His Racing Heart

Paul Coppola ’78 | November 10, 2020

Pat Kennedy ’78 never missed the Indianapolis 500. He had been to 57 consecutive races since 1963. He had published two books on the Indy 500 — one recapping each race, The Short Chute Edition, and The Official Indy 500 Trivia Book.

On Easter morning he became one of our early victims of COVID-19.

His passing was noticed. The Indianapolis Star ran two stories about Pat. His congresswoman, Susan Brooks, gave a tribute which is recorded in the Congressional Record. And the mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, declared the day of this year’s race — August 25, 2020 — Patrick Kennedy Day in the city.

Racing had been in the family “forever,” as Pat put it. His grandmother dated Joe Dawson, the 1912 Indy 500 winner. Pat’s father went to every race from 1930 to 1988. For years the family business, Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Co., was the race’s official gas tank supplier. That meant every Indy 500 driver had a relationship with the Kennedy family. Pat was the fourth-generation head of the company.

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine