1966 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Season||1966 USAC season|
|Date||May 30, 1966|
|Winning team||John Mecom, Jr.|
|Average speed||144.317 mph (232.256 km/h)|
|Pole position||Mario Andretti|
|Pole speed||165.899 mph (266.989 km/h)|
|Fastest qualifier||Mario Andretti|
|Rookie of the Year||Jackie Stewart|
|Most laps led||Lloyd Ruby (68)|
|National anthem||Purdue Band|
|Back Home Again in Indiana||Ed Ames|
|Starting Command||Tony Hulman|
|Pace car||Mercury Comet Cyclone GT|
|Pace car driver||Benson Ford|
|TV in the United States|
|Network||ABC's Wide World of Sports|
|Announcers||Chris Schenkel Rodger Ward|
The 50th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 30, 1966.
Eleven of the 33 starters, a whole third of the field, was eliminated in a first-lap accident right after receiving the green flag on the mainstretch. No drivers are injured, except for A. J. Foyt, who hurts his hand scaling the catch fence trying to escape the wreck scene. Only seven cars, the fewest finishers ever, are still running by the end of the race.
First-time starter Jackie Stewart leads by over a lap late in the race in John Mecom's Lola T90-Ford. However, inside ten laps to go, his oil pressure drops too low due to a broken scavenge pump. Stewart parked the car, and walked back to the pits. Fellow "rookie" Graham Hill inherits the lead and led a total of 10 laps to win, the first rookie winner since 1927. Despite parking the car, Stewart is voted the rookie of the year over Hill.
Defending race winner Jimmy Clark spun twice during the race, and finished second.
Time trials 
Saturday May 14 - Pole Day time trials 
Chuck Rodee was killed in a crash. On his second warmup lap in turn one, Rodee backed in to the outside wall, and he died of his injuries at the hospital.
A total of 18 cars completed qualifying runs on a chilly pole day.
Sunday May 15 - Second Day Time trials 
After crashing on pole day, A. J. Foyt qualified at 161.355 mph, the fourth-fastest car in the field.
Saturday May 21 - Third Day Time trials 
Unser brothers Bobby and Al qualified, with rookie Al (162.272 mph) leading the speeds for the day. Bobby Grim qualified his turbo Offy front-engined roadster at 158.367 mph, the only such car in the field.
Sunday May 22 - Bump Day Time trials 
Two drivers managed to bump their way into the field, Ronnie Duman and Larry Dickson. Greg Weld wrecked two cars (one of which was a popular Granatelli-Novi), but was uninjured. Bobby Grim, the slowest qualifier, holds on to the make the field in his front-engined roadster.
Race recap 
As the field down the mainstretch for the start, Billy Foster was among those jockeying for position. As the green flag fell, he nearly touched wheels with Gordon Johncock, and lost control. He spun directly into the outside wall, just beyond the start/finish line, and triggered a huge pileup. Fourteen cars are involved, with debris and loose wheels bouncing all over the racing surface.
As the drivers instinctively scurried out of their machines to avoid possible flames (although no significant fires had broke out), A. J. Foyt became the only casualty of the incident. He injured his hand climbing over the catch fence on the outside of the track.
Of the fourteen cars, eleven are damaged beyond repair. The red flag came out, and after the cleanup, the race lined up for a restart with only 22 cars.
After the race, some confusion in the scoring led to a controversy, wherein second place Jim Clark's team thought they were the rightful winner. Clark had spun on two separate occasions during the race, but did not make serious contact during either incident. He did not stall his engine either time, and was able to drive to the pits for the crew to inspect the car quickly both times. Clark's team contended that he did not lose a significant amount of time, and figured that they were still one lap ahead of Hill at the finish. The scoring pylon, which was manually controlled and unofficial, changed somewhat frequently as the scoring was ironed out, to the dismay of Clark's crew in particular. The unofficial results at the conclusion of the race showed Graham Hill winning by 41.13 seconds over Clark.
The morning after the race, USAC released the official results, and the standings were unchanged. Colin Chapman and Andy Granatelli, the entrants of Clark's Lotus team, declined to file an official protest. A possible explanation given was that the Lotus crew did not see Hill pass by Clark during the aftermath of the second spin.
