Monday 27th June 1994
Samuel Hanks (79), believed to be the only Indianapolis 500 driver to participate in the race before World War II, serve in the war effort, then return to race again after the war, died. It has also been conjectured that Hanks may have been a distant relative to Abraham Lincoln. He is remembered as a fair but determined racer, recognized, respected and admired as a true sportsman. In 1957 Sam won with a radically new race car built by George Salih. With its Offenhauser engine mounted on its side with the cylinders in a transverse lateral plane, and a low silhouette, the car allowed a new record average speed of 135.601mph. Immediately after bringing the car to Victory Lane, Sam announced his retirement. He went on to serve as the Director of Competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1958 through 1979 and as a consultant to numerous companies before retiring to Pacific Palisades.