Rodger Ward

Rodger Ward (Jan. 10, 1921 – Jul. 5, 2004) was an American race-car driver who won the 1959 and 1962 Indianapolis 500. He also was the 1959 and 1962 USAC Championship Car champion. Ward was born in Beloit, Kansas, and died in Anaheim, California.


Midget car racing
Ward shocked the midget car racing world when he broke Offenhauser motor's long winning streak by using Vic Edelbrock's Ford 60 "shaker" motor at Gilmore Stadium on August 10, 1950. The motor was one of the first motors to feature nitromethane. Ward and Edelbrock went to the Orange Show Stadium the following night and won again. Ward used his midget car in 1959 to beat the top expensive and exotic sports cars in a Formula Libre race at Lime Rock Park. Midget cars were normally considered competitive for oval tracks only before that time.

Championship cars
He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1950-1966 seasons with over 150 starts, including the 1951-1964 and 1966 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten in more than half his starts, with 26 victories.

Other car racing
He won the 1951 AAA Stock Car championship. His 1959 season ended by competing in the only United States Grand Prix held at Sebring Raceway.

World Championship career summary
The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Rodger Ward participated in 12 World Championship races, including 10 starts at Indy along with the 1959 United States Grand Prix and the 1963 United States Grand Prix. He started on the pole 0 times, won 1 race, set 0 fastest laps, and finished on the podium 2 times. He accumulated a total of 14 championship points.

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