Bill Schindler began racing in
1931, and defined the sport for 21 years, until his tragic death at
Allentown, Pa in 1952. From his beginnings in a sprint car, then
moving into the Eastern midgets, and eventually competing in the
Indy 500, Schindler was a fierce competitor up and down the east
coast. In fact, he won more midget races than any other
competitor. In eight successive seasons he won six Eastern
Championships and finished second twice. Driving for car owner Mike
Caruso in the Caruso Offy, Bill logged 53 feature wins in 1947 and
repeated the exact same total in 1948. Schindler dominated the
midgets in a time when they often ran seven or eight times a week.
Typical weeks included visits to tracks like Cherry Park in Avon on
Sunday, Candlelite Stadium in Bridgeport on Monday, Patterson N.J.
on Tuesdays, Buffalo N.Y. on Wed. Then it was back to West Haven on
Thursdays, Stafford on Friday, and Century Stadium in West
Springfield closed out the week on Saturday.
majority of Schindler’s racing career was spent driving with only
one leg, after an accident at Mineola, L.I. in 1936 caused doctors
to amputate his left leg above the knee. He served as president of
the ARDC for the first 6 years of it’s existence, and captured six
Eastern titles. He was crowned “King Doodlebug”, a national
popularity contest, six times. Schindler is also a member of the
National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
was a leader both on and off the track wherever he raced. In 1937,
when a group formed an alliance to keep the AAA out of the east,
Schindler was elected the group’s president. In 1940, he briefly
went back to the AAA, winning the Bronx Coliseum Indoor
Championship. He later became president of the American Racing
Driver’s Club. Bill won four ARDC Championships, in 1940, ’45,’46,
and ’48. Starting in 1950, he competed in 3 straight Indianapolis
welcome Bill Schindler posthumously into the New England Auto Racers
Hall of Fame.