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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 (500.000 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

PosSt#DriverChass./Eng.LapsMoneyStatusLedPts
1 13   Bobby Unser Norton Spirit   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth200279002running89 
23240   Mario Andretti STP Oil Treatment   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth200118611running12800
31833   Vern Schuppan Red Roof InnsMcLaren / Cosworth19981945running0700
41232   Kevin Cogan O'Connell Racing   (Jerry O'Connell)Phoenix / Cosworth19754675running0 
51550   Geoff Brabham Mexico / Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth19751259running0500
62381   Sheldon Kinser Sergio Valente / Longhorn Racing   (Bobby Hillin)Longhorn / Cosworth19540737running0400
71616   Tony Bettenhausen Jr Provimi Veal   (Jack Rodgers)McLaren / Cosworth19540261running0300
81753   Steve Krisiloff Mexico / Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth19436126running0 
9 420   Gordon Johncock STP Oil Treatment   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth19458867engine52 
10284   Dennis Firestone World Oil   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth19332832engine0150
11 77   Bill Alsup A.B. Dick / Pacemaker   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth19332212running0 
122574   Michael Chandler National Engineering Co.   (Warner Hodgdon)Penske / Cosworth19230748running050
13 314   A.J. Foyt Valvoline / Gilmore   (A.J. Foyt)Coyote / Cosworth19132385running025
143384   Tim Richmond UNO / WTTV   (Robert Schultz)Parnelli / Cosworth19130294running025
153138   Jerry Karl Tonco Trailers   (William Compton)McLaren / Cosworth18932285running025
162937   Scott Brayton Forsythe Industries   (Lee Brayton)Penske / Cosworth17429002engine0 
17 988   Al Unser Valvoline / Longhorn Racing   (Bobby Hillin)Longhorn / Cosworth16628533running0 
181931   Larry Dickson Machinists Union   (Andy Kenopensky)Penske / Cosworth16527630piston020
191335   Bob Lazier Montgomery Ward   (Robert Fletcher)Penske / Cosworth15430752engine0 
201456   Tom Bigelow Genesee Beer   (Dick Hammond)Penske / Chevy15227199engine020
212790   Bill Whittington Kraco Car Stereo   (Maury Kraines)March / Cosworth14628129stalled015
22 860   Gordon Smiley Intermedics   (Pat Patrick)Wildcat / Cosworth14126369crash1 
23 655   Josele Garza Mexico / Esso   (Psachie Garza Racing)Penske / Cosworth13837392crash1315
242479   Pete Halsmer Hubler Chevrolet / KISS 99   (William Alsup)Penske / Cosworth12327850crash0 
25202   Tom Sneva Blue Poly   (Bignotti-Cotter)March / Cosworth9635143clutch2510
26118   Gary Bettenhausen Die Hard / Monroe Lighting   (Lindsey Hopkins)Lightning / Cosworth6925212connecting rod010
272125   Danny Ongais Interscope Racing   (Ted Field)Interscope / Cosworth6427455crash4 
28105   Pancho Carter Goodyear / Alex Foods   (Alex Morales)Penske / Cosworth6224984compression0 
293051   Tom Klausler IDS Ideas   (Douglas Schulz)Schulz / Chevy6025218gearbox05
30226   Rick Mears Gould Charge   (Roger Penske)Penske / Cosworth5825767pit fire1 
312691   Don Whittington Road Atlanta Racing   (Whittington Brothers)March / Cosworth3226029crash05
32 51   Johnny Rutherford Pennzoil   (Chaparral Racing)Chaparral / Cosworth2526861fuel pump3 
33 248   Mike Mosley Pepsi Challenger   (Dan Gurney)Eagle / Chevy1628536radiator05

Failed to qualify, withdrew, or driver changes:
PosNameNbrSponsorOwnerCar
Tom Sneva2Bignotti-Cotter
Bill Tempero15Zamboni Electric
Patrick Bedard17Escort Radar Detector
Jerry Sneva17, 74Escort Radar Detector, Team California
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 Mead49White Castle
Larry Rice52Rassey Engines
John Martin57Metro Building
Bubby Jones58Medlin
Ken Hamilton63The Idaho
Steve Chassey64Jet Engineering
Jim Hurtubise65Luxury Racers
Jerry Miller65Luxury Racers
Roger Rager66Seymour Enterprises
Phil Threshie67Mergard's 20th Century
Dennis Firestone70Rhoades Racing
Bob Frey71Spirit of Colorado
Bob Harkey71, