Bill Schindler
Class of 2004

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, NJ on Tuesdays, Buffalo, NY on Wednesday. Then it was back to West Haven on Thursdays, Stafford on Friday, and Century Stadium in West Springfield closed out the week on Saturday.

The 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.

Schindler 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 500 races.

Today, we welcome Bill Schindler posthumously into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.


John Palmer accepts induction for Bill Schindler from NEAR President Al Fini.
Howie Hodge Photo