Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1963 Tony Bettenhausen 200

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Date  August 18, 1963
1963 Tony Bettenhausen 200
Official name  17th Tony Bettenhausen 200
Location  The Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin
Course  Permanent racing facility 1 mi / 1.609 km
Distance  200 laps 200 mi / 321.8 km
Weather  Temperatures reaching up to 73 °F (23 °C); wind speeds approaching 22 miles per hour (35 km/h)

The 1963 Tony Bettenhausen 200 was the seventh round of the 1963 USAC Championship Car season, held on August 18, 1963, at the 1-mile (1.6 km) Milwaukee Mile, in West Allis, Wisconsin.


The race was the first American Championship Car race won by a rear-engined car. Jim Clark and Team Lotus had finished second at the 1963 Indianapolis 500 after a controversy surrounding the lack of a black flag for winner Parnelli Jones, whose car was leaking oil. Colin Chapman and Team Lotus decided to return to Champ Car competition at Milwaukee and Trenton later in the year. The rear-engined Lotuses dominated practice and qualifying, breaking the track record by over a second. In the race, Clark led all 200 laps and lapped the entire field, save for second place A. J. Foyt. Clark's teammate Dan Gurney finished third, battling a misfire.

Although a rear-engined car would not win the Indianapolis 500 until 1965, the win signaled a shift in Champ Car design. The last win for a front-engined roadster on a paved track was the opening round of the 1965 season at Phoenix, barely a year and a half after Clark's Milwaukee victory.


Clark, Gurney, Foyt, and Jones broke the previous qualifying record set in 1961 by Don Branson at 34.09 sec (105.62 mph / 169.94kph).

Standings after the race

National Championship standings
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included.
  • References

    1963 Tony Bettenhausen 200 Wikipedia

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