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Road to 100: 1960

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-02 18:22:59-04

The year was 1960, and Indianapolis was growing. 

Just under half a million people called Indy home. And it was a year where not just the best drivers were at the track, but some of the world's best professional golfers were there, too. 

The Speedway golf course hosted the first 500 Festival Open, a PGA event won by Doug Ford. 

That year the track also featured what is now known as the greatest two-man duel in the history of the Indianapolis 500. 

The race was a nail biter. Fans witnessed a record 29 lead changes, 14 between Jim Rathmann and Roger Ward. They battled it out on the track for the entire second half. 

As was common at the time, fans built their own scaffolding in the infield to get a better view of the action, but that year it would prove deadly. Two spectators died and 82 people were injured when some homemade scaffolding collapsed. After the tragedy, the track banned those structures, a rule that still stands today. 

But the race continued. On lap 197, Rathmann took the lead for good and completed the 400 miles in three hours, 31 minutes and 11 seconds. 

And for the first time, a winner received a flower wreath, along with the bottle of milk and Borg-Warner Trophy.

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MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

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Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. every night for our Road to 100, where we take a look back at each of the races leading up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. 

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