Car Owner & Mechanic Jack French, 75


INDIANAPOLIS – Jack French, best known for his success as a car owner and mechanic at the Little 500, died Wednesday following a lengthy illness. He was 75 years old.

After spending 39 years working at RR Donnelly & Sons, French retired to pursue a career in motorsports. As a car owner he struck gold at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway during the annual Little 500, winning the race six times with Eric Gordon.

French and Gordon first visited victory lane in the Little 500 in 1998 before reeling off five-straight wins in the 500-lap classic between 2001 and ’05. He was inducted into the Little 500 Hall of Fame in 2004.

Through the years French worked as a chief mechanic for a number of sprint car racing’s best competitors. Among those he worked with during his career included  Gordon, Dave Steele, Jacob Wilson, Troy DeCaire, Ryan Litt, A.J. Fike, Aaron Fike, Sondi Eden, Butch Wilkerson, Jonathan Vennard, Jarett Andretti, Donny Schatz and Chris Windom.