Tuesday, August 22, 2023

1964 – Foyt First at Springfield – Horstmeyer Killed


A.J. Foyt poses alongside crew chief George Bignotti after winning the Tony Bettenhausen 100-miler at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. 


Springfield, Ill. (August 22, 1964) – Bill Horstmeyer, 34, of Madison, Wis., was killed Saturday in the flaming wreckage of his racing car which flipped in front of the grandstand in the 100-mile feature at the Illinois State Fair.

Horstmeyer came out of the north turn on the 26th lap, at the outside fence, and while an estimated 25,000 spectators watched in horror, his machine flipped end-over-end entering the straightaway and bursting into flames. He was pinned under the burning car.

Firefighters eventually pulled him free. He died soon after arrival to St. John’s Hospital.

A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., winner of the Indianapolis 500 which was marred by the fiery death of two drivers, won the 100-miler, a Memorial race named for Tony Bettenhausen. Bettenhausen was killed in a practice session for the Indy 500 several years ago.

Foyt’s victory was his 24th in a major race, one short of Rodger Ward’s all-time high of 25.

Bobby Marshman of Pottstown, Penn., finished second after leading the first 38 laps before entering the pits for a tire change.

By the 75th circuit, Marshman had gunned his racer back into second place.

Don Branson of Champaign, Ill., finished third, followed by Bobby Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., and Len Sutton of Portland, Ore.

Results –

1. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
2. Bobby Marshman, Pottstown, Penn.
3. Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.
4. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
5. Len Sutton, Portland, Ore.
6. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.
7. Arnold Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
8. Bud Tingelstad, Dayton, Ohio
9. Bob Wente, St. Louis, Mo.
10.Bob Harkey, Indianapolis, Ind.

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