Sunday, May 24, 1992






!!  13 injured racedrivers  !!

with the following brave 33 race legends:

Al Unser jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Arie Luyendyk, Lyn St. James, Eddie Cheever, Paul Tracy,  John Paul Jr.,  Dominic Dobson, Scott Goodyear, Mario Andretti, Roberto Guerrero, Al Unser sr, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, Raul Boesel, John Andretti, Brian Bonner, Jim Crawford, Gordon Johncock, Tom Sneva, A.J. Foyt, Scott Pruett, Gary Bettenhausen, Stan Fox, Rick Mears, Philippe Gache, Eric Bachelart, Jeff Andretti, Michael Andretti, Scott Brayton, Jimmy Vasser, Buddy Lazier and Ted Prappas.


 With the original American live commentary and no commercials breaks !


Historical race with multiple stunning crashes


1992 Indianapolis 500

The 76th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24, 1992. The race is famous for the fierce battle in the closing laps, as race winner Al Unser, Jr. held off second place Scott Goodyear for the victory by 0.043 seconds, the closest finish in Indy history.

Cold temperatures and high winds turned the race into a crash-filled, marathon day, dominated by Michael Andretti. Andretti led 160 laps and was 30 seconds in front on lap 189 of 200 when his fuel pump failed. The tone for the race was set early when pole position winner Roberto Guerrero crashed on the pace lap. A race-record ten former winners started in the field. Thirteen cars were eliminated in crashes during the race, and several other serious wrecks occurred during practice.

Following the race, sweeping changes came about at the track, largely in the interest of safety. In addition, a noticeable "changing of the guard" followed, as the 1992 race signaled the final race for several Indy legends, including A. J. Foyt


1Colombia Roberto GuerreroUnited States Eddie CheeverUnited States Mario Andretti
2Netherlands Arie LuyendykUnited States Gary BettenhausenUnited States Michael Andretti
3United States Scott BraytonUnited States Danny SullivanUnited States Rick Mears
4United States Bobby RahalBrazil Emerson FittipaldiUnited States Al Unser, Jr.
5United States Stan FoxUnited States John AndrettiBelgium Eric Bachelart (R)
6France Philippe Gache (R)United States Scott PruettUnited States John Paul, Jr.
7Canada Paul Tracy (R)United States Jeff AndrettiUnited Kingdom Jim Crawford
8United States Al UnserUnited States A. J. FoytUnited States Buddy Lazier
9Brazil Raul BoeselUnited States Brian Bonner (R)United States Lyn St. James (R)
10United States Jimmy Vasser (R)United States Dominic DobsonUnited States Tom Sneva
11United States Gordon JohncockUnited States Ted Prappas (R)Canada Scott Goodyear
     Guerrero crashed during the second parade lap, and did not start the race. Gache also spun on the parade lap, and drove to the pits and missed the start. He joined the field on lap 3.
     Scott Goodyear and Mike Groff were teammates for Walker Racing. Goodyear was the full-time primary driver (entered in a 1992 chassis), and Groff the second team driver (entered in a 1991 chassis). Due to a lingering oil pressure problem,[1] and the hectic nature of the abbreviated pole day time trials session, Goodyear and Groff temporarily swapped cars to qualify, in order to take advantage of the favorable draw. At the close of qualifying, the team pre-planned to swap the drivers back to their original cars, and Goodyear and Groff would move to the rear of the field. However, at the close of qualifing, Groff had qualified 26th, but Goodyear was bumped. As expected, and as planned, Goodyear took Groff's place behind the wheel in the primary car. The driver switch required the car to be moved to the rear of the field (33rd).

Race recap


A cold front entered the Indianapolis area the evening before the race, bringing misty rain and cold temperatures. Race morning dawned at 50°F, with a windchill of 36° Mary F. Hulman gave the starting command at 10:51 a.m., and the pace car, driven by Bobby Unser led the field on the way to the first parade lap. John Paul, Jr.'s car suffered a mechanical failure on the starting grid, but at the last minute, he hastily pulled away to join the field. The cold weather made for precarious conditions for the drivers, as it would be increasingly difficult to warm up the slick tires.

As the field entered the backstrech on the second parade lap, polesitter Roberto Guerrero gunned his machine to warm up the tires, but the back end whipped around, and the car spun into the inside wall. The suspension was damaged enough that he could not continue, and he was out of the race before the green flag. Moments later, Philippe Gache lost control on cold tires, and spun lazily into the apron of turn 4. The incidents delayed the start by five minutes.

Without the polesitter in the race, second place starter Eddie Cheever was charged with leading the field to the green flag. In turn one, Michael and Mario Andretti split Cheever on the inside and outside and took the lead. Michael Andretti blistered the track to set a new record for the first lap at 210.339 mph. After only four laps of green flag racing, however, Eric Bachelart blew an engine, and brought out the yellow.

Early segments

The field went back to green on lap 11. In turn four, Tom Sneva lost control with cold tires, and crashed hard into the outside wall. A long caution followed to clean up the debris. On lap 21, the race finally got going, with Michael Andretti the early and dominating leader.

