INDIANAPOLIS -- Just days ahead of the 1974 Indianapolis 500, there was relief for Hoosiers, and the nation, as the oil embargo was lifted and gas started flowing again around Indy.
Downtown, construction was wrapping up on Market Square Arena, while at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, construction had dominated as well.
In the wake of a tragic race in 1973, it was safety over speed in 1974, with raised retaining walls, a widened turn four and a rebuilt pit entrance. Smaller wings and fuel tanks helped to protect the drivers as well.
On the track, the green flag flew from a safer, elevated stand on the outside of the main straight, and AJ Foyt would take the lead by lap three, as he went for win number four.
But Johnny Rutherford surged from 25th in his number three and battled for most of the day.
Eventually, Lone Star Jr. took the lead at lap 142. His wife, Betty, anxiously listened to the broadcast as Rutherford won his first Indianapolis 500.
It would not be his last.
MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100
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