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1965 Indy 500: End of front-engine car era

1965 Indy 500: End of front-engine car era
1965 Indy 500: End of front-engine car era
1965 Indy 500: End of front-engine car era
Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 17:02:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 1965, most Hoosier Baby Boomers remember where they were when the deadly Palm Sunday tornadoes hit.

In those storms, 137 people were killed in Indiana.

That historic day was still very fresh in the minds of many when time came for the 49th Indianapolis 500.

In a contrast to the prior year's race, the 1965 Indy 500 was one of the safest runnings of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Methanol was chosen as the fuel of choice over gasoline with safety in mind after a fiery crash claimed the lives of two drivers.

The year also marked the end of an era for front-engined cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Scotsman Jim Clark driving No. 82, a rear engine Lotus, took the lead on the first lap ahead of previous winner AJ Foyt. 

Clark fought off the field of drivers that also included Mario Andretti and Al Unser, each running their first race. Andretti finished third that year.

After leading 190 of 200 laps, Clark took the checkered flag with an average speed of 150.686 miles per hour.

"I wasn't going to believe it until I saw the checkered flag," Clark said from Victory Lane.

He is the first foreign driver to win the race since 1916.

Clark also became the first driver to win the Indy 500 and Formula One World Championship in the same year.

It was also the first year the race aired on ABC Sports under the "Wide World of Sports" banner.

MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

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