Mike Hiss, the 1972 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, dies at 77

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Mike Hiss (Photo provided by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mike Hiss, the 1972 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, has passed away at the age of 77.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement Thursday, adding that Hiss had battled cancer-related issues for the past 30 years.

Hiss drove in the Indy 500 four times, with his highest finish being the seventh he scored in his rookie year in 1972.

After retirement, IMS says the Connecticut-native worked for Penske for a while in association with Detroit Diesel Allison. An ATP-rated pilot, Hiss flew both Cessna Citation and Lear jet aircraft.

In 2011, he was one of a large number of drivers on hand to celebrate the 100th Running of the first “500” and, in addition to signing a large number of autographs, he was one of the 161 drivers who appeared in the huge panoramic photo taken the morning before the race in Pagoda Plaza area.

Hiss is survived by Connie, his wife of 42 years, son, Brian and his wife, Getter; daughter, Jennie and her husband, Mike Freisem, plus two grandsons, Landon Anderson and Levi Freisem.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Hiss’ memory may do so at Crossroads Christian Church, 10800 Lincoln Ave., Newburgh, IN 47630

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