Book Review – Second to One – All But For Indy

‘Second to One – All But For Indy’ covers the 46 drivers who finished second but were not fortunate to ever win the Indianapolis 500.

Leave it to Racemaker Press to come out with a book on the Indianapolis 500 but present it with a unique and refreshing twist.

‘Second to One – All But For Indy’ was written by Joe Freeman and Gordon Kirby and covers the 46 drivers who finished second in the Indianapolis 500 but were not fortunate to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

This nicely laid out 304-page hardcover book gives the reader a nice detailed biography on each driver. The size of the individual biography varies depending on the driver. Tony Bettenhausen’s bio is ten-pages and details his extensive career at the Brickyard along with his beginnings as a driver in the Chicago-area. Some bio’s like Dave Lewis (1925) or Jeff Ward (1999) are covered in four pages and include the fantastic photography that Racemaker Press is becoming recognized for. The photography is from Racemaker’s extensive photo archive approaches one-million examples and includes some of the best in the business such as Dennis Torres, David Knox and Ted Wilson collection

The idea of the book was publisher Joe Freeman’s idea who wrote the biographies in the book covering the years, 1911-1952. Talented writer, Gordon Kirby wrote the biographies from 1953-on. The real attraction is the many photos that most readers may have never seen before. The book includes over 600 photos plus the complete Indy 500 statistics of the 46 drivers who have raced their way into the runner out spot in racing history. Among the many great drivers who are in ‘Second to One’ are Ralph Mulford, Earl Cooper, Harry Hartz, Ted Horn, Rex Mays, Eddie Sachs, Dan Gurney, Peter Revson, Michael Andretti and Paul Tracy.

“500” fans will notice the cover which features four-time winner, Rick Mears passing the most successful ‘Second to One’ driver, Michael Andretti from the 1991 race. As the publisher pointed out, Michael led more laps (431) at Indianapolis than any driver who was unable to win the 500 and had a legitimate shot at winning no fewer than nine races at the Speedway. As such, we asked Michael to write the Foreword to the book and he’s done a tremendous job detailing the many heartbreaking moments he experienced at Indianapolis. Michael’s Foreword emphasizes how much luck is required and how difficult it is for everything to come together to win the 500.

The appendix – “The Survivors” – Second to One Cars which list the whereabouts of the cars is also very informative.

Also included is an Afterword section on Tony Kanaan who took twelve attempts to “drive himself out of our book.” The book focuses the spotlight on a very worthy group who didn’t taste the milk in victory lane at the Brickyard but certainly drank the champagne of victory at other tracks.

Purchase this book with the following link: Second to One: All but for Indy

Share Button

Steve Zautke, a Milwaukee, WI native, was raised in the sport of auto racing. His father, Bill, was a movie photographer that shot racing footage at tracks such as the Milwaukee Mile and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1960’s and 1970’s Steve’s first professional job in racing was as an Emergency Medical Technician at tracks such as Angell Park and Hales Corners Speedway (1988-1991). Steve has also worked for the Milwaukee Mile as videographer, in media relations and historian (1993-2011). Steve also has worked as a reporter for Racing Information Systems (RIS) and has written features for ‘Vintage Oval Racing’ and ‘Victory Lane’ magazines. Most recently, Steve has written a book on Road America for Arcadia Publishing. ( ) Steve co-hosts “Sparky’s Final Inspection” a motorsports-based radio show with hosts, Steve “Sparky” Fifer and “NASCAR Girl” Summer Santana on Sports Radio 1250AM in Milwaukee and is also available on the internet at A member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Induction Committee, Steve follows all types of racing from the dirt tracks to Formula One.