Friday, October 29, 2021

1961 – Ward Wins 100 at Sacramento

Rodger Ward en route to victory at Sacramento

Sacramento, Calif. (October 29, 1961) - Rodger Ward of Indianapolis rolled home Sunday a winner for the second time in the 100-mile national championship race at the California State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt oval in Sacramento.

Ward, the 1959 Indianapolis 500 winner covered 100 laps of the one-mile dirt track in one hour, seven minutes and 35 seconds, slightly over the one hour, five minute and 57 seconds, track record.

Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., completed 99 laps and finished second. Bobby Marshman of Pottstown, Penn., finished 98 laps and was third.

Ward beat defending champion A. J. Foyt, winner of last May's Indianapolis 500. Foyt led for the 23rd through the 74th laps, when he was forced from the race by mechanical trouble.

Ward last won the 100-mile race in 1957.

Ten cars out of the 18 qualifiers were in the race at the finish.

Ward's share of the $15,150 purse isn't known, but promoter J. C. Agajanian said it will be more than $5,000.

Ward led the race from the start of the 23rd lap, when Foyt took the lead. Ward led again from the 75th circuit to the finish.

Popular Jim, Hurtubise of Lennox, Calif., the 1959 winner, was another victim of mechanical trouble.

Clark Templeman of Seattle set a new track qualifying record of 35.51 seconds for one lap. This beat the 36.24 second record set by Ward in 1957.

A crowd of 14,180 paid a purse of $40,738.

Results –

1. Rodger Ward
2. Parnelli Jones
3. Bobby Marshman
4. Len Sutton
5. Cotton Farmer
6. Elmer George
7. Don Branson
8. Don Davis
9. Ronnie Duman
10.Jim McElreath
11.Roger McCluskey
12.A.J. Foyt
13.Red Riegel
14.Jim Hurtubise
15.Dempsey Wilson
16.Shorty Templeman
17.Ray Wearne
18.Al Keller

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