Iron Mike Nazaruk wasn’t around very long, but made quite an impression in open-wheel racing.
After fighting in Guam and the Battle of Guadacanal, Nazaruk came home and dove into midget racing, twice winning the ARDC championship. He moved up to Triple A sprinters and immediately started winning on the high-banked pavement tracks like Salem and Winchester, and showing his prowess on the dirt as well.
In 1951, he came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a rookie and finished second. He was also fifth in 1954.
Brave and sporting big biceps and forearms, Iron Mike cut an impressive figure and could be pretty intimidating to other drivers, but in 1955 he was killed in a sprinter at Langhorne. He was only 33 years old.