15/6/1920 - 15/5/1957
Three time Colorado Midget Champion was killed in practice at Indy in 1957. Keith Andrews died 65 years ago, he was 37
Keith Andrews was born in Denver. He was an Air Force veteran who owned a auto repair business in Colorado Springs. He started racing on oval tracks in 1946 driving Roadsters, progressing to midgets in 1947 and winning three feature races at Lakeside Speedway. In 1950 in finished fifth in the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association's points standings and the following year just missed winning the championship by five points.
He won the Colorado Midget Championship three years running from 1952 to 1954. In 1953 he came second in his class at the Pikes Peak hill climb returning the next year to take the win.
In 1954 Andrews caused a major upset we he and his Co-driver, Blu Plemmens finished third in the Pan American Road Race which ran from Mexico City to Juarez, Mexico. Driving a Cadillac that Keith had borrowed from an automobile dealer in Colorado Springs, they beat several brand new works Lincolns that were tipped to take the top five spots.
In 1955 he moved up to big cars and entered in the Indianapolis 500 in 1955 and 1956. Finishing 20th in 1955, in 1956 he was involved in an accident early on, but got restarted to finished 26th.
He was looking for a ride at Indy in 1957, when he got the opportunity to be the backup driver for Nino Farina and his new light-weight $25,000 number 62 car. He tested it on May 11th and took it out again on May 16th.
He was entering Turn 4 when he got low under the white line. Clocked at 136 mph, his car spin 360-degree, slid 755 feet and hit the 6-inch thick inside retaining wall, breaking it. He bounced back 300 feet toward the white line travelling sideways, then abruptly spun 3/4 of the way around and slid another 450 feet backwards into the wall again, breaking a 10 foot section and pushing the metal guard rail out two feet. The back end of the car crushed the battered Andrews up against the steering wheel breaking his neck and killing him.