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1966 Indy 500: Fewest drivers ever finish race

Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 17:20:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 1966, the state of Indiana celebrated its 150th birthday.

That milestone provided inspiration for the 500 Festival theme: 150 years of progress.

A parade was organized with numerous floats and Walter Cronkite served as the grand marshal.

Race fans also cheered on a milestone that year: The 50th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Just a few moments after the race started, 11 of the 33 starters were eliminated in a large crash on the main stretch. Only one driver was seriously hurt in the wreck: AJ Foyt, and it wasn't a result of smashing his car - he hurt his hands climbing the fence trying to avoid the crash.

Car troubles whittled down the rest over the next 200 laps, and just four drivers took the checkered flag after all 200 laps, the fewest in history, with only seven total drivers even listed as running when the race finally came to a close.

Among those still running, British driver Graham Hill, who was the first rookie to win the race in nearly 40 years with an average speed of 144.317 miles per hour.

 

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