SPORT: American Formula One star Danny Ongais, passes away at the age of 79.

Known as the “Fly­in’ Hawai­ian,” Ongais’ long career saw him excel in Indy cars, F1 and drag racing.

Born in Kahu­lui in 1942, the rac­ing star began a long jour­ney that even­tu­al­ly took him to the world’s most famous racetracks.

After a stint in the U.S. Army, he returned to his native Hawaii and became the state motor­cy­cle cham­pi­on in 1960.

That suc­cess would see him migrate from bikes to cars, kick­ing off a phe­nom­e­nal career that last­ed more than five decades.

Ongais could seem­ing­ly turn to any dis­ci­pline and made 11 starts in the icon­ic Indy 500.

He made a for­ay into the world of F1 in 1977, rac­ing for Inter­scope and briefly Team Tis­sot Ensign.

His best rac­ing sea­son came in 1978, when Ongais won five races and eight poles en route to an eighth-place fin­ish in the USAC standings.

And that led to CART in 1979, where he would remain for the next eight years.

In 1981, he cheat­ed death after a hor­rif­ic acci­dent at Indi­anapo­lis, which left him with mul­ti­ple leg, arm and inter­nal injuries.

Ongais retired in 1988, but was con­vinced to return at the age of 54 in 1996 after the trag­ic death of Scott Bray­ton dur­ing the Indy 500 practice.

Host­ing a rac­ing mas­ter­class, Ongais guid­ed his car from its start­ing spot of 33rd to an even­tu­al sev­enth place finish.

He had one last chance at the famous race in 1998, but failed to qual­i­fy in a Pel­frey team car.

Ongais was induct­ed into the Motor­sports Hall of Fame of Amer­i­ca in 2000 in the Drag Rac­ing category.

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