Jerry Sneva, younger brother of 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva, passed away January 27 at the age of 69 in Indianapolis, according to a statement Monday from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials.
Sneva, who was raised in Spokane, Washington before relocating to Indianapolis, was a racer himself, earning Rookie of the Year honors for the 1977 Indianapolis 500.
Sneva made 21 starts in the AAA/USAC Champ Car Series from 1975 to 1983, with his best finishes being fourth at Pocono and fifth at Milwaukee, both in 1979.
Sneva also made 11 career starts in the CART Series, with a best finish of 8th at Milwaukee in 1980.
Lastly, he made five career starts in the Indianapolis 500, earning a best finish of 10th in 1977, his first race at the Brickyard, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.
Jerry Sneva was also a notable off-road driver in his native Pacific Northwest. He took part in a supermodified series known as the Canadian-American Modified Racing Association that included a number of notables who also went on to race in the Indy 500, including his brother Tom, Art Pollard, Billy Foster, Jim Malloy, Dick Simon, Eldon Rasmussen and Cliff Hucul.
Jerry Sneva made his USAC debut on Aug. 26, 1973 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, substituting for his brother Tom in a sprint car race. He not only qualified for the race, he ultimately finished in second place.
Sneva is survived by brother Tom; his wife, Kathy; and children TJ and Shelby.