Sunday, September 8, 2019

1962 – Ward Wins Syracuse 100-Miler

Rodger Ward is presented the Revelle Motors Trophy after winning the 100 miler at Syracuse in 1962 - presenting the trophy is Mrs. Jack Revelle.

Syracuse, N.Y. (September 8, 1962) - Rodger Ward, the 41-year-old kingpin of auto racing, won the United States Auto Club championship 100-mile race at the New York State Exposition Grounds for the second straight year yesterday as he came home first in record time of one hour, two minutes, and 46 seconds. His average speed was 95.571 miles an hour, topping his former speed mark of 95.01 miles an hour set here in victory last year.

A tremendously disappointing attendance, 4,936, probably the lowest in State Fair history, watched Ward triumph as he drove a steady race and escaped tire and mechanical troubles which affected most of the other 18 qualifiers from an original field of 21 cars.

Parnelli Jones, the speedster from Torrance, Calif., set the pace for 74 laps as he averaged about 96 miles per hour in his #98 J.C. Agajanian Offenhauser. But a burned piston sent him to the pits and Ward, who had been running second, took command and nursed his tires the rest of the way as he won by 27 seconds over second place A. J, Foyt, who had been slowed by a 19-second pit stop when he was running second at the halfway mark.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” was Ward’s first comment after pulling his #3 Bob Wilke Offenhauser into the winner’s circle. After 92 laps I was worried about my right rear tire, it was beginning to wear something awful.”

Agajanian, a popular industrialist and businessman from Los Angeles, Calif., and owner of the car, said, “Parnelli would have won without any trouble if the car had held out. No one was touching him, and we had plenty of rubber on the tires.”

The main topic in the pit area prior to race time was the condition of the track. The majority of the drivers thought the track was in excellent shape except for the thick dust going into the second and third turns.

Third-place finisher Troy Ruttman of Dearborn, Mich., driving the #2 Al Dean Offenhauser, said he thought the one-mile track was the fastest of any dirt track he’s raced on. Ruttman, the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner, was putting in his first appearance on dirt since 1957.

Jim Hurtubise Lennox, Calif., never did get amongst the front-runners, fighting his Sterling Plumbing Special most of the race but finishing a respectable fourth.

Results –

1. Rodger Ward
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Troy Ruttman
4. Jim Hurtubise
5. Allen Crowe
6. Roger McCluskey
7. Don Branson
8. Bob Mathouser
9. Ronnie Duman
10.Jim McElreath
11. Lloyd Ruby
12. Ernie Koch
13. Bobby Marshman
14. Al Miller
15. Parnelli Jones
16. Cotton Farmer
17. Bobby Marvin
18. Elmer George
19. Bud Tinglestad
20. Chuck Hulse
21. Carl Williams
22. Jiggs Peters

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