1965 Golden State 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1965)

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Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1965 Golden State 100 was the penultimate race of the 1965 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 24th October at the California State Fairgrounds, the race would ultimately be won by polesitter Don Branson in a Watson-Offenhauser, following a duel with Meskowski-Offenhauser's A.J. Foyt and Kuzma-Offenhauser's Mario Andretti.


The 1965 Golden State 100 was the 15th running of the event, with the annual race lasting 100 miles.[1] The only 1965 USAC Championship Car Season race to occur at California State Fairgrounds,[2] the race would be on the USAC schedule until 1970, when the original speedway itself closed soon after, the Fairgrounds themselves having been relocated two years prior.[3]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Don Branson winning the pole position with a speed of 96.489 mph.[4][1] Directly behind him was Mario Andretti, with George Snider lining up third out of 18 competitors in a Watson-Offenhauser.[1]

The Race

With the starting order decided, the 1965 Golden State 100 commenced on 24th October.[1] Andretti shot into the lead on lap 1, holding it until Branson moved back into the first position on lap 3.[1] He defended his lead for another 38 laps, before Andretti again took over.[1] Andretti was able to protect his lead for 37 laps, but Branson again managed to pull in front, in what was ultimately the final lead change of the race.[1][4] He therefore claimed victory and $7,500 in prize money.[4][1] This was his third victory of the season.[4][2] Foyt, having climbed up the field from ninth, beat Andretti for second,[1] having almost been unable to complete the race on three cylinders, therefore lacking the ability to maintain top speed throughout the event.[4] Andretti held on to finish third.[1]


According to IndyCar on TV, 45 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 4th December 1965 as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the National Invitational Pocket Billiards Classic.[5] The broadcast has yet to resurface however, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available. Nevertheless, a few photos can be viewed online.



See Also