Friday 13th February 1976
Paul Russo, AAA / USAC driver from 1934 to 1965, died. He started racing midget cars in 1934. He went with a contigent of midget car drivers to Hawaii in the winter of 1934-35. He was the 1938 AAA Eastern Midget Champion. Russo won the first race held at the Nutley Velodrome in New Jersey in 1938. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1940-1941, 1946-1954, 1956-1959 and 1962 seasons with 85 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in each year but 1951 and 1952. He finished in the top ten 49 times, with 3 victories, at Springfield (1950), Detroit (1951), and Williams Grove (1952). His best finish at Indy was fourth in 1957, although he co-drove with Tony Bettenhausen to a second place finish in 1955. His brother Joe and nephew Eddie have also raced at the Indianapolis 500. Russo was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.