A fairly long strech of green flag racing saw Andretti starting to lap the field up through 12th place. Andretti was running race laps in the high 220 mph range. Andretti was being chased primarily by Arie Luyendyk, Scott Brayton and Eddie Cheever. Mario Andretti, however, required an unscheduled pit stop to cure an electrical problem. By lap 60, Andretti held a 30-second lead, and only three cars were on the lead lap. The average speed at lap 60 had climbed to 161.458 mph

Multiple crashes

Andretti's blistering pace was halted on lap 62 when Gordon Johncock blew an engine. The caution bunched the field for a restart on lap 67. Moments after the green, rookie Philippe Gache spun and hit the outside wall. The car slid into the path of Stan Fox, and Fox plowed into the wreck. The crash was blamed on cold tires, and Gache's inexperience.

The green came back out on lap 75. In turn one, Jim Crawford lost control, and collected Rick Mears. Both cars crashed hard into the outside wall. Further up the track, Emerson Fittipaldi slammed into the outside wall. All three drivers were sent to Methodist Hospital for relatively minor injuries.

On lap 84, the green came out once again, but as the field headed down the mainstrech, Mario Andretti crashed in turn four. The car lost the back end due to cold tires, and slammed nose-first hard into the wall. Andretti went to Methodist Hospital with broken toes.

The green came back out on lap 90, but was short-lived when Scott Brayton blew an engine on lap 94. The caution was followed by another when Paul Tracy also blew an engine on lap 97, and Jimmy Vasser subsequently smacked the wall in turn one. The field went back to green on lap 103, but cold tires struck again, as rookie Brian Bonner lost control and crashed in turn 4.

The field restarted on lap 110, and appeared to safely circulate the track. Five laps later, a major crash occurred. Jeff Andretti's car broke a wheel hub in turn two. The car immediately turned around, and Jeff Andretti crashed head-on into the wall near the Turn Two Suites. The front of the car was demolished, and Andretti suffered severe leg injuries. Gary Bettenhausen ran over some debris, and was also caught up in the crash. It took 18 minutes to extracate Jeff Andretti from the car, and he was immediately transported to Methodist Hospital for surgery. Meanwhile, Jeff's older brother Michael Andretti was still leading. Michael, however, had just seem both his father and brother crash and be sent to the hospital.

From lap 62-122, only nine laps of green flag racing were turned in. Eight cautions slowed the race for almost 90 minutes. The race finally got back underway at lap 123.

Second half

Michael Andretti took over where he had left off, and pulled away from the competition. The dwindling field was down to 17 cars, and six were on the lead lap. Among the cars still in contention were Ganassi teammates Cheever and Luyendyk. Al Unser, Jr. and Al Unser, Sr. had moved up into the top five, and Scott Goodyear had climbed from last starting position to the last car on the lead lap (6th place). A. J. Foyt had worked his way into the top 10, and Lyn St. James was the only rookie left running by lap 135.

On lap 137, Arie Luyendyk attempted to lap A. J. Foyt, but Foyt had lost a mirror and did not see him. Luyendyk got into the "marbles," and slid up into the turn 4 wall.

The green resumed on lap 144, with Al Unser, Jr. in the lead after a sequence of pit stops. Michael Andretti charged towards the front, but Al Unser, Sr. passed him for second momentarily. The dicing was halted when Buddy Lazier blew an engine and brought the yellow back out.

With 50 laps to go, only 15 cars were running, and only five cars were on the lead lap.

Late race

With 45 laps to go, the green came out and the field began the race to the finish. Michael Andretti once again, began to easily pull away from his competitors. On the 166th lap, he ran a record race lap of 229.118 mph, en route to a 15-second lead.

On laps 171-177, the field began circulating through a series of green-flag pit stops. It would be the final stops of the day. During the sequence, Al Unser, Sr. passed his son Al, Jr. and led for four laps. After the field shuffled through their stops, Michael Andretti was back in the lead, by 23 seconds.

With the majority of crashes happening in turn 4, the safety crews had an extensive workout for the entire race. They were rewarded with a standing ovation from the grandstands after what turned out to be the final wreck of the day.


With 12 laps to go, Michael Andretti held a 28-second lead of Scott Goodyear. A lap later, Al Unser, Jr. passed Goodyear for second place. On lap 189, Michael Andretti pulled alongside Al Unser, Sr. and put him a lap down in turn two. Down the backstretch, however, Andretti suddenly began to slow. His fuel pump had failed, and the car coasted to a stop in the north short chute. Andretti had dominated the entire race, and had led 160 of the first 189 laps.

Al Unser, Jr. suddenly inherited the lead, with Scott Goodyear right behind in second. The caution came out for Andretti's stalled car, and the field bunched up for a late-race restart.

