Saturday, September 24, 2022

1960 – Indiana Driver Wins Before 10,000 at Allentown

Jim Packard enjoys his first career USAC victory with car owner Barney Flynn. 

Allentown, Penn. (September 24, 1960) – Jim Packard of Speedway, Ind., driving an Offenhauser, led from start to finish to win the United States Auto Club big car feature in which Boyertown’s Johnny Thomson was fatally injured at the Allentown Fair.

A crowd of 12,000 jammed the grandstand and paddock, with standing room only tickets being sold an hour before the program started.

Earlier, as the cars were approaching the starter’s flag for the feature event, A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., spun out in front of the grandstand and a restart was ordered. Foyt was not injured and continued in the race.

After the accident in which Thomson figured but had no other drivers involved, the race was started for the third time, an on this occasion Packard shot out in front on the first turn and was never headed.

Jim Hurtubise furnished most of the early competition for Packard, but Jiggs Peters and Parnelli Jones were right up there with him for the first 10 laps. Jones lost some time on the 16th circuit when he went high into the first turn, but after 18 laps it was still Packard, Hurtubise and Jones in that order, with the rest of the field spread out.

Tommy Hinnershitz, the Olney, Penn., veteran who holds four or five track records, moved into third place with five laps to go, but couldn’t threaten the leaders.

At the finish it was Packard, Hurtubise, Foyt, Peters and Roger McCluskey of Tucson, Ariz., rounding out the top five.

The accident which put Thomson out of the race was a jolt to the big crowd, for the Scotsman gave the spectators some of the biggest thrills of the afternoon as he won the 8-lap semi-feature, coming from his sixth starting position to win on the last lap.

Editor's note: A week later, October 1, 1960, Jim Packard would be killed in a midget race in Fairfield, Illinois

Results –

1. Jim Packard
2. Jim Hurtubise
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Jiggs Peters
5. Roger McCluskey
6. Wayne Weiler
7. Bob Cleburg
8. Tommy Hinnershitz
9. Eddie Sachs
10.Don Branson

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