Friday, May 13, 2022

1962 – Big Car Sweep by Rutherford at Illiana

Johnny Rutherford accepts his trophy after winning the IMCA sprint car feature at Illiana. - Wayne Bryant Photo

Schererville, Ind. (May 13,1962) – Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex., driving the Beatson Chevy, scored his second major victory in 24 hours, when he swept the International Motor Contest Association sprint car program at Illiana Speedway before 5,000 fans.

Rutherford, who qualified the Beatson car on the pole for the “Little 500” the night before at Anderson, Ind., copped the second heat, the match race and the 25-lap feature from a 36-car field attracted for the opening of the modern half-mile asphalt track owned by Harry Molenaar.

His time for the 25 laps, which will go as a new record, was 10 minutes and 27.43 seconds.

Every heat provided new action as the veteran dirt aces accustomed themselves to the unorthodox grooves of the new flat asphalt track that was completed between rain storms the last two weeks.

Though there were many near-accidents, only one driver, Harvey Konkel of Milwaukee, was sent to the hospital for a checkup, then released, after he crashed the Schmidt Special into the outer guardrail during the consolation. Arnie Knepper spun on the 25th lap of the feature.

Visiting promoters and officials complimented owner Harry Molenaar and National Speedways, Inc., for the fine program and the snappy manner in which the events were run off.

Results –

Fast time – Mickey Shaw (22.22)
Heat #1 – Jerry Richert
Heat #2 – Johnny Rutherford
Heat #3 – Gordon Woolley
Match race – Johnny Rutherford
Consolation – Mickey Shaw
Feature –
1. Johnny Rutherford
2. Pete Folse
3. Bill Horstmeyer
4. Jerry Daniels
5. Harold Leep
6. Herschel Wagner
7. Ray Duckworth
8. Red Renner
9. Buzz Barton
10.Nolan Johncock
11.Arnie Knepper
12.Mickey Shaw

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