Daniel Sexton Gurney (April 13, 1931 – January 14, 2018) was an American racing driver, race car constructor, and team owner who reached racing's highest levels starting in 1958.
Gurney won races in the Formula One, Indy Car, NASCAR, Can-Am, and Trans-Am Series. Gurney is the first of three drivers to have won races in Sports Cars (1958), Formula One (1962), NASCAR (1963), and Indy cars (1967). (The other two were Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya).
In 1967, after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans together with A. J. Foyt, Gurney spontaneously sprayed champagne while celebrating on the podium, which thereafter became a custom at many motorsports events. As owner of All American Racers, he was the first to put a simple right-angle extension on the upper trailing edge of the rear wing. This device, called a Gurney flap, increases downforce and, if well designed, imposes only a relatively small increase in aerodynamic drag. At the 1968 German Grand Prix, he became the first driver ever to use a full face helmet in Grand Prix racing.
Gurney died of complications from pneumonia; he was 86 years old. All American Racers announced the news on their website: "With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018. In deepest sorrow, with gratitude in our hearts for the love and joy you have given us during your time on this earth, we say 'Godspeed.'"
Gurney was survived by his wife, Evi, six children, and 8 grandchildren. As per his final wishes, his memorial service and funeral were private.