1962 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Season||1962 USAC season|
|Date||May 30, 1962|
|Winning team||Leader Cards|
|Average speed||140.293 mph (225.780 km/h)|
|Pole position||Parnelli Jones|
|Pole speed||150.370 mph (241.997 km/h)|
|Fastest qualifier||Parnelli Jones|
|Rookie of the Year||Jim McElreath|
|Most laps led||Parnelli Jones (120)|
|National anthem||Purdue Band|
|"Back Home Again in Indiana"||C. David Cochard|
|Starting command||Tony Hulman|
|Pace car||Studebaker Lark Daytona Convertible|
|Pace car driver||Sam Hanks|
|Honorary referee||Robert A. Stranahan, Jr.|
|TV in the United States|
|Nielsen ratings||N/A / N/A|
A historic pole day saw Parnelli Jones break the 150 mph (240 km/h) barrier in qualifying. Rodger Ward and Len Sutton finished 1st-2nd for Leader Cards Racing.
The 1962 Indy 500 marked the final 500 wherein the entire 33-car field consisted of U.S.-born participants. It was also the first race held with the track surface paved entirely in asphalt, with just the ceremonial single yard of bricks exposed at the start/finish line.
Time trials were scheduled for four days.
- Saturday May 12 – Pole Day time trials
- Len Sutton was the first driver to make an assault on the track record. His fourth lap of 149.900 mph was a new one-lap track record.
- Parnelli Jones became the first driver to break the 150 mph barrier. His first lap was run at 150.729 mph, a new all-time one-lap track record. All four of his laps were over 150 mph, and his four-lap average came in at 150.370 mph. Jones was rewarded by having 150 silver dollars poured into his helmet by Phil Hedback of Bryant Heating & Cooling.
- Sunday May 13 – Second day time trials
- The 13th proved to be an unlucky day for Norm Hall, whose previous crash in car #25 left him unscathed, but today, he spun the #41 Forbes Special on the Southwest Turn, hit the wall backwards and was severely injured, including a fractured left leg and possible skull fracture. Jim Rathmann and Troy Ruttman both were flagged off by their crews after they failed to get sufficient speed to qualify. Eddie Sachs could not reach an acceptable speed and a new engine was ordered for his Dean-Autolite Special machine. Dan Gurney left for Holland to compete in the Holland Grand Prix. Qualifiers this day were Eddie Johnson #32 at 146.592 and Bob Veith #96 at 146.157.
- Saturday May 19 – Third day time trials
- Sunday May 20 – Fourth day time trials
Parnelli Jones took the lead at the start, and led the first 59 laps. The first incident on the track occurred on lap 17. A four-car crash in turn four involved Jack Turner, Bob Christie, Allen Crowe, and Chuck Rodee. A lengthy yellow light period was needed to clean up the incident.
Rodger Ward led the final 31 laps en route to victory. It was his second 500 win, after winning also in 1959. His Leader Cards teammate Len Sutton finished second, accomplishing the first team "sweep" of 1st-2nd since the Blue Crown team did it in 1947 and 1948.
After dominating much of the early race, Parnelli Jones, who started on the pole and led 120 laps, finished 7th. Jones chances for victory faded around the lap 125 mark when he lost his brakes. Unable to easily bring his car to a halt during pit stops, his crew put out tires so he could bump up against them or ride over them in order to help stop the car.
|16||9||17||Roger McCluskey||147.759||9||168||3||Spun T2|
|17||17||21|| Elmer George
(Relieved by Paul Russo; 74 laps)
(Relieved by A. J. Foyt; 21 laps)
|19||15||18||Bobby Grim||146.604||22||96||0||Oil Leak|
|20||8||34||Dan Gurney||147.886||8||92||0||Rear End|
|21||16||19||Chuck Hulse||146.377||28||91||0||Fuel Pump|
|23||5||1||A. J. Foyt||149.074||5||69||2||Lost wheel|
|27||20||88|| Gene Hartley
(Relieved by Bill Cheesbourg; 21 laps)
|29||25||45||Jack Turner||146.496||25||17||0||Crash FS|
|30||31||29||Bob Christie||146.341||29||17||0||Crash FS|
|31||22||83||Allen Crowe||146.831||18||17||0||Crash FS|
|32||21||67||Chuck Rodee||146.969||16||17||0||Crash FS|
Failed to qualify
- Chuck Arnold (#23, #37, #46, #47, #77)
- Duane Carter (#72)
- Bill Cheesbourg (#35, #59, #88)
- Leon Clum (#6, #23)
- Jack Conely (#89)
- Russ Congdon
- Tommy Copp (#58)
- Johnny Coy (#68, #92)
- Chuck Daigh (#35)
- Jack Ensley (#95)
- Jack Fairman (#32, #78)
- Don Freeland (#36)
- Roy Graham (#55)
- Norm Hall (#25, #41)
- Jim Hemmings (#65, #94)
- Herb Hill (#69) – Entry declined
- Bruce Jacobi (#22)
- Ed Kostenuk (#37)
- Ralph Ligouri (#68)
- Bob Mathouser (#43)
- Mike McGreevey (#46)
- Al Miller (#64)
- Keith Rachwitz (#33)
- Gig Stephens (#61)
- Chuck Stevenson (#16)
- Chuck Weyant
The race was carried live on the IMS Radio Network. Sid Collins served as chief announcer. Fred Agabashian served as "driver expert." Newcomer Howdy Bell joined the crew, serving as a turn reporter. It was his first of over 40 years with the network. Turn reporter Mike Ahern, who debuted on the radio crew a year earlier, missed the 1962 race due to being in the Army. He would return in 1963.
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network|
|Booth Announcers||Turn Reporters||Pit/garage reporters|
Turn 1: Bill Frosh
|Jack Shapiro (north)|
Luke Walton (center)
John Peterson (south)
A few minutes of highlights were shown on ABC's "Wide World Of Sports".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1962 Indianapolis 500.|
- Fox, Jack C. (1994). The Illustrated History of the Indianapolis 500 1911-1994 (4th ed.). Carl Hungness Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 0-915088-05-3.
- Campbell, Don G. (May 31, 1962). "500 Crowd is Star Of Own Show". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley. May 19, 2006. Network Indiana.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley. May 8, 2011. WFNI.
- "1962 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley. September 6, 2018. WFNI.
- Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats - Official Site
- 1962 Indianapolis 500 at RacingReference.info (Relief driver statistics)
- 1962 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network