Race winner Graham Hill admitted to being "puzzled" and "surprised" to be the winner, while other unsatisfied competitors chimed that he had "never passed a car all day long." The IMS Radio Network, which scored the race independently from the USAC officials, also came up with Hill as the first place car. The apparent controversy died out quickly, and no official action was ever taken. Years later the subject is still mildly debated in racing circles.
A theory emerged that scorers accidentally omitted one lap from Jim Clark's official tally. Therefore, he was effectively placed behind Hill at the finish. The car of Al Unser, Sr. was painted nearly identical to Clark's. The theory is that when Al Unser crashed out of the race on lap 161, scorers mistakenly thought it was Clark, and as Clark drove by in the immediate aftermath, they credited that lap to Unser by mistake.
Box score 
|6||11||43||Jackie Stewart||159.972||14||190||40||Oil Pressure|
|11||5||14||Lloyd Ruby||162.433||5||166||68||Cam Stud|
|12||23||18||Al Unser||162.372||6||161||0||Crash T4|
|13||21||8||Roger McCluskey||159.271||22||129||0||Oil Leak|
|14||4||98||Parnelli Jones||162.484||4||87||0||Wheel Bearing|
|17||22||56||Jim Hurtubise||159.208||24||29||0||Oil line|
|19||3||82||George Snider||162.521||3||22||0||Crash T2|
|20||8||12||Chuck Hulse||160.844||10||22||0||Crash T2|
|22||14||28||Johnny Boyd||159.384||21||5||0||Crash T1|
|23||9||4||Don Branson||160.385||12||0||0||Crash FS|
|24||12||27||Billy Foster||159.490||18||0||0||Crash FS|
|25||16||53||Gary Congdon||158.688||29||0||0||Crash FS|
|26||18||2||A.J. Foyt||161.355||7||0||0||Crash FS|
|27||19||31||Dan Gurney||160.499||11||0||0||Crash FS|
|28||24||66||Cale Yarborough||159.794||15||0||0||Crash FS|
|29||26||37||Arnie Knepper||159.440||20||0||0||Crash FS|
|30||30||75||Al Miller II||158.681||30||0||0||Crash FS|
|31||31||39||Bobby Grim||158.367||33||0||0||Crash FS|
|32||32||34||Larry Dickson||159.144||25||0||0||Crash FS|
|33||33||96||Ronnie Duman||158.646||31||0||0||Crash FS|
|Tire participation chart|
|Supplier||No. of starters|
|* - Denotes race winner|
The race was carried live on the IMS Radio Network. Sid Collins served as chief announcer. Len Sutton joined the crew, serving as "driver expert," replacing Fred Agabashian. At the conclusion of the race, Lou Palmer reported from victory lane.
Bill Frosh, who had reported from turn one for over a decade, left the on-air crew, working instead in production. Mike Ahern took over the prestigious turn one position. Newcomer Doug Zink took the backstretch location, while second-year member Ron Carrell moved to turn three.
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network|
|Booth Announcers||Turn Reporters||Pit/garage reporters|
Turn 1: Mike Ahern
|Chuck Marloe (north)
Luke Walton (center)
Lou Palmer (south)
The race was carried in the United States on ABC's Wide World of Sports. The broadcast aired on Saturday June 10. Chris Schenkel anchored the telecast for the first time, with analysts Rodger Ward, Ward did double duty driving the 500 and calling the 500. It was the first time the race was broadcast in color, and the first time the entire hour-long program was devoted entirely to the 500. The opening featured a brief recap of time trials in the first half, and race coverage in the second half.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1966 Indianapolis 500|
- Kettlewell, p. 2192.
- "The Greatest 33: Jim Clark". History (Indianapolis Motor Speedway). 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Hill Official Winner". The Tuscaloosa News. 1966-05-31. Retrieved 2012-05-00.
- "The Talk of Gasoline Alley," Network Indiana, May 11, 2006
- Popular Science, December 1966, Pg. 169, Perfect Circle advertisement regarding the May 30, 1966 Indianapolis 500 winners
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
Works cited 
- Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats - Official Site
- 1966 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network
|1965 Indianapolis 500
|1966 Indianapolis 500
|1967 Indianapolis 500
A. J. Foyt