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1981 Indianapolis 500


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USAC Gold Crown Series race number 1 of 6
Sunday, May 24, 1981 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, IN
200 laps on a 2.500 mile paved track (500.0 miles)

Time of race: 3:35:42
Average Speed: 139.084 mph
Pole Speed: 200.546 mph
Cautions: 11 for 69 laps
Margin of Victory: 5.22 sec
Attendance: n/a
Lead changes: 24

Glossary    1981 USAC Gold Crown Series results   /   1981 standings

Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Chassis / Engine Laps Money Status Led Points
1 13   Bobby Unser Norton Spirit   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth200279,002running89 
23240   Mario Andretti STP Oil Treatment   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth200118,611running12800
31833   Vern Schuppan Red Roof InnsMcLaren / Cosworth19981,945running0700
9 420   Gordon Johncock STP Oil Treatment   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth19458,867engine52 
41232   Kevin Cogan O'Connell Racing   (Jerry O'Connell)Phoenix / Cosworth19754,675running0 
51550   Geoff Brabham Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth19751,259running0500
62381   Sheldon Kinser Sergio Valente / Longhorn Racing   (Bobby Hillin)Longhorn / Cosworth19540,737running0400
71616   Tony Bettenhausen Jr Provimi Veal   (Jack Rodgers)McLaren / Cosworth19540,261running0300
23 655   Josele Garza Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth13837,392crash1315
81753   Steve Krisiloff Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth19436,126running0 
25202   Tom Sneva Blue Poly   (Bignotti-Cotter)March / Cosworth9635,143clutch2510
10284   Dennis Firestone Rhodes Aircraft Sales   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth19332,832engine0150
13 314   A.J. Foyt Valvoline / Gilmore   (A.J. Foyt)Coyote / Cosworth19132,385running025
153138   Jerry Karl Tonco Trailers   (William Compton)McLaren / Cosworth18932,285running025
11 77   Bill Alsup A.B. Dick / Pacemaker   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth19332,212running0 
191335   Bob Lazier Montgomery Ward   (Robert Fletcher)Penske / Cosworth15430,752engine0 
122574   Michael Chandler National Engineering Co.   (Warner Hodgdon)Penske / Cosworth19230,748running050
143384   Tim Richmond UNO / WTTV   (Robert Schultz)Parnelli / Cosworth19130,294running025
162937   Scott Brayton Forsythe Industries   (Lee Brayton)Penske / Cosworth17429,002engine0 
33 248   Mike Mosley Pepsi Challenger   (Dan Gurney)Eagle / Chevy1628,536radiator05
17 988   Al Unser Valvoline / Longhorn Racing   (Bobby Hillin)Longhorn / Cosworth16628,533running0 
212790   Bill Whittington Kraco Car Stereo   (Maury Kraines)March / Cosworth14628,129stalled015
242479   Pete Halsmer Hubler Chevrolet / KISS 99   (William Alsup)Penske / Cosworth12327,850crash0 
181931   Larry Dickson Machinists Union   (Andy Kenopensky)Penske / Cosworth16527,630piston020
272125   Danny Ongais Interscope Racing   (Ted Field)Interscope / Cosworth6427,455crash4 
201456   Tom Bigelow Genesee Beer   (Dick Hammond)Penske / Chevy15227,199engine020
32 51   Johnny Rutherford Pennzoil   (Chaparral Racing)Chaparral / Cosworth2526,861fuel pump3 
22 860   Gordon Smiley Intermedics   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth14126,369crash1 
312691   Don Whittington Road Atlanta Racing   (Whittington Brothers)March / Cosworth3226,029crash05
30226   Rick Mears Gould Charge   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth5825,767pit fire1 
293051   Tom Klausler IDS Ideas   (Douglas Schulz)Schulz / Chevy6025,218gearbox05
26118   Gary Bettenhausen Lindsey HopkinsLightning / Cosworth6925,212connecting rod010
28105   Pancho Carter Goodyear / Alex Foods   (Alex Morales)Penske / Cosworth6224,984compression0 

Failed to qualify or withdrew:
PosNameNbrSponsorOwnerCar
Tom Sneva2Bignotti-Cotter
Bill Tempero15Zamboni Electric
Jerry Sneva17, 74Escort Radar Detector, Team California
Patrick Bedard17Escort Radar Detector
Johnny Parsons18Hopkins Racing
Tim Richmond21UNO
Dick Simon22Vermont American
Spike Gehlhausen23, 34McElreath Racing, Wysard Motors
Jim McElreath23, 26McElreath Racing
Joe Saldana24, 69Leader Card, Great American / Michael
Herm Johnson28Menard Cashway Lumber
Billy Engelhart29Beaudoin Racing
Vern Schuppan33Red Roof Inns
Billy Vukovich, Jr.42Rattlesnake Racing
Tom Bagley43Armstrong Molding
Greg Leffler44Armstrong Molding
Harry MacDonald45Armstrong Molding
Rich Vogler46Armstrong Molding
Phil Caliva47CHC / Intersec
Chip Mead49Ohio Racing Associates
Larry Rice52Rassey Engines
John Martin57Metro Building
Bubby Jones58Medlin
Ken Hamilton63The Idaho
Steve Chassey64Jet Engineering
Jerry Miller65Luxury Racers
Roger Rager66Seymour Enterprises
Phil Threshie67Mergard's 20th Century
Dennis Firestone70Rhoades Racing
Bob Harkey71, 96Roman Wheels
Bob Frey71Spirit of Colorado
Steve Kinser78Stanton Racing
Jim Buick86Buick Racing Team
Phil Krueger89Joe Hunt Magneto
John Mahler92, 93Duke Racing
Frank Weiss93PWS Racing
Bill Whittington94Road Atlanta
Dick Ferguson95Kraco Car Stereo
Roger Mears98Agajanian
Larry Cannon99Kraco Car Stereo

Caution flag breakdown:
ConditionFrom
Lap
To
Lap
# Of
Laps
ReasonFree
Pass
144  
573   debris 
82518  
26294   #1 stopped on track 
30323  
334311   #91 accident backstretch 
446623  
678115   #25 accident turn 3 
8212948  
1301367   #79 accident turn 3 
1371393  
1401445   #55 accident turn 3 
1451451  
1461516   #60 accident turn 3 
1521565   #90 stopped on track 
1571615  
1621654   #56 stopped on track 
16617914  
1801845   #14 stopped on track 
1851884   debris 
18920012  
  Percent of race run under caution: 34.5%             Average green flag run: 13.1 laps

Lap leader breakdown:
LeaderFrom
Lap
To
Lap
# Of
Laps
  Bobby Unser12121
  Johnny Rutherford22243
  Tom Sneva25251
  Bobby Unser26327
  Tom Sneva335624
  Rick Mears57571
  Gordon Smiley58581
  Bobby Unser59591
  Danny Ongais60634
  Gordon Johncock649128
  Bobby Unser92954
  Gordon Johncock96961
  Mario Andretti97982
  Josele Garza991046
  Gordon Johncock1051128
  Bobby Unser1131186
  Gordon Johncock1191224
  Mario Andretti1231253
  Josele Garza1261327
  Gordon Johncock1331408
  Bobby Unser1411411
  Mario Andretti1421487
  Bobby Unser14917830
  Gordon Johncock1791813
  Bobby Unser18220019