Daniel Sexton Gurney passed away at the age of 86 this week. Gurney was a legendary racer, successful race car manufacturer and championship team owner. He was also the first to win races as a driver in the four major categories of motorsports: Grand Prix, IndyCar, Sports Car and NASCAR. All totaled, he raced in 303 events in 20 countries. He competed in 25 different makes of cars and won 48 different races, and finished on the podium an additional 41 times.
"It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we have to say goodbye to one of the most magnificent people to have represented our sport on this earth. He was not only an outrageously talented race-car driver, influential businessman, team owner and car constructor, Daniel Sexton Gurney was a gentleman, in every definition of that word. His magnetic smile, his sense of humor and absolute love of all things motor racing is unsurpassed,” said Bobby Rahal president of the Road Racing Drivers Club RRDC.
"He was an international star, yet a humble celebrity. His devotion to his family was evident in the support he provided his sons to follow in his footsteps, on the race track and in the boardroom. With his wife Evi by his side, Dan could conquer the world. He conquered our hearts.
"Dan became an RRDC member in 1960, just eight years after the club was established, and has been one of our most distinguished members for 57 years. We offer our sincerest condolences to Evi and the entire Gurney family," Rahal said.
Another eulogy by Stokes Communications read:
“You'll read elsewhere about the incredible driving talent of this man. You might not read as much about the fact that this guy who made all those great drives was just as interested in moving the technology of the sport ahead as he was about winning (and he was very interested in winning races) as a driver. He never won Indy or a World Championship but the roll call of innovations that he brought to the sport stand as an even stronger and even more important statement of his impact on the sport.
“He sent a flight of Eagles into the racing world. We all watched those race cars, some of us worked on them, a few of us drove them, and all of us cheered on the incredible racing machines that Dan Gurney gave us.
“His life was one that touched millions—his legacy is the true racing spirit that he lived every day.”