"I was really torn," said Jimmy. "I know it sounds corny, but I felt then if I didn't run the main event that afternoon I would never get in a car again. I wanted to win the race for Danny and I wanted to get to the hospital, and all the time I knew he was dead." Danny died of massive head injuries four days later.
And so Jimmy Caruthers is on his own, caught in that uneasy limbo between the midgets and the big cars of the Championship Trail, although of late he has put the little cars more and more behind him. In 1971 he made his debut in the Indianapolis-type machines and last year drove full time for Clint Brawner, the second most successful chief mechanic in USAC championship car history, whose last prot�g� was a young driver named Mario Andretti. This season Caruthers has both a new car, a Gurney-Offenhauser Eagle, and a new car owner, Bob Fletcher, a wealthy Phoenix tire dealer and contractor with whom Caruthers recently signed a three-year contract.
Caruthers is confident of his ability. "I think I should win the Indy 500 and the national driving title within the next three years," he says unpretentiously. At 28 he has plenty of time for both goals, and, importantly, there will always be the memory of his brother. "What Danny did was fantastic," Jimmy said. "I don't want people to forget him, and the more I do in racing, the more they'll remember."