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For a generation of racing fans, and for racing history buffs to this day, Rodger Ward embodies the post-war era of open wheel racing in the United States. Kansas-born, he was a P-38 fighter pilot in World War II, then made his name in racing by starring on the budding Southern California sprint car scene. Ward emerged from the regional scene to national prominence and became a star at the Indianapolis 500, the pinnacle of U.S. open wheel racing. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1959 and 1962, the same years he won USAC season points titles, and his name still looms large at Indianapolis, where he made 15 starts. In Wards day, drivers didnt specialize, they raced every chance they got, so he competed in Mexican road races, the Monza Race of Two Worlds, Grand Prix (Formula 1), and he even won a AAA stock car points title. He raced from 1948-1966 and he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992. He died in 2004 at age 83. From the Inside Flap In his time on the championship trail, Rodger Ward became a symbol of the most beloved era in American racing. Rodger Ward: Superstar of American Racing's Golden Age tells his story. From his Kansas boyhood to the busy postwar Southern California midget racing scene to his emergence as a world-class driver, it?s all chronicled in words and pictures. Racing writer Mike O?Leary brings to life the curly-haired hero whose broad smile and irrepressible twinkle won the hearts of racing fans from coast to coast. Although he started his career by exaggerating his abilities, he soon backed up his promises. By the time he was done, he had used Ford power to beat the Offys at Gilmore, risen to 9th all-time in Indy 500 laps led and 8th in Indy car victories overall, won two national championships, won two national stock car titles, and raced sports cars at Monza. Of course, it wasn?t all wine and roses. The racing circuit was a close-knit group of men who worked, played and traveled together. The twenty-year period during which Ward raced saw almost as many die as win, and those who took the final checker weren?t just competitors--they were friends. In addition to the brilliant successes and devastating failures that endeared Ward to generations of racing fans, O?Leary also describes Ward?s little-known stint as an Army P-38 fighter pilot during World War II and the business ventures that kept him involved in racing after he retired. Best of all, this biography not only provides the first in-depth portrait of one of racing?s heroes, it recreates a unique and fondly remembered era in American racing.
Condition: This is a NEW BOOK
Author: Mike O'Leary
Binding Type: Hardcover
Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches