1989 Indianapolis 500


1989 Indianapolis 500

The 1989 Indianapolis 500 was held at Indianapolis on Sunday, May 28, 1989. It was the 73rd running of the event.

Race events

The front row for the race was Rick Mears, Al Unser, Sr. and Emerson Fittipaldi. Mears, in a Pennzoil-sponsored Penske-Chevrolet, qualified for the pole with a speed of 223.885 mph. Unser, Jr. was the driver of the Valvoline-sponsored Galles Racing entry while Fittipaldi was the driver of the Marlboro-sponsored car owned by Patrick Racing.

In the first laps, Kevin Cogan had a large crash with the inside frontstretch wall, rebounding into the attenuating barrier at the pit entrance, practically disintegrating his car and slicing it in half as it came to a stop in the pit area. Amazingly, Cogan climbed out unhurt.

After a less than memorable first half, Emerson Fittipaldi dominated until the three-quarter mark. Michael Andretti came to the lead, but lost an engine while leading. Fittipaldi regained the lead, with Al Unser, Jr. second. The remainder of the field ran at least six laps behind. A late-race caution came out, and Fittipaldi pitted for fuel. Gambling on track position, Unser, Jr. stayed out and decided not to pit for fuel. Team owner Rick Galles decided not to pit, as their fuel calculations were close, and even if Unser, Jr. ran out of fuel on the final lap, they would still finish no worse than second since third place Raul Boesel was six laps behind.

On lap 196 Al Unser, Jr. took the lead from Emerson Fittipaldi. With two laps to go, Unser, Jr. approached slower traffic. Fittipaldi closed in, and on the backstrech, pulled inside Unser, Jr. Running side-by-side in turn three, the Brazilian’s Penske drifted slightly high and the cars touched wheels. Unser spun around into the turn 3 wall. The pace car escorted "Emmo" to his first Indy win. In the a post-race interview Unser, Jr. was asked whether the accident could have been avoided, he believed not as both he and Fittipaldi "Both wanted to win it badly."

Race results

Failed to Qualify: Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. (#17/#24), Tom Bigelow (#66), Steve Butler (#61), Steve Chassey (#79, #97), Dale Coyne (#39), Dick Ferguson (#47), Stan Fox (#84), Michael Greenfield (#17/#63), Scott Harrington (#44), Phil Krueger (#77), Buddy Lazier (#35), Bobby Olivero, Steve Saleen (#59), Johnny Parsons (#59/#69), John Paul, Jr. (#39/#79/#97), Johnny Rutherford (#98/#14T)

Quotes

"They're side-by-side, Emmo on the inside, Al covered traffic goes high, they touched wheels, Al Jr. hit into the wall hard, Emerson Fittipaldi keeps on going, they touched wheels, Al Jr. into the wall and Emerson Fittipaldi will lead them back to the yellow flag" - Larry Henry described the crash involving Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi on Lap 198 for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.

"Fittipaldi comes inside Little Al! A drag race on the back side again... Slower traffic moves to the right... Can Fittipaldi get past? Little Al brings it down low... They touch! Little Al into the wall, Fittipaldi continues on! Little Al slams the wall, as Emerson Fittipaldi screams toward the white flag - the yellow flag comes out!" - Paul Page on ABC television.

Trivia

* The field for this race is replicated in the video game format in the 1989 release .

* The 1989 race was the best Indy 500 result for Rich Vogler (8th place). It also was the best finish for Raul Boesel (3rd place) among his many Indy 500 starts.

Indy 500 Walker
Previous_race = 1988
Previous_winner = Rick Mears
This_race = 1989
This_winner = Emerson Fittipaldi
Next_race = 1990
Next_winner = Arie Luyendyk

External links

* [http://www.indy500.com/photo/gallery.php?series_id=a:2:{i:0;i:1;i:1;i:6;}&event_id=133&track_id=4&eventDate=1989-01-01&display=60&offset=0 Gallery of photos from the event, official website of the Indianapolis 500]


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