With 7 laps to go, the green flag came out, and the race was down to a tense two-man battle between Al Unser, Jr. and Scott Goodyear. With four laps to go, Unser held a 0.3-second lead. The cars battled nose-to-tail around the entire track, with the savvy Unser holding Goodyear off thus far. On the final lap, Goodyear drafted Unser down the backstretch, and tucked closely behind through the final turn. Out of the final turn, Goodyear zig-zagged behind Unser, and dove his nose inside over the final few hundred yards. Goodyear pulled alongside, but Unser held him off officially by 0.043 seconds, the closest finish in Indy 500 history.

Al Unser, Sr. edged out Eddie Cheever for third place. A. J. Foyt brought his car home in 9th, while John Paul, Jr., who nursed his car all day with a broken fuel cable, avoided all the crashes to finish 10th. Lyn St. James clinched the rookie of the year award, as she was the only rookie left running, in 11th place.


1123United States Al Unser, Jr.222.9891420025RunningGalles/KRACO Racing
23315Canada Scott Goodyear221.800212000RunningWalker Racing
32227United States Al Unser223.744122004RunningTeam Menard
429United States Eddie Cheever229.63922009RunningChip Ganassi Racing
5818United States Danny Sullivan224.83891990FlaggedGalles/KRACO Racing
61012United States Bobby Rahal224.158111990FlaggedRahal/Hogan Racing
72511Brazil Raul Boesel222.433191980FlaggedDick Simon Racing
8148United States John Andretti222.644181950FlaggedJim Hall Racing
92314United States A. J. Foyt222.798161950FlaggedA.J. Foyt Enterprises
101893United States John Paul, Jr.220.244271940FlaggedD.B. Mann Development
112790United States Lyn St. James (R)220.150281930FlaggedDick Simon Racing
122968United States Dominic Dobson220.359261930FlaggedBurns Racing
1361United States Michael Andretti228.1687189160Fuel PressureNewman/Haas Racing
142421United States Buddy Lazier222.688171390EngineLeader Cards Racing
1546Netherlands Arie Luyendyk229.12741351Crash T4Chip Ganassi Racing
163231United States Ted Prappas (R)219.173331350Gear BoxP.I.G. Racing
17551United States Gary Bettenhausen228.93251120Crash BSTeam Menard
182048United States Jeff Andretti219.306311090Crash T2A.J. Foyt Enterprises
192639United States Brian Bonner (R)220.84524970Crash T4Dale Coyne Racing
20197Canada Paul Tracy (R)219.75129960EnginePenske Racing
212847United States Jimmy Vasser222.31320940Crash T1Hayhoe Racing
22722United States Scott Brayton226.1428930EngineDick Simon Racing
2332United States Mario Andretti229.5033781Crash T4Newman/Haas Racing
24115Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi223.60713750Crash T1Penske Racing
252126United Kingdom Jim Crawford228.8596740Crash T1King Racing
2694United States Rick Mears224.59410740Crash T1Penske Racing
271391United States Stan Fox222.86715630Crash SSHemelgarn Racing
281644France Philippe Gache (R)221.49623610Crash T1Dick Simon Racing
293192United States Gordon Johncock219.28732600EngineHemelgarn Racing
301710United States Scott Pruett220.46425520EngineTrueSports
313059United States Tom Sneva219.73730100Crash T4Team Menard
321519Belgium Eric Bachelart (R)221.5492240EngineDale Coyne Racing
33136Colombia Roberto Guerrero232.481100Crash BSKing Racing


Scott Goodyear's charge from 33rd place to second marked the second time a driver had done so in Indy history. The winning margin of Unser over Goodyear was later deemed to be closer than published. Unser's Galmer-Chevrolet placed its timing transponder nose of the car rather than the sidepod, the standard location in all the other cars. Goodyear's Lola lagged behind due to its placement of the transponder in the sidepod. USAC officials estimated an unofficial winning margin of 0.0331 seconds.

The exciting finish of the 1992 Indy 500 was largely overshadowed by the vast number of serious crashes during the month, including the fatal crash of Jovy Marcelo and the devastating injures suffered by Nelson Piquet and Jeff Andretti. The crash-filled race saw 13 cautions for 85 laps, and the slowest average speed since 1958. Several drivers spent time in the hospital, while others required lengthy rehabilitation. At the next Indy Car race at Detroit, several drivers required substitute drivers, including Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Hiro Matsushita.

In the aftermath of his serious practice crash, followed by the crash during the race, Rick Mears raced only a partial schedule for the remainder of the 1992 season. He dropped out of the Michigan 500 due to the nagging injured wrist he suffered in his practice crash and abruptly retired from driving in December. The 1992 race was also the final start for A. J. Foyt, who would retire from the cockpit before the 1993 race.

Michael Andretti's failure to achieve victory reflected back to the Andretti Curse. Andretti would not return to Indy for two years, due to his ill-fated 1993 Formula One participation.

During the summer of 1992, the track would be reconfigured for safety reasons. The apron at the bottom of the track was removed and replaced with a new warm up lane. The outside retaining wall was also replaced. These improvements were completed in time for the 1993 race.




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