Wednesday 5th November 1952
Joe James, who competed in two Indianapolis 500s, died on this day after an accident three days earlier at San Jose Speedway. A native of Mississippi, that year he was the AAA Midwest Sprint car Champion with six victories to his name. On October 17 he was crowned as the champion at a banquet in Dayton, Ohio. Sixteen days later he was blinded by the sun, failed to see a yellow flag and ran over a wheel on the track. His car flipped and he suffered massive head injuries. A Joe James Memorial Auto Race , set up in 1953, ran every year until the track was closed in 1999.