Jerry Sneva, Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 1977, dies at 69

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jerry Sneva, the 1977 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, has died. He was 69.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Monday that Sneva died Saturday in Indianapolis.

Sneva -- the younger brother of 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva -- made five career Indy 500 starts, and his highest finish was 10th in his rookie year. His best start was fifth in 1980.

Sneva was a regular at Indianapolis neighborhood hangouts, in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and gift shops. Every December, he would stop by to drop off wooden Christmas ornaments he had carved and painted for IMS staff members.

Sneva is survived by his wife, Kathy, and children TJ and Shelby. Funeral arrangements were pending.