R.I.P. Daniel Sexton Gurney, The All American
It would be difficult to overstate how important Dan Gurney was to motorsport. His exploits are many, varied and significant. He raced damn near everything and everywhere. He battled, hammer and tongs, with the pantheon of modern-era racing gods. He refused to settle for modern conventions and made reaching for the stars his standard operating procedure (literally). Dan Gurney spent his life challenging norms and inspiring others to do the same. Having said this, he will be remembered for any number of things...from building and racing his own Formula car to developing components for the Space X Falcon 9 rocket.
He didn't just tinker around in racing. He was a force in every category he entered. He won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1967 and would later win the Belgium Grand Prix in a car he built. He won races in Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Can-Am and Trans-Am. It was his spur of the moment idea that created the podium celebration of spraying champagne after a race win (yeah, that was him!). If it had four wheels he raced it, and did it proper. In a time where so many wonder why an American isn't competitive in European racing, specifically F1 we should look back and remember that any future Americans to come forward are simply on the track already paved by Gurney.
Sadly, neither of us was around to see him race in his active years, but we became well acquainted with him and his significance through his love and his involvement with his son Alex's racing career and with vintage motor racing. He was a true legend of motorsport and his impact was immense on all aspects of the sport. We send our condolences to his family and friends and join the vast community of admirers and fans who have always held Dan Gurney in our hearts and thoughts as an example of someone who was worthy of admiration, emulation and inspiration.
His family released the following statement:
With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018. In deepest sorrow, with gratitude in our hearts for the love and joy you have given us during your time on this earth, we say ‘Godspeed.’