Langhorne, Penn. (June 18, 1967) - Al Unser and Lloyd Ruby put on a two-man show yesterday at Langhorne Speedway before 26,235 fans. They each led for half the 100-mile national championship car race.Unfortunately for Unser, however, he led the first half. Ruby, driving a brand-new car, took over the lead on the 53rd lap and led the rest of the way.
He crossed the finish line in 52 minutes and 55.16 seconds, setting a new track record for the distance. The average speed was 113.380 miles per hour.
This shattered the former mark, set by Don Branson, back in 1962, when Langhorne was still a dirt track. Branson’s record was 57 minutes and 15.13 seconds (104.799 miles per hour).
While still on the subject of records, Al Unser set a world’s record for one mile on a one-mile speedway when he was clocked at 29 seconds flat during time trials. His average speed of 124.137 miles per hour topped Mario Andretti’s existing record of 123.839 miles per hour set in August of 1966 at Langhorne.
Although the race was held under cloudy skies, it did not start to rain until 45 minutes after Ruby took the checkered flag.
Sunday’s purse was $30,000, with the winner getting 25%, about $7,500, plus accessory money.
Ruby jumped into the lead when the 22-car field received the green flag, but Unser regained it before the first lap was completed. The Albuquerque, N.M. driver stayed in front of Ruby until lap 53. Ruby would charge into the lead and build up a five-second margin by lap 75.
At the end of 90 miles, Ruby had stretched his margin to nine seconds and at the finish, the Wichita Falls, Tex., veteran was 11 seconds ahead of Unser.
Mario Andretti of Nazareth, Penn., was third. He, along with Ruby and Unser were the only drivers to complete the 100 laps.
That was considered quite the feat by Andretti, who was still feeling below par because of rib injuries suffered the week before in a race at Le Mans, France.
The next four finishers – Gordon Johncock, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser and Joe Leonard – all completed 98 circuits.
1. Lloyd Ruby, Wichita Falls, Tex.
2. Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M
3. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.
4. Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
5. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
6. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M
7. Joe Leonard, San Jose, Calif.
8. Bud Tingelstad, Indianapolis
9. Norm Brown, Grand Rapids, Mich.
10.Johnny Rutherford, Ft. Worth, Tex.