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The 1959 USAC Championship Car season consisted of 13 races, beginning in Daytona Beach, Florida on April 4 and concluding in Sacramento, California on October 25. There were also three non-championship events. The USAC National Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner was Rodger Ward. In this tragic season 7 fatal accidents occurred. During the pre-season, Marshall Teague was fatally injured in a crash at Daytona. He was 37 years old. In the first race of the season at Daytona, 34-year-old George Amick was killed in an accident on the last lap. In the second race of the season at Trenton, Dick Linder was killed; he was 36 years old. The third race of the season, the Indy 500, had two fatalities. On May 2, Jerry Unser (26 years old) was killed in a practice accident, and on May 19 death Bob Cortner (32 years old) was also killed in a practice accident. On July 19 at Mechanicsburg in the Indianapolis Sweepstakes non-championship race Van Johnson was killed in an accident; he was 32 years old. On August 30, 32-year-old Ed Elisian was killed at the Milwaukee Mile. The year 1959 could be considered one of the most tragic seasons in American open-wheel car history.

1959 USAC Championship Car season
USAC National Championship Trail
Season
Races13
Start dateApril 4
End dateOctober 25
Awards
National championUnited States Rodger Ward
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Rodger Ward
← 1958
1960 →

Contents

Schedule and resultsEdit

Rnd Date Race Name Track Location Type Pole Position Winning Driver
1 April 4   Daytona 100 Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Florida Paved   Dick Rathmann   Jim Rathmann
NC April 4   USAC/FIA Formula Libre Race Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Florida Paved   Dick Rathmann   Jim Rathmann
2 April 19   Race of Champions Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey Paved   Don Branson   Tony Bettenhausen
3 May 30   International 500 Mile SweepstakesA Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana Paved   Johnny Thomson   Rodger Ward
4 June 7   Rex Mays Classic Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin Paved   Johnny Thomson   Johnny Thomson
5 June 14   Langhorne 100 Langhorne Speedway Langhorne, Pennsylvania Dirt   Jud Larson   Van Johnson
NC July 4   Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Pikes Peak Highway Pikes Peak, Colorado Hill   Slim RobertsB   Bobby Unser
NC July 19   Indianapolis Sweepstakes Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania Dirt   Rodger Ward   Rodger Ward
6 August 22   Springfield 100 Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield, Illinois Dirt   Don Branson   Len Sutton
7 August 30   Milwaukee 200 Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin Paved   Shorty Templeman   Rodger Ward
8 September 7   Ted Horn Memorial DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Du Quoin, Illinois Dirt   Don Branson   Rodger Ward
9 September 12   Syracuse 100 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse, New York Dirt   Johnny Thomson   Eddie Sachs
10 September 19   Hoosier Hundred Indiana State Fairgrounds Indianapolis, Indiana Dirt   Rodger Ward   Rodger Ward
11 September 27   Trenton 100 Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey Paved   Eddie Sachs   Eddie Sachs
12 October 18   Bobby Ball Memorial Arizona State Fairgrounds Phoenix, Arizona Dirt   Lloyd Ruby   Tony Bettenhausen
13 October 25   Golden State 100 California State Fairgrounds Sacramento, California Dirt   Wayne Weiler   Jim Hurtubise
  Paved/Dirt Oval
  Road Course/Hill Climb
  Non-championship race
^A Indianapolis 500 was USAC-sanctioned and counted towards the 1959 FIA World Championship of Drivers title.
^B No pole is awarded for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, in this schedule on the pole is the driver who started first. No lap led was awarded for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, however, a lap was awarded to the drivers that completed the climb.

Final points standingsEdit

Note: At the Milwaukee 200 started with the car #16 Jim Rathmann, after 29 lap the relieved driver A. J. Foyt led the car the remaining 171 lap and finished 4, so the car completed the 200 lap. The points for this place was 240 points, Jim Rathmann became 34,8 points and A. J. Foyt became 205,2 points; because the method: (the points for the finish place) / (number the lap when completed the car) * (number the lap when completed the driver).


