Indianapolis, Ind. (September 4, 1963) – A.J. Foyt protected his current point’s lead in the USAC late model stock car division by the narrowest of margins as he won the 100-lap championship race in record time at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Wednesday.Foyt sailed to the checkered flag in a ’69 Ford after teammate Don White, in another Ford, ripped a tire with but five miles remaining after holding the lead for 88 miles.
It was a night of confusion as the race started 90 minutes late because track crews had not installed guard rails n certain sections of the track after harness racing. The track became extremely slick because of heavy dew, causing more than one driver to fishtail on the dirt surface. The race was further delayed when the pace car stalled on the front stretch during the parade lap.
Foyt’s record speed of 74.69 miles per hour was a surprise in light of the fact the caution flag flew for 33 miles during the route.
Gary Bettenhausen wound up finishing second in a ’63 Dodge while John Rostek’s ’63 Ford copped third-place money. The fourth and fifth spots went to Keith Ploughe in a Ford and White.
Minus brakes late in the race, Foyt was two seconds behind White who appeared to have the race in his back pocket. But the suspension on his left front wheel gave way and metal tore a chunk out of his tire, forcing him to pull into the pits for fresh rubber.
Despite the regularity of caution flags, no driver was injured. The most serious accident came when Curtis Turner tired to cut low through a turn, skidded, and clipped Paul Goldsmith broadside, sending the defending champion upside down.
Foyt picked up $3,030 for his winning ride while White collected $2,182, all but $712 of that amount coming via lap money. Foyt also posted fastest time in qualifications, being clocked at 83.799 miles per hour.
1. A.J. Foyt
2. Gary Bettenhausen
3. John Rostek
4. Keith Ploughe
5. Don White
6. Elmer Musgrave
7. John Kilborn
8. Bob Slensby
9. Rodger Ward