INDY STARS GO FORTH AND PROSPER
Graham Hill, 1962 and ’ 68 Formula 1
World Champion, won the Indianapolis
500 as a rookie, driving a John Mecom
Lola engineered by the mighty George
Bignotti. There remains some dispute
as to whether Jimmy Clark actually
achieved two “500” wins in a row –
there was confusion among lap-scorers
in ’ 66 – but when Clark mentioned this
in Victory Lane, Hill’s simple reply was,
“No way, mate, I drank the milk!”
Hill qualified second in the Lotus 56
turbine in ’ 68, alongside teammate
and polesitter Joe Leonard, but an
abortive run in ’ 69 in the Lotus 64 was
his and Lotus’s last attempt at Indy.
isting A.J. Foyt’s achievements in
Indy car racing is a long enough task in
itself. Driving in the Indianapolis 500 for
35 consecutive years, he won the world’s
biggest race twice in front-engined
roadsters and twice in rear-engined cars,
to become the first of only three
four-time winners. He holds the record for
number of Indy car race wins ( 67), he’s
second in the all-time pole-winners’ list
( 53) and he added six Indy car (USAC
National) titles to his 1960 USAC
Sprint Car championship.
But it’s when he stepped outside his
racing specialty that the breadth of Foyt’s
ability became quite jaw-dropping. He
famously won the 24 Hours of Le Mans
in 1967 with Dan Gurney and the Ford
GT40 MkIV, but also added two
Daytona 24 Hours (1983 and ’ 85) and
a Sebring 12 Hours to his list of sports
car achievements. That latter victory also
came in 1985 in a Porsche 962 shared
with Bob Wollek, and was the last
professional win of A.J.’s career.
Foyt was the second Indy car ace to
conquer the Daytona 500, his win coming
in 1972 (LEFT). But he achieved six other
NASCAR Cup wins between 1964 and
’ 72, and he also scored nine poles. In fact,
Before he became F1 World Champion
for the first time, Jackie Stewart could
have been an Indianapolis 500 winner.
As Mecom teammate to Graham Hill in
a Lola-Ford, JYS was leading the 1966
“500” in the closing stages when
diving oil pressure caused his DNF.
As a frustrated George Bignotti
remembered it, “Jackie was trying hard
to lap Graham, who responded, trying
not to be lapped, so they were going
faster and faster. I was frantically signaling
them to slow down, but they were
teammates in Formula 1 as well, so
there was a pride issue. Anyway, I knew
something would let go, and it did…”
STEWART - NEARLY MAN
AND DON’T FORGET…
It wasn’t just one-way traffic into Indy in the ’60s and early ’70s.
The Brickyard’s biggest name raided NASCAR and Le Mans.
RIGHT BACK ATCHA
The ’ 66 Indy winner Hill with ’ 66 polesitter
Andretti. Mario’s day would come…once.
Jackie Stewart surveys the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway from the outside of Turn 2.
stock car racing seemed to come pretty
easy to Foyt. He won USAC’s Stock Car
championship in ’ 68, ’ 78 and ’ 79, scoring
a total of 41 wins, and also won the
IROC Series in both 1976 and ’ 77.
A.J.’s 50 wins in USAC Sprint, Midget
and Dirt Champ Cars were supplemented
by back-to-back victories in the Australian
Speedcar Grand Prix (Aussie sprint cars).
In short, whether he was racing open-wheel, closed-wheel, open- or closed
cockpit, paved or dirt track, Foyt proved
he could and likely would master it.
The 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans win for
Ford, Holman-Moody and A.J. Foyt/Dan
Gurney remains the only all-American
win in the history of the French classic.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
The March 701 was
no one’s favorite car,
but Mario Andretti
used one to finish on
the podium in only
his seventh F1 start,
the 1970 Spanish GP
held at Jarama.
(FAR LEFT) Foyt’s
Daytona 500 win in
1972 was even more
dominant than Mario
Andretti’s in ’ 67. A.J.
qualified second and
led 167 of the 200
laps in his Wood