Danny Sullivan


Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan
DannySullivan.jpg
Sullivan at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2006.
Born March 9, 1950 (1950-03-09) (age 61)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 1983
Teams Tyrrell
Races 15
Career points 2
First race 1983 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last race 1983 South African Grand Prix
Danny Sullivan
PPG Indycar World Series
Years active 1982-1993, 1995
Teams Forsythe Racing
Shierson Racing
Penske Racing
Patrick Racing
Galles Racing
PacWest Racing
Starts 170
Wins 17
Poles 19
Best finish 1st in 1988
Championship titles
1988 PPG Indycar World Series
Awards
1985 Indianapolis 500 winner

Daniel John "Danny" Sullivan III (born March 9, 1950) is a former racing driver from the United States. He is best known for winning the 1985 Indianapolis 500.

Contents

Before racing

Sullivan was born in Louisville, Kentucky to a building contractor father. He attended the Kentucky Military Institute and then the Jim Russell Racing School. He had several odd jobs before his racing career, including lumberjack, and most famously, New York City cab driver.[1]

Formula One

Sullivan was given a 21st birthday present of a course at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School at the Snetterton circuit in England. He competed in Formula Ford and Formula Three before running out of money and returning to race in the United States. In 1982, he made his début in the PPG Indycar series, and was recruited by the Tyrrell Formula One team for the 1983 season at the request of primary sponsor Benetton, who wanted an American driver. Sullivan competed in the fifteen races of the 1983 season, scoring two points with a fifth place at the Monaco Grand Prix and finishing seventeenth in the World Drivers' Championship. He also performed strongly in the non-championship Race of Champions held at the Brands Hatch circuit in April, finishing second behind reigning champion Keke Rosberg. Nevertheless, he was somewhat overshadowed by his more experienced team-mate, Michele Alboreto, and was not retained at the end of the season.

Indy Car career

Sullivan's Lola T800 at Laguna Seca in 1984.

For 1984, Sullivan returned to America, where he competed in the PPG Indycar series winning the 1985 Indianapolis 500. The "spin and win" footage of his red and white Miller American spinning through 360 degrees down the south short chute (between turns one and two) at Indy after passing Mario Andretti for the lead in the race's 120th lap has been played on countless motorsports programs. Recovering from the spin undamaged except for lightly flat-spotted tires, Sullivan went into the pits for new rubber, then returned to the track and passed Mario a second time twenty laps later to go on for the win. Danny would set the pace at Indy again in 1988, leading 91 of the first 101 laps, until a wing adjuster broke and his car drifted out and smacked the turn 1 wall. Nevertheless, he won the Michgan 500 later that summer, and went on to win the CART Indycar series title for Roger Penske that year.

In 1986, Sullivan was a guest star on the television show Miami Vice ("Florence Italy") playing a race car driver accused of murdering a prostitute. The episode featured some short outdoor scenes in the pit lanes of the Miami Grand Prix. Sullivan had limited dialogue in the episode; His longest piece of dialogue was in a police station interrogation scene.

In 1992, Rare released Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat for Nintendo Entertainment System.

After Indy

In 1994, Sullivan took a sabbatical from Indycar racing, and joined ABC/ESPN as a color commentator. He also attempted to run selected events in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series that season. He, however, qualified for only one race (the 1994 Brickyard 400), and finished 33rd for a very underfunded team. In 1994, he had some guest starts for Alfa Romeo in the DTM and together with Thierry Boutsen and Hans-Joachim Stuck he was third overall with the Dauer 962 LM at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He returned to Indycar racing for one final year in 1995. His season ended early after a serious crash at Michigan International Speedway. While recovering from a broken pelvis and other injuries, he announced his retirement from open-wheel competition. He returned to ABC-TV for 1996-1997.

Sullivan was a paid celebrity endorser for Danny Sullivan Lexus in Jacksonville, Florida. The Lexus Dealership was owned primarily by members of the Davis Family, who were the founders of Winn Dixie supermarkets.

Sullivan was also instrumental in the Red Bull Driver Search program to find an American driver to compete in Formula One. The program successfully promoted American Scott Speed from California, who drove for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in 2006 and 2007.

He was the drivers' representative on the stewards' panel for the 2010 German Grand Prix and served in the same post for the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.[2] [3]

Sullivan and Michael Andretti were inducted into the Motorsports Walk of Fame on April 15, 2011, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which both men have won. [4]

Sullivan serves as a Senior Advisor at Tempus Jets and its parent company, Orion Air Group, LLC. He also has various business relationships with Lexus, ABC/ESPN, CBS, Red Bull, Acura, and Toyota. [5]

Indy 500 results

Year Car Start Qual Rank Finish Laps Led Retired Team
1982 53 13 196.292 17 14 148 0 Crash T4 Forsythe
1984 30 28 203.567 17 29 57 0 Broken Wheel Shierson
1985 5 8 210.298 8 1 200 67 Running Penske
1986 1 2 215.382 2 9 197 0 Flagged Penske
1987 3 16 210.271 6 13 160 4 Engine Penske
1988 9 2 216.214 2 23 101 91 Crash T1 Penske
1989 1 26 216.027 15 28 41 0 Rear Axle Penske
1990 7 9 220.310 9 32 19 0 Crash T1 Penske
1991 20 9 218.343 17 10 173 0 Turbo Patrick/Alfa Romeo
1992 18 8 224.838 9 5 199 0 Flagged Galles/Kraco
1993 7 12 219.428 19 33 29 0 Crash T3 Galles
1995 17 18 225.496 29 9 199 0 Running PacWest
Totals 1523 162
Starts 12
Poles 0
Front Row 2
Best Start 2nd
Wins 1
Top 5 2
Top 10 5
Retired 8
Laps Led 162
Races Led 3
Total Laps 1,523
Winnings $2,064,211

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Points
1983 Benetton Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 011 Cosworth V8 BRA
11
USW
8
FRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
5
BEL
12
DET
Ret
CAN
DSQ
GBR
14
GER
12
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
17th 2
Tyrrell 012 EUR
Ret
RSA
7

Indycar career results

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1982 Forsythe Newman United States
PHO
United States
ATL
3
United States
MIL
21
United States
CLE
United States
MCH
United States
MIL
United States
POC
United States
RIV
United States
ROA
United States
MCH
United States
PHO
            22nd 28
1984 Shierson Racing United States
LBG
24
United States
PHO
6
United States
IND
29
United States
MIL
16
United States
POR
23
United States
MEA
2
United States
CLE
1
United States
MCH
10
United States
ROA
19
United States
POC
1
United States
MDO
3
Canada
SAN
1
United States
MCH
9
United States
PHO
20
United States
LAG
9
United States
LAV
18
  4th 110
1985 Penske United States
LBG
3
United States
IND
1
United States
MIL
4
United States
POR
27
United States
MEA
18
United States
CLE
27
United States
MCH
14
United States
ROA
13
United States
POC
5
United States
MDO
2
Canada
SAN
5
United States
MCH
8
United States
LAG
8
United States
PHO
4
United States
MIA
1
    4th 126
1986 Penske United States
PHO
4
United States
LBG
11
United States
IND
9
United States
MIL
11
United States
POR
11
United States
MEA
1
United States
CLE
1
Canada
TOR
2
United States
MCH
25
United States
POC
16
United States
MDO
3
Canada
SAN
5
United States
MCH
12
United States
ROA
6
United States
LAG
2
United States
PHO
2
United States
MIA
26
3rd 147
1987 Penske United States
LBG
22
United States
PHO
11
United States
IND
13
United States
MIL
11
United States
POR
11
United States
MEA
20
United States
CLE
4
Canada
TOR
2
United States
MCH
4
United States
POC
17
United States
ROA
5
United States
MDO
3
United States
NAZ
22
United States
LAG
2
United States
MIA
12
    9th 87
1988 Penske United States
PHO
23
United States
LBG
13
United States
IND
23
United States
MIL
2
United States
POR
1
United States
CLE
3
Canada
TOR
2
United States
MEA
4
United States
MCH
1
United States
POC
18
United States
MDO
5
United States
ROA
4
United States
NAZ
1
United States
LAG
1
United States
MIA
5
    1st 182
1989 Penske United States
PHO
3
United States
LBG
8
United States
IND
28
United States
MIL
10
United States
DET
24
United States
POR
United States
CLE
United States
MEA
8
Canada
TOR
3
United States
MCH
23
United States
POC
1
United States
MDO
5
United States
ROA
1
United States
NAZ
3
United States
LAG
14
    7th 107
1990 Penske United States
PHO
6
United States
LBG
3
United States
IND
32
United States
MIL
8
United States
DET
14
United States
POR
4
Canada
CLE
1
United States
MEA
14
United States
TOR
4
United States
MCH
21
United States
DEN
2
Canada
VAN
2
United States
MDO
5
United States
ROA
16
United States
NAZ
18
United States
LAG
1
  6th 139
1991 Patrick Racing Australia
SUR
4
United States
LBG
11
United States
PHO
7
United States
IND
10
United States
MIL
5
United States
DET
10
United States
POR
21
United States
CLE
9
United States
MEA
6
Canada
TOR
14
United States
MCH
18
United States
DEN
18
Canada
VAN
9
United States
MDO
17
United States
ROA
16
United States
NAZ
20
United States
LAG
9
11th 56
1992 Galles Racing Australia
SUR
5
United States
PHO
12
United States
LBG
1
United States
IND
5
United States
DET
5
United States
POR
12
United States
MIL
12
United States
NHA
9
Canada
TOR
3
United States
MCH
8
United States
CLE
20
United States
ROA
7
Canada
VAN
7
United States
MDO
8
United States
NAZ
17
United States
LAG
7
  7th 99
1993 Galles Racing Australia
SUR
13
United States
PHO
23
United States
LBG
8
United States
IND
33
United States
MIL
16
United States
DET
1
United States
POR
14
United States
CLE
14
Canada
TOR
3
United States
MCH
United States
LOU
22
United States
ROA
26
Canada
VAN
10
United States
MDO
27
United States
NAZ
20
United States
LAG
27
  12th 43
1995 PacWest Racing United States
MIA
9
Australia
SUR
5
United States
PHO
27
United States
LBG
10
United States
NAZ
18
United States
IND
9
United States
MIL
17
United States
DET
12
United States
POR
22
United States
ROA
25
Canada
TOR
18
United States
CLE
5
United States
MCH
16
United States
MDO
United States
LOU
Canada
VAN
United States
LAG
19th 32

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rick Mears
Indianapolis 500
Winner

1985
Succeeded by
Bobby Rahal
Preceded by
Bobby Rahal
PPG IndyCar World Series
Champion

1988
Succeeded by
Emerson Fittipaldi



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