Indy Car Mechanic Larry Curry, 68

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Larry Curry (IndyCar photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — Longtime IndyCar Series crew chief Larry Curry died Friday at the age of 68.

Curry succumbed after having suffered a series of strokes during the last two years.

With a career in racing that spanned more than four decades Curry is best remembered for giving Tony Stewart an opportunity to race Indy cars and for serving time in prison for embezzlement.

Curry first came to Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a mechanic during the early 1970s but began making his mark on the national scene when he joined Menard’s Racing and worked with drivers such as Scott Brayton and Eddie Cheever.

In 1996, Curry convinced team owner John Menard to hire Stewart, who won the USAC Triple Crown the previous hear. Stewart finished second in his first series race and went on to win the IRL title in 1997.

The low point in Curry’s career came when he was convicted of embezzling $1 million from Menard and served two years in prison in 2001-’02.

Curry returned to Indy car racing as team manager for Vision Racing in 2005.

Curry also did a stint working for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and one as manager of the Indianapolis Speedrome.

He went back to Indy car racing with Harding Racing in 2017.