Indy 500 Winner Kraines Dies
December 9, 2005 | 9:29 A.M. EST
Kraines, whose Kraco car stereos have been world renowned for several decades, participated in the “500” for the 13 consecutive events held between 1980-92, first as a sponsor and later as a team entrant.
Kraines became a car entrant for the first time in 1983. Mike Mosley qualified for the middle of the front row that year, only to suffer wall contact while running fifth with only 30 laps to go.
Geoff Brabham and rookie Michael Andretti came on board in 1984, Andretti making his first five Indianapolis starts for the Kraco team. Four of those resulted in top-10 finishes, a fourth place in 1988 being the highest.
“Maury was just a great guy,” Andretti said Dec. 8. “I loved the guy. He was a fun guy to be around. He gave me my big break to run the Indy cars. He became a good friend, and he’s going to be really missed.”
Beginning modestly with Larry “Boom Boom” Cannon and a 33rd-place finish in 1980, Kevin Cogan was Andretti’s teammate for 1985, after which Kraines elected to field one driver only. Bobby Rahal replaced Andretti in 1989. The next year, Kraines merged his team with that of Rick Galles so that Rahal and A1 Unser Jr. became teammates.
Rahal and Unser placed second and fourth, respectively, in the 1990 Indianapolis 500. Evidently deciding to quit while he was ahead, Kraines retired after the 1992 season in which Unser and Danny Sullivan finished first and fifth, respectively, in the Indianapolis 500. Galles assumed control of the team.
Kraines founded Kraco Enterprises in 1954. He was actively involved in the company until his death. Kraines served in the Army Air Force in World War I1 and the Korean War as a B-29 bomber pilot.
Survivors include his wife, Yasuko Kraines; sons, Larry, Steve, Dan and Ted Kraines; sister Anne Firestone; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service took place Dec. 7 in Rancho Mirage. Contributions can be made to Chabad of California, c/o The Kraines Family Early Childhood Education Center in Los Angeles.