By the time the race was four hours old Carroll Shelby was not worrying, even secretly, about anything. His brakes looked terrific. Gurney and Jerry Grant, in first place, and Miles and Ruby, in third, had the factory Ferrari between them and were playing games. "I can take one second a lap off the Ferrari," Miles said, with the smile of a happy hawk on his bladed, bony face. Ruby was out on the track, and Miles was sitting in the Ford trailer drinking tea. He was clean and fresh, being perhaps the only driver who changes clothes between driving stints.
At a table across the room England's Sir John Whitmore, in from his turn in a Ford GT, sat slumped in a chair, looking truly ill. The day was hot. "Several of them have come off the track looking like that," Miles observed (he already had volunteered that he himself was a lizard and loved heat). "Think of your ancestors, John," he said kindly, "marching across the Arabian desert in all that armor!" Sir John's expression indicated that thinking of his ancestors did not help.
A.J. Foyt came in. A.J. is a smiler—Shelby, Miles, Foyt and Ferrari's Bondurant are all long-distance smilers—and he smiled as he replied, "Oh, about 30," to a question as to where he was running. Foyt and Ronnie Bucknam were driving a Holman-Moody prepared Ford Mark II with an automatic transmission. The transmission was working beautifully, but the boys were boiling their brake fluid. If the boys settled down and stopped boiling the brake fluid, John Holman exquisitely implied, his cars probably could move up into quite respectable positions.
The Shelby-American Fords behaved well through the bulk of the race, but the Ferraris behaved well, too. Miles might have been taking the Parkes-Bondurant Ferrari for a second a lap, but after nine hours it was still running second and was giving few indications of coming trouble. When the trouble finally came at seven in the evening and the factory Ferrari went out, Shelby responded with a fiercely triumphant exclamation. "Got him!" he said, as if he had knocked out a machine-gun nest.
Dan Gurney's disqualification from a race he had led and so nearly won was a shock and a disappointment to the Ford troops, the Gurney fans and to Gurney himself. But for purposes of estimating the extent of the Ford victory, he and the Mark II must be counted in—and the victory was smashing. There is no question that a numerically stronger Ferrari team might have won or at least prevented so thorough a Ford sweep, but if Enzo Ferrari is in earnest about never again sending a full team to a sports car race, then, practically speaking, the field is now all Ford. And Sebring-Daytona Winners Miles and Ruby are only 47 and 38, respectively. This sort of thing could go on for years.