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Sad News Regarding Rodger Ward

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  • Sad News Regarding Rodger Ward

    Tonight on AudioSport Radio, Ward told how his friend Clark asked Ward to set up a test at IMS to try out his rear-engined F1 car. Ward then asked Mr. Hulman (get this an 82 yr old Ward still referring to the long deceased Hulman as Mr. - shows just a wee bit of respect don't ya think). Ward then set up the whole test. During the test he took several laps and knew then the Roadster was a dying breed.

    Rodger also told how he raced against Clark in an F1 race at Sebrin in a mono-gear "MIDGET". Although, qualifying well was forced to start at the rear of the field. Something to do with the nonsense of a push truck getting in the way of the other cars.

    Fred___________ from Bowes Seal Fast IPS team was there and mentioned how they were stepping up to develop a Players like farm system, and they were looking at the Silver Crown ranks fro their drivers. The goal is to bring a driver into IPS and develop them fro the Bowes IRL team. This could happen by next year. Also they are keeping close contact with the man of Steele.

    Felipe led off the show as I mentioned in a most likely now deleted thread .
    He and Al are scheduled to go three rounds on SPEED's version of celebrity boxing (Fox affiliate - it could happen). He watched the tape with Barnhart. There was a slight unintentional move that probably caught Unser off guard as much as anyting.

    Mentioned he thought Nunn would be a two-car team in the IRL next year. Kanaan was NOT mentioned as the driver.

    He discussed CART's woes on the ovals as he and Tony have compared notes. Felipe is a very pro IRL guy. He keeps referring to himself as an American, which I guess technically correct - South American. Felipe will be a Snowbird as he will now winter in Orlando since Indiana is just too cold.

    He mentioned the Honda and Toyota targeted the IRL due to the fact that they want to sell cars in the states and that they have F1 to sell overseas. That was a/the reason for leaving CART as CART moved to a more international flavor. It made a lot of since,I just never made that connection.

    His comments regarding the last 30 laps at Kentucky, were the yellow monster was always around him. Felipe was trying to help Buddy with the draft. If Buddy was in the draft Sam was out of the way. I missed the reason he was trying to help Buddy. Not sure if it was a team thing, a friendship thing, or if Buddy was going to be slower at the end of the race. Somebody can help-me on that one.

    Felipe fits my IRL driver category

    I WANT DRIVERS IN THE IRL THE WANT TO BE IN THE IRL. I shouted louded, but did not yell!
    Natural Born Cynic

    What irks me (maybe its too soon for the truth), DW was a 16-oval WIN specialist, yet the vast majority those boohooing for him, hardcarders & fans, alike are the same ones trying to kill anything with more than 9 deg banking & 4 corners, where Dan ultimately made his home...

  • #2
    What's the sad news about Ward?
    Proud to be a complainer.

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    • #3
      S-p-e-a-k-i-n-g S-l-ow-l-y,

      He is solely to blame for the rear-engine invasion at IMS.

      Tongue in cheek of course.
      Natural Born Cynic

      What irks me (maybe its too soon for the truth), DW was a 16-oval WIN specialist, yet the vast majority those boohooing for him, hardcarders & fans, alike are the same ones trying to kill anything with more than 9 deg banking & 4 corners, where Dan ultimately made his home...

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      • #4
        Be careful how you write these headlines. You had me thinking Roger had passed away or was ill.

        Sad news regarding the Roadster. Delightful news regarding Roger.
        You are what you greet

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        • #5
          Rodger can't take all the blame.Gurney had already been on to Chapman about coming to Indianapolis and had brought him over to see the 1962 race in which Gurney drove a rear engine car built by Thompson and powered by a Buick.That car was designed by John Crosswaithe(sp) who had worked at Lotus.The next year he penned the infamous "pancake" car.

          Ward may have assisted but the revolution would have happened anyway.
          Proud to be a complainer.

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          • #6
            Rodger Ward. ..I loved running into this gentleman each May. He was always encouraging young drivers up and down pit road. His references to "Mr" Hulman, speak volumes about him.
            Please visit the tribute to my longtime friend Mel Kenyon

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            • #7
              There's a nice Q&A with Ward in the 1998 Indy 500 program, for those interested.

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              • #8
                Isn't Rodger the oldest living 500 winner now?

                Saddest picture I have of him is from the Star the day after he failed to qualify for the 500 for the first time. Sitting their in his rear engined machine with a very sad look.

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                • #9
                  I thot Brabham's ninth place finish in 1961 in a Cooper/Climax was the beginning of the end of the roadsters.??

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                  • #10
                    I, too, enjoy seeing Rodger at the Speedway each May. He's always cordial and smiling!
                    It's funny that Rodger was not a particular favorite of mine in the late 50's and early 60's, but now he is! He's a real class act!
                    Have a very blessed day!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tex:
                      <STRONG>I thot Brabham's ninth place finish in 1961 in a Cooper/Climax was the beginning of the end of the roadsters.??</STRONG>
                      Exactly right! Why anyone is tying the rear engine revolution to Ward is beyond me. Names that are closer to blame are:

                      o Cooper/Climax
                      o Jack Brabham
                      o Colin Chapman
                      o Lotus
                      o Jim Clark
                      o Jackie Stewart
                      o Dan Gurney
                      o Mickey Thompson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrIndy:
                        <STRONG>...closer to blame are:
                        </STRONG>
                        Blame is a strong word, ain't it??
                        And, where's Harry Miller on that list?

                        About oldest living winner: Ward's first win goes back farther, by one year...but I think Jim Rathmann is now oldest.

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                        • #13
                          now who is older Eagle? Dick or Jim? Who really won that race?

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                          • #14
                            Depending on how we determine age, I'd say Jim is now older...but it wasn't always that way.

                            Who won? .. whoever's bank account got the money.

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                            • #15
                              The Ward-Rathmann duels of '59 and '60 were the best Indy 500's I've ever seen!
                              Have a very blessed day!

                              Comment

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