Available From The Racer Store: Jim McGee, Crew Chief of Champions

Irvine, CA — A partial list of the drivers who have raced cars prepared by Jim McGee includes Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Gordon Johncock, Nigel Mansell, Rick Mears, Roger McCluskey, Danny Ongais, Scott Pruett, Bobby Rahal, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser and Jimmy Vasser.

The great Newman/Haas team shot of Mario Andretti with Jim McGee and the whole crew after qualifying at Indianapolis in 1993. Photo: Jutta Fausel

And the list of team owners who have relied on his expertise is equally impressive: Clint Brawner, Al Dean, Andy Granatelli, Parnelli Jones, Kevin Kalkhoven, Carl Haas, Vel Melitich, Paul Newman, Pat Patrick, Roger Penske and Rahal.

Beyond the 90 race wins achieved by his drivers, McGee has nine national championships and four Indy 500s to his credit, ranking him as the winningest chief mechanic/team manager in Indy car history. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2007.

The definitive biography of McGee, written by prolific motorsports author Gordon Kirby and told largely in McGee’s own words, captures the crew chief’s amazing career in a book from Racemaker Press. The first-person accounts in McGee’s warm, personal style are complemented by some 300 images, many from the Racemaker Archive and never before published. It’s available from the Racer Store.

Read Kirby’s interview with McGee about the book — that also includes comments from various drivers — written just before the book came out in 2014.

Since then, Kirby has authored or edited six more books for Racemaker Press, including this year’s “Chris Pook & the History of the Long Beach Grand Prix,” also available from the Racer Store.

Jim McGee with Mario Andretti and Chief Mechanic Clint Brawner, during Jim’s first stint in Championship racing. Photo: Racemaker Archive/Nehampkin

“Our next Racemaker Press book will be John Zimmermann’s history of Formula 5000 in North America,” Kirby said. “We have just completed photo editing the book and it will be published next spring, just before April’s Long Beach GP.”

Kirby has several other projects in the works, including a biography of Roger Bailey who, among many other things, ran the Indy Lights series for 30 years from its founding in 1986 through his retirement in 2012. It should be published late next year. He’s also writing a biography of Barry Green, who ran a variety of very successful Can-Am and Indy car teams and sold Team Green to Michael Andretti in 2004. That book is on tap for 2022 or 2023.

“I am also in the final stages of an epic history of U.S. auto racing starting in 1896 through today,” he added. “This giant book covers all aspects of the sport, and we hope to publish it in 2022.”

Mario Andretti in a McGee-prepared Dean Van Lines Special during the 1966 Sacramento Dirt 100-miler. Photo: Racemaker Archive / Tronolone