50th Anniversary celebration preview

RATHMANN, WHITE, RUTHERFORD, BETTENHAUSEN TO JOIN USAC's 50TH SEASON CELEBRATION SATURDAY Indianapolis 500 winners Jim Rathmann and Johnny Rutherford and all-time USAC greats Don White and Gary Bettenhausen will join champions of...

RATHMANN, WHITE, RUTHERFORD, BETTENHAUSEN TO JOIN USAC's 50TH SEASON CELEBRATION SATURDAY

Indianapolis 500 winners Jim Rathmann and Johnny Rutherford and all-time USAC greats Don White and Gary Bettenhausen will join champions of USAC's 50th racing season at next Saturday night's (Jan. 28) "Night of Champions" celebration at the Westin Hotel's Golden Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

Rathmann, of Melbourne, Fla., won the Indianapolis 500 in 1960 and in 1958 captured all three legs of the "Race of Two Worlds" at the Monza Autodrome in Italy, a 500-mile race for Indianapolis cars held on the circuit's now-defunct high-banked oval. He also finished second at Indy three times.

White, of Keokuk, Iowa, earned the 1963 and 1967 USAC National Stock Car Championship during a career which included an all-time USAC record 53 Stock Car victories.

Rutherford, of Fort Worth, Texas was victorious at Indianapolis in 1974, 1976 and 1980 and won the 1965 USAC National Sprint Car title. He won 27 Indy-car races and eight Sprint car races under USAC sanction.

Bettenhausen, of Monrovia, Ind., ranks fourth in terms of all-time USAC feature wins with 82. A 21-time starter at Indy he finished third in 1980 and fifth twice. In 1969 and 1971 he wonsac Sprint Car titles and in 1980 and 1983 he added Silver Crown titles.

Saturday night's banquet honors all of USAC's driving champions from 2005 as well as numerous special award recipients. Video presentations will include highlights of USAC's 50-year racing history plus special addresses from former USAC driving champions.

Jack Arute, who will anchor USAC's 2006 Outdoor Channel television coverage, will serve at the master of ceremonies for the banquet, which begins with cocktails 5 pm presented by Dodge Motorsports and dinner at 6 presented by Hoosier Racing Tires.

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Series USAC
Drivers Johnny Rutherford