In the late 1960s and early ’70s there was no better measure of a race driver than how he performed in USAC’s sprint division and nobody performed better than Larry Dickson.
“Lightning Larry” scored 45 victories and three championships in a seven-year span that was highlighted by his rivalry with Gary Bettenhausen.
USAC became the Larry & Gary Show as they swapped the title four times in four years from 1969-72 and packed the house from Terre Haute to Reading to Winchester. It also became known as the Thunder (Bettenhausen) and Lightning (Dickson) division.
Dickson made eight starts in the Indianapolis 500 but only finished once (ninth in 1969) as he was plagued by mechanical trouble and less than top notch equipment until Russ Polak bought him a McLaren chassis in 1978 and he qualified ninth.
Now 79, Dickson resides in Indianapolis where he continues to refurbish houses.