Jud Phillips compiled an enviable record of mechanical reliability in American Automobile Association and United States Auto Club Championship racing over a 30-year period. He scored 18 Championship wins with drivers Bobby Unser, Don Branson, Mike Mosely, Billy Vukovich (Jr.), and Tom Sneva, including the 1968 Indianapolis 500 with Unser. Often with less well financed teams, cars prepared by Phillips finished 12th or higher in 21 Indianapolis 500s from 1952 through 1981, including 12 top-five and six top-three finishes.
Unlike many of his colleagues, he apparently had little difficulty adapting to each of racing’s many changes, from dirt cars to roadsters, to rear-engine cars, to bolt-on rear wings, and even ground effects. Equally successful in sprint car racing, first as mechanic for car owner Bob Estes and later for his own team, Phillips won championships with Pat O’Connor and Don Branson. During his illustrious career, he also worked with such standout drivers as Mario Andretti, Eddie Sachs, Jimmy Bryan, and Al Unser.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum