Fort Worth native Johnny Rutherford had competed for 10 years in the Indianapolis 500 without getting the checkered flag. At the beginning of his 11th try in 1974, he sat on the inside of the ninth row in the 25th position among 33 cars. He caught up with the leaders in the first 50 miles and, 175 laps later, he fought off every challenger and won the race. Proving he belonged among the racing greats, Rutherford returned to finish second in 1975 and won again in 1976. He claimed a third Indy victory in 1980, the year he collected almost every honor available to a race driver. Rutherford was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

Johnny Rutherford

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