. It was recorded several weeks after his devastating accident where his Marmon special barrel-rolled during that year's Indianapolis 500.

He endured serious spinal injuries, including fractured vertebrae, and was placed in a back brace. He spent months at Methodist.

Joe never returned to wheel-to-wheel competition. He continued as a Marmon employee and advanced into management. He occasionally did test driving and exhibition runs.

In 1937, on the morning of the 25th Indianapolis 500, he joined 1911 winner Ray Harroun in turning parade laps in their winning cars. By that time the track's turns and much of the backstretch was paved with asphalt and Joe remarked on how much smoother the running surface was than in his day.

Keep in mind there is no place on the planet where you will find a more thorough collection of information, including a family photo album, about this wonderful champion than at First Super Speedway. If you know of a better collection, call us out and link to it. Like you, we would applaud that effort and savor every megabyte of it.

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