Born in 1921, Rodger Ward was regarded as a car breaker during his early career in the American Championship Series. His first five appearances at the Indy 500 resulted in five retirements. Fortunately, Ward’s team bosses spotted enough talent to retain him and he scored breakthrough victories in 1953, winning back-to-back races in his Kurtis-offenhauser.
Ward would go on to be Indy’s dominant driver between 1959 to ‘64, competing against AJ Foyt and Parnelli Jones. He won the race twice – in 1959 and ‘62 – as well as finishing second twice, third once and fourth once.
“I’ve won Indy twice,” said Ward, “but my finest memory was winning at Lime Rock.”