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Gordon Johncock

GORDON JOHNCOCK competed in 24 Indianapolis 500 races, winning in 1973 and 1982 and finishing sixth or higher ten times. He might have added two more wins to his record had a crankshaft not broken while he was in the lead with 16 laps to go in 1977, or had an engine not blown while he was running in second place with seven laps remaining in 1981. He led Indianapolis 500 races for a total of 339 laps, and from 1992 until 2007 ranked third behind A.J. Foyt and Al Unser in terms of career laps completed (3,158). Johncock’s margin of victory over Rick Mears in 1982 — only .16 seconds — was the closest in Speedway history until surpassed by the margin of .043 seconds in 1992. The 1976 National Champion, Johncock won 25 such events from 1965 through 1983, with 51 additional finishes of either second or third. A leading super-modified short-track driver in the early 1960s, Johncock briefly participated in United States Auto Club sprint cars, setting a single-lap record of 17.18 seconds (104.773 miles per hour) at the half-mile Winchester, Indiana, Speedway in 1964. He also participated in occasional United States Auto Club stock car races, winning twice in 1973, at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds and at Texas World Speedway.