Racer Of The Day: Gordon Johncock

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Gordon Johncock after one of his two Indianapolis 500 victories. (IMS Photo)
Gordon Johncock after one of his two Indianapolis 500 victories. (IMS Photo)

With most of the motorsports world on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve decided to highlight some of the sport’s legends on a daily basis. We begin each story within the pages of National Speed Sport News.

Fifty-two years ago, Gordon Johncock won the California 200 that opened the 1968 USAC season at Hanford (Calif.) Speedway.

It was Johncock’s second consecutive victory at the 1.5-mile banked track. The 31-year-old driver earned $8,756 for the victory in front of a crowd of 15,500.

The Michigan native went on to win the sport’s most prestigious race — the Indianapolis 500 — in 1973 and 1982.

Johncock won 20 times in 200 starts during his Indy car career that ended with the 1992 Indianapolis 500. Johncock, who is now 83, also made 21 NASCAR Cup Series starts.

Gordon Johncock is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. (IMS Photo)