The Indy 500 poleman who didn't live to raceday

The Indy 500 poleman who didn't live to raceday

6pm, May 11, 1996: Scott Brayton takes pole for the Indianapolis 500. 12:17pm, May 17, 1996: Scott Brayton dies in a practice crash. MARK GLENDENNING shares his story

It was getting deep into Happy Hour on Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and despite some morning rain, the crowd had got its money's worth. The 'fastest day in motorsport' had lived up to its name, with the track record having already fallen three times during the afternoon - first to Davy Jones, then to rookie Tony Stewart, then to Arie Luyendyk.

With just over 25 minutes left to run and nobody lining up to go back out, the battle for pole appeared to have been settled. Then Scott Brayton started to pull his helmet on.

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