Prior to 1959, I ran pretty well on the mile tracks with the dirt cars, but at Indianapolis, I never had a car that was quite suitable. Finally, in 1959, I got a chance to drive for Bob Wilke and A. J. Watson, who was Wilke’s chief mechanic. I have to say that the difference in automobiles was so absolutely unbelievable. I could go out there and run left-handed faster than I ever ran before! So it was just great, and of course almost every day, during the 1959 practice, I would go out and run, and come back with the quick time for the day.
Finally, one day, Watson said to me, “Roger, how fast could you drive this car if you really had to?” I said, “You know, Watson, I don’t honestly know, but I guess we’ll probably find out on race day.” Of course on race day, I won the race rather handily. I just couldn’t believe it. It was such an unbelievable experience to win that race. In fact, the pace car I won that year was a Buick and I didn’t even put it in the garage. I parked it out front. So, at night, I would get up and look at it and say, “Oh yeah, there it is. I must have won!”
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