After the success of the 1961 racing season, with thirty eight consecutive wins through the summer and a class win at Indianapolis in the fall, it's no surprise that Pop Kennedy was eager to return to Indianapolis for the 1962 NHRA Nationals. Again he drove the red '61 Invicta, with the drag slicks in the trunk. Pete Reynolds paid for the trip and Pop was more than happy to drive back to Indy.
Eager to show the drag racing world that what happened in '61 was no fluke, Pop was prepared (well, almost- we'll get to that.) This time he repeated his class win in D-Stock Automatic, and even improved on his speed. From last year's 15.19 second run at 91.21, Pop and the Invicta turned in a 15.85 at 93.20 MPH to take the class for a second time in a row. Slightly slower time, but higher top speed, and he still won the class.
Pop was a happy man indeed. At least most of the time. At one point during the weekend, Pop was asked by the Technical Inspectors to pull the heads. He complied, but realized that he forgot to bring spare head gaskets and was forced to re-use them. There's that little issue I hinted at. No problem- not only did they withstand the race, but he drove home on them as well. The back to back wins were noted in the Novenber, 1962 issue of Hot Rod where Pop and the Invicta even got their photograph in the magazine. And upon returning to California, Pop and Pete and the proud Invicta posed with the trophy for a great photo.
Below you can enjoy the article from Hot Rod and our photos. That sure was one sweet running Buick.
|Pop and the Invicta staged for the race.|
|Pop Kennedy and Pete Reynolds pose with the prizes|