Pos Driver DAY
 
TRE1
 
INDY
 
MIL1
 
LAN
 
SPR
 
MIL2
 
DQSF
 
SYR
 
ISF
 
TRE2
 
SAC
 
PHX
 
Pts
1   Rodger Ward 2 2 1 13 18 1 1 3 1 18 3 17 2400
2   Tony Bettenhausen 18 1 4 17 17 17 16 3 6 15 2 1 8 1430
3   Johnny Thomson 7 20 3 1 DNQ 4 2 16 16 Wth 1400
4   Jim Rathmann 1 4 2 DNQ 4 1154,8
5   A. J. Foyt 8 DNQ 10 3 13 15 25 DNQ 9 3 19 2 DNS 910,2
6   Eddie Sachs 19 19 17 7 18 7 10 18 1 2 1 DNQ 10 797
7   Don Branson 11 13 24 9 9 2 2 2 17 5 5 15 780
8   Johnny Boyd 6 2 5 DNQ 760
9   Len Sutton 20 16 32 10 14 1 19 4 8 5 22 16 11 520
10   Paul Goldsmith 5 22 DNQ 500
11   Don Freeland 22 8 8 9 3 15 17 7 480
12   Bobby Grim 7 26 11 16 16 26 5 5 6 9 6 DNQ 480
13   Gene Force 12 DNQ 20 14 DNQ 7 14 4 4 3 450
14   Jim McWithey 16 DNQ DNQ 14 DNQ 9 4 4 8 17 4 450
15   Eddie Johnson 8 23 3 390
16   Dick Rathmann 5 DNP 20 DNQ 7 6 7 12 DNP DNQ 370
17   Bob Veith DNQ DNP 12 6 10 8 9 8 18 340
18   Duane Carter 7 DNQ DNP 12 310
19   Al Keller 13 DNP 18 5 3 DNQ 7 300
20   Jud Larson 16 29 4 2 DNS DNP 280
21   Jim Hurtubise 16 7 DNQ 1 260
22   Shorty Templeman DNQ DNQ 11 17 13 12 6 9 6 250
23   Jack Turner 27 12 6 6 DNQ DNQ DNQ 250
24   Ed Elisian 15 3 5 22 240
25   Elmer George 6 6 DNQ DNQ 5 233
26   Van Johnson 10 DNQ 1 230
27   Paul Russo DNQ 9 DNQ DNQ 200
28   Wayne Weiler DNQ DNQ 10 12 14 DNQ 11 7 7 190
29   Chuck Weyant 28 DNQ 12 11 8 11 11 DNQ 170
30   Bill Homeier DNQ DNQ DNQ DNP DNQ 10 9 11 5 165
31   Al Farmer DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 20 DNQ 2 160
32   Jimmy Davies 15 3 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 15 140
33   Bob Christie 3 15 25 DNQ 140
34   Ralph Liguori DNQ 6 DNQ DNQ DNQ 8 17 130
35   Rex Easton DNQ 4 120
36   George Amick 4 120
37   Jim Packard 10 11 DNQ 14 11 13 20 DNQ 15 18 21 8 DNQ 120
38   Chuck Arnold DNQ 5 15 DNQ DNQ 18 DNQ DNQ 13 100
39   Gene Hartley 11 DNQ 24 100
40   Bill Cheesbourg 12 DNQ 21 21 DNQ DNQ 21 10 12 DNQ 10 DNQ DNQ 80
41   Jerry Unser DNQ 8 DNQ 50
42   Joe Barzda 9 16 DNQ 40
43   Pat Flaherty 9 17 19 19 40
44   Bill Hyde DNQ 9 40
45   Buddy Cagle 18 DNP 10 DNQ 30
46   Jack Rounds 10 DNQ 30
47   Lee Drollinger DNQ DNQ 11 DNQ 13 DNQ 20
48   Dempsey Wilson 17 DNQ 15 DNQ 13 DNQ 12 16 10
49   Johnny Tolan DNQ DNQ DNQ 12 10
50   Len Duncan 12 10
-   Lloyd Ruby DNQ DNQ 13 14 13 18 DNQ 0
-   Chuck Hulse DNQ 13 0
-   Al Herman 13 0
-   Bob Cleberg 14 14 0
-   Bob McLean 17 14 0
-   Jimmy Daywalt 14 DNQ 0
-   Bill Randall 14 0
-   Dick Linder 14 0
-   Russ Congdon DNQ 15 DNQ DNQ 0
-   Gig Stephens 15 0
-   Tony Bonadies 21 16 0
-   Bob Schroeder 18 DNQ 0
-   Johnny Kay 18 0
-   Ray Crawford 23 0
-   Mike Magill DNQ 30 0
-   Red Amick 31 DNQ DNQ 0
-   Jimmy Bryan 33 0
-   Johnny Moorhouse DNQ DNQ DNS 0
-   Bob Wente DNQ DNS 0
-   Bob Said DNS 0
-   Leon Clum DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
-   Herb Hill DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
-   Chuck Rodee DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
-   Earl Motter DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
-   Don Davis DNQ DNQ 0
-   Norm Hall DNQ DNQ 0
-   Bob Cortner DNQ 0
-   Chuck Daigh DNQ 0
-   Don Edmunds DNQ 0
-   Jack Ensley DNQ 0
-   Andy Furci DNQ 0
-   Eddie Russo DNQ 0
-   George Morris DNQ 0
-   Johnny Wood DNQ 0
-   Ernie Koch DNQ 0
-   Johnny Parsons DNP 0
Pos Driver DAY
 
TRE1
 
INDY
 
MIL1
 
LAN
 
SPR
 
MIL2
 
DQSF
 
SYR
 
ISF
 
TRE2
 
SAC
 
PHX
 
Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th-10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
Rookie of the Year
Rookie

ReferencesEdit

  • Åberg, Andreas. "USAC National Championship 1959". Driver Database. Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  • "1959 USAC National Championship Trail". ChampCarStats.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  • http://media.indycar.com/pdf/2011/IICS_2011_Historical_Record_Book_INT6.pdf (p. 276-277)

See alsoEdit