Career Summary:

Chuck Daigh

  • November 29, 1923
  • April 29, 2008
  • United States
  • Not Active
  • 87
  • 30
  • 46
  • 3
  • 34.48%
  • 52.87%

Chuck Daigh (1923-2008) was an American racing car driver who recorded three starts in the Formula One World Championship in 1960. He also recorded unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500. Daigh was also active in stock car racing and sports car racing, with a victory at 1959 Sebring 12 Hours as a highlight of his career.

Chuck Daigh

Chuck Daigh

Three starts at Carrera Panamericana early in a career

Born in November 1923 in Long Beach, California, Charles George Daigh served during the World War II as a paratrooper and started his racing career in the early 1950s. In November 1952, he participated at Carrera Panamerica, one of the toughest and deadliest races in the world. He was sharing a Lincoln Capri with Walt Faulkner, finishing in the ninth place.

Next year, the same pair came again to Carrera Panamericana in a Lincoln Capri, improving their result and finishing in the eighth place. Between those to races, Daigh participated in some national sports car races in a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica or Jaguar XK 120.

The third attempt in the famous Mexican road race followed in November 1954, again in a Lincoln Capri. This time, he was sharing a car with Chuck Stevenson and didn't finish the race.

Sebring 12 Hours debut in 1955

In March 1955, Daigh made a debut at Sebring 12 Hours race. He was sharing the #29 Ferrari 750 Monza with Sterling Edwards, not finishing the race. Over the next three years, Daigh recorded many good results in national sports car races in a Troutman-Barnes Special or Cooper T43-Climax.

In 1957, he also recorded three starts in the USAC Stock Car Series. In December 1957, he joined Lance Reventlow's team for the first time, driving a Maserati 200S at International Bahamas Speed Weeks. In 1958, Daigh started to race in a Chevrolet-powered Scarab Mk II, built by Lance Reventlow, scoring some wins in national sports car events, including a victory at Riverside Grand Prix.

Chuck Daigh at 1958 Riverside Grand Prix

Chuck Daigh at 1958 Riverside Grand Prix

Victory at Sebring 12 Hours in 1959, DNQ at Indianapolis 500

The greatest achievement of Daigh's career happened in March 1959 when he was a member of the victorious Scuderia Ferrari crew at 12 Hours of Sebring. He won the race in the #7 Ferrari  250 TR, initially sharing a car with Dan Gurney and then Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien joined them after their car was broken.

Later that year, he participated in a variety of open-wheel and sports car races, including the Indianapolis 500. He failed to qualify for the race in a Kuzma-Offenhauser car.

Chuck Daigh pictured in 1960

Chuck Daigh pictured in 1960

Three starts in the 1960 Formula 1 World Championship

In 1960, Daigh decided to try his luck in the Formula 1 World Championship, joining Lance Reventlow's Scarab team. He made a debut in May at Monaco Grand Prix but his front-engine #46 Scarab F1-Offenhauser was to slow to qualify for the race.

The next attempt was at Spa-Francorchamps, where Daigh qualifies the #30 car for the Belgian Grand Prix. In the race, he stopped with a broken engine after 16 laps. He failed to start at the French Grand Prix because a car was broken. For the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Reventlow hired Cooper T51-Climax. Daigh was faster during practice so he was driving the car in the race, retiring after 58 laps.

Back to the wheel of Scarab F1 car, Daigh recorded his last F1 Championship race at Riverside International Raceway in November 1960. He was driving the #23 car in the US Grand Prix, finishing in the tenth place, five laps behind race winner Stirling Moss.

Chuck Daigh at 1960 British Grand Prix

Chuck Daigh at 1960 British Grand Prix

DNF in a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours

In 1960, Daigh also participated in several sports car races, including appearances at endurance classics – Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. At Sebring, he was sharing the #7 NART Ferrari 250 TR with Richie Ginther, not finishing the race.

In his Le Mans debut, Daigh was a part of the Camoradi Racing Team in the #24 Maserati Tipo 61 Longtail, sharing a car with Masten Gregory. They retired after nine hours and 82 laps.

In 1961, Daigh participated in several raced of the US Road Racing Championship in a Scarab Mk II but also in some F1 non-championship events in the UK, such are Lavant Cup, International Trophy or Empire Trophy.

Class victory in a Chaparral at 1962 Sebring 12 Hours

In March 1962, Chuck Daigh achieved one more good result at Sebring 12 Hours as a member of Chaparral Cars team. Sharing the #10 Chaparral 1-Chevrolet with Hap Sharp, Jim Hall and Ronnie Hissom, he finished sixth overall and the first in P4.0 class.

Later that year, he drove Maserati Tipo 151 for Alfred Momo at Riverside Grand Prix, finishing eleventh. In May 1962, Daigh recorded his second attempt at Indianapolis 500, not qualifying for the race.

Two starts in NASCAR before the end of a career

In 1963, Daigh gained some success in sports car racing, such as a victory at The Player's Trophy at Mosport in a Lotus 19 Monte Carlo, but he also tried himself in the NASCAR Grand National Series. He was driving Bill Stroppe's #25 Mercury at Daytona Qualifier Race, finishing in 20th place. That means he didn't manage to qualify for the Daytona 500. Later in the NASCAR season, he has one more DNQ at Atlanta.

In 1965, Daigh recorded few more sports car races in a Lotus and one more start in NASCAR. He raced at Riverside's Motor Trend 500, driving the #18W Mercury for Bill Stroppe. He retired with a broken clutch after 62 laps.

After closing his racing career in 1964, Chuck Daigh continued to work as an engineer.

Chuck Daigh with a family

Chuck Daigh with a family

Photos: Getty Images, LAT Photo,