There are as many exciting Indy 500 moments as there have been races. I dwindled all those moments down into my top five Indy 500 moments.
1982: Gordon Johncock’s Photo Finish Win
0.16 seconds is the exact amount of time Johncock beat Rick Mears in the 1982 Indy 500 race. We’re talking bumpers were next to each other and by the tip of the nose of the car close . A race that could have been Mears’ fifth consecutive win, but was cut as short as the margin of the win between the two drivers. That’s an exciting race to the end to have it come down like that.
1985: Spin It ! Win It !
Danny Sullivan spun out on the turn barely missing the wall and Mario Andretti barely missing him in the spin as they were side-by-side just seconds before. Both men pitted after the spin out for new tires. Laps later Sullivan takes the race.
That’s exactly what Danny Sullivan had happen to him in the 85 Indy 500 race.
1992: Al Unser Junior’s win Obscured by Official
Beating the time from a decade ago, Al Unser Jr. won the 92 Indy 500 by a mere 0.043 seconds. This win made it the closest win yet by any Indy driver during the Brickyard event. The downside for fans watching at home was when ABC cut to another camera to show the win, fans found they weren’t able to see it due to a track official obstructing the view of the camera waving a sign as the checkered flag was waved for the winner.
Thank goodness for the with its overhead shots that enabled fans at home to see the win.
2006: Sam Hornish Jr . and Michael Andretti Showdown
You’ve may have heard the saying, “I should have zigged when I zagged.” If not, no worries that is what Andretti should have done during the last few seconds of the 06 Indy 500. That one move allowed Sam Hornish Jr. to slip around him just seconds before crossing the finish line to get the checkered flag.
2005: Dan Wheldon Wins over Danica Patrick
Having a bad time qualifying higher up in the pack, this year’s showdown was between Dan Wheldon and Danicka Patrick. But this wasn’t the end of it for him. When he pitted under a caution Patrick and Herta took over the top two spots.
On lap 186 Wheldon’s driving landed him back in second place just behind Danica. She was told to save on fuel to make it to the finish, but that gave Wheldon the chance to take the lead for the win. With another crash in a turn, he did manage to take the lead from her.
During the last 10 laps, Patrick took the lead back from Wheldon. However, she was still in fuel conservation mode and couldn’t put the distance between the two of them. Three laps later, Wheldon passed her again and took the lead setting a further distance between the two of them. Patrick soon became less of a worry for him because she fell back to fourth while Vitor Meira came up in the pack to chase him to victory.