Sunday, May 29, 2011

A.J. "Pete" Kreis

Today is a big racing day in the United States. It is the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 and the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600. I think that gone are the days of a driver competing in both events.

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, A.J. "Pete" Kreis drove in seven Indianapolis 500 races.

image lifted from

In the 1927 race he only completed 123 laps before a bent front axle took him out of the race.  He finished 17th.

His best year was 1925 when he finished 8th.

In 1933 mechanical issues allowed him to complete only 63 laps with a 32nd place finish.

He did not get a chance to race in 1934.  During a practice run on May 25th his car jumped the wall and hit a tree, killing him and his ride-along mechanic, Bob Hahn.

The Milwaukee Journal - May 25, 1934

A.J. Kreis was from Knoxville and is buried here.  I visited his family's grave site in Asbury Cemetery.

The car on the monument is not added on, but carved from the marble block.  The monument was carved by Albert Miliani.  Some of his other works grace Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. Neat history, and a pretty amazing gravestone. It's still all brick. Glad they didn't update the gravestone when they paved the track (starting in 1935 and continuing through 1961).