Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1962 Indianapolis 500

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Sanctioning body  USAC
Date  May 30, 1962
Winning team  Leader Cards
Season  1962 USAC season
Winner  Rodger Ward
1962 Indianapolis 500
Average speed  140.293 mph (225.780 km/h)

The 46th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Wednesday, May 30, 1962.


A historic pole day as Parnelli Jones breaks the 150 mph (240 km/h) barrier in qualifying. Rodger Ward and Len Sutton finish 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.

Time trials

Time trials was 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 becomes 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
  • Saturday May 19 – Third day time trials
  • Sunday May 20 – Fourth day time trials
  • First half

    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.

    Second half

    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.


  • First alternate: Dempsey Wilson (#31)
  • Radio

    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.


    A few minutes of highlights were shown on ABC's "Wide World Of Sports".


    1962 Indianapolis 500 Wikipedia

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