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1976 Indy 500

Source: Lane Stewart / Getty

Tonight on Beyond the Bricks, Jake and Mike are by a special guest, Johnny Rutherford! Rutherford tells his story about how he got into racing, including the first race he ever saw at Tulsa on a quarter-mile dirt track. Rutherford talks about Kurtis-Kraft race cars, and why he enjoyed racing so much. We hear audio of Rutherford’s first qualifying attempt, in which he bumped Pedro Rodriguez. 

In the second half of the show, Jake and Mike talk to Johnny Rutherford about how he got to work with McLaren and become their driver. He talks about how challenging his early years of racing were, and when he knew he had found the right car and team in 1974. We hear audio from Rutherford’s first win, and how traveling around a lot as a kid allowed him to be a better race car driver. Johnny talks about his favorite ice cream flavors, and how the myth about his liking of strawberry ice cream came to be. Rutherford talks about how he met his wife Betty when she was a nurse at the track.  

In the final segment of the show, Johnny talks about the Pennzoil Chaparral, and how dominant it was in 1980. He talks about breaking records with it, and how much downforce the car had. We hear audio of Johnny’s win in 1980. He also talks about some of the memorabilia he will have at the memorabilia show in Plainfield. 

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Johnny Rutherford Tells the Story of His Racing Career  was originally published on 1075thefan.com