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Indy 500 Classic: Parade Lap Carnage On The Closest Race In Indy History

Posted in History, IndyCar, Racing by Kurt Ernst | May 28th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

To get you psyched for this weekend’s Indy 500 race, here’s a classic Indy video recently posted on Bangshift. The year is 1992, and it’s the coldest Indianapolis 500 on record. How dow I know this? Because I was there, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, freezing my ass off. Souvenir stands had long sold out of anything resembling sweatshirts, so the only option to stay warm was to keep moving. Running back and forth between our seats and beer vendors did the trick, and I survived my Indy experience without getting hypothermia.

Roberto Guerreiro was on the pole for the 1992 race, but crashed out on a parade lap when he tried to spin his rear tires to get heat in them. Rookie Philippe Gache also spun on cold tires during the parade lap, but his car was undamaged and he was able to start the race. Thirty two cars took the green flag, but only twelve finished; eleven of the starters were taken out in accidents (mostly caused by the low temperatures and lack of grip) and an additional nine retired with engine, gearbox or mechanical failure. The high number of cautions gave the race the slowest average speed for an Indy 500 since 1958, despite qualifying speeds as high as 232.481 miles per hour.

Michael Andretti, who never achieved a victory in the Indianapolis 500, led 160 of the race’s 200 laps but was taken out on lap 189 by a fuel pump problem. Al Unser, Jr. went on to win the race, beating Scott Goodyear by the smallest margin in Indy 500 history – just 0.043 of a second. Here’s the video of Little Al’s epic victory:

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2 Responses

  1. Check out the 1961 and 1962 Indy 500 too. http://www.racefanstv.com/channels/open-wheel/indycar/ The ’61 was the golden anniversery and ’62 was the first time the elusive 150mph barrier was broken.

  2. Kurt says:

    Doug, you’ve got a great site there! Added to bookmarks…