Johnny Rutherford in the Stapp #4 at Terre Haute
Terre Haute, Ind. (June 13, 1965) – Johnny Rutherford, who was just seconds away from missing Sunday's 30-lap feature sprint car race here because of a leaking fuel tank, took the lead on the fifth lap and remained in that position to win $1,786 of a $9,065 purse.
Larson gave it a good try, but ran out of time before he could catch
Rutherford. A. J. Foyt finished
a very creditable third with an automobile that still wasn't running 100
Don Branson, last year's sprint car champion, took the checkered flag in the third heat with a time of 3:23.73 on the half-mile dirt oval.
And how about our National Driving Champion, A. J. Foyt? Anthony Joseph won the 10-lap consolation race. And he had to come from a sixth place starting position in a 10-car field to do this. My, how things do change from year to year.
A word must be said in A.J.'s defense. He was the hardest working driver at the track Sunday. To start the afternoon, his Chevrolet - powered sprinter came up with a sick engine. He missed his turn to qualify, and just barely got his car running well enough to make the last try of the day.
Branson's luck wasn't much better. His draw for qualifying position was number 31. Larson drew number 30.
On asphalt tracks, the qualifying order isn't too important, but on dirt it can make or break a driver. The more qualifying attempts the rougher – and slower - the track becomes.
Less skilled drivers than these three probably wouldn't have made the program.
500 “Rookie of the Year”, Mario Andretti, kept the hex going that seems to follow
the winners of this honor. Indianapolis
Last years' “Rookie” winner, Johnny White, was seriously injured at the
track. Mario escaped injuries, but his car was badly bent in a brush with the
outer retaining wall coming out of the fourth turn. Terre Haute
This was during practice before the race.
Chuck Engle wasn't as fortunate in his “bouncing ballet of the dirt”. Chuck got sideways in number four turn that resulted in a spectacular series of end-over-end flips. He was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital, but a report on his condition wasn't available at press time.
1. Johnny Rutherford
2. Jud Larson
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Greg Weld
5. Jerry Richert
6. Bobby Unser
7. Don Branson
8. Ronnie Duman
9. Gary Congdon
10. Red Riegel