Ray Keech

Ray Keech bigraphy, stories - American racing driver

Ray Keech : biography

May 1, 1900 – June 15, 1929

Charles Raymond Keech (born May 1, 1900 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania – June 15, 1929) was a board track and brick track racer in the 1920s. He is best remembered for winning the 1929 Indianapolis 500, and for setting a land speed record.


Keech died sixteen days later in a racing accident at the Altoona 200-Mile Race in Tipton, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1929.

He was buried at the Hephzibah cemetery in Modena, Pennsylvania in Chester County.


Land speed record

Keech set the land speed record of 207.55 mph (334.02 km/h) on April 22, 1928. He set the record at the Daytona Beach Road Course in the 81-liter triple-engined internal combustion White Triplex ‘Spirit of Elkdom’.

His record was broken by Henry Segrave on March 11, 1929. In 1929 Keech was asked by Triplex owner J. M. White to attempt to break the new record in the Triplex. Keech wisely declined. White hired Lee Bible, who rolled the car and died in his second attempt to set the record.

Car racing

He won the first race at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Speedway in 1928. He finished in second place in the season points in the American Automobile Association (AAA).

He qualified sixth for the 1929 Indianapolis 500. Louis Meyer was leading the race, until he lost oil pressure on lap 157. Keech passed for the lead as Meyer’s engine refused to fire after he went to the pits to get more oil. Keech led the rest of the race.

Indy 500 results

Year Car Start Qual Rank Finish Laps Led Retired
1928 15 10 113.421 10 4 200 0 Running
1929 2 6 114.905 6 1 200 46 Running
Totals 400 46
Starts 2
Poles 0
Front Row 0
Wins 1
Top 5 2
Top 10 2
Retired 0