Todd GIbson raced supermodifieds for many years in the Midwest and Northeast. (Oswego Speedway photo)

Ohio Open-Wheel Ace Todd Gibson, 83

RICHWOOD, Ohio — One of the many short-track open-wheel racers who went on to race Indy cars during the 1960s and 70s, Todd Gibson died on Dec. 1. He was 83 years old.

Gibson got his start racing in the Buckeye state at tracks including Sandusky Speedway where he won the supermodified track championship in 1965 and ’66.

He soon began traveling and was a regular competitor at New York’s Oswego Speedway where he won 21 supermodified features between 1965 and ’68 and claimed the 1968 track championship, winning 13 races that season.

Gibson made his USAC championship trail debut in 1969 and was a frequent competitor in the series from 1976 through 1979. He attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1977 and ’79, but a crash at Indy in 1979 effectively ended his champ car career.

His best champ car finish was fourth at Mosport in 1977.

Gibson also competed with ARCA and USAC and was a winner in USAC sprint car competition. He also won the inaugural feature for the International Super Modified Ass’n in 1974.

Gibson was inducted into the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame in 1999. His three sons — Gene Lee, Larry and Terry — all raced. Terry Gibson was killed in a supermodified crash at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway in 2008.