ED “IRON MAN” KRETZ, SR.
Hall of Fame Inductee - Pre 2001 (1995)
Ed Kretz, Sr. won the first 200 mile Savannah, Georgia race in 1936 but will forever be known as the man who won the first Daytona Beach race held in 1937. In a style all his own, Ed turned down the #1 plate that year because "It wasn't his lucky number.” His domination in motorcycle racing was in excess of a decade and the accomplishments of the infamous #38 included winning Nationals at Langhorn in 1937, 1938, 1940 and 1948; Laconia in 1938 and 1945; and Savannah in 1936.
Ed was voted Most Popular Rider in 1938 and 1948 and was the winner of the Trophy Dash at the Del Mar 1 mile race in 1949. He returned to the very same Del Mar track 45 years later to ride his #38 Indian racer in the Lap of the Legends event in front of 18,200 fans.
At the age of 44, Kretz came out of retirement for a 100-lap Pacific Coast TT Championship in 1954 and won handily, besting some of the sport's best "kids." He retired in 1952 but while he was in Germany in '54, he learned about a 100 mile TT race at Ascot. It was really rough but that's the way he liked them. He won the lap money, the heat race, and the trophy race. He had won $1,100 that day, which was a lot more then he had ever won before, even in a National. Joe Leonard was #1 and Ed even lapped him. That's how he got the name "Iron Man", the longer and rougher the race, the faster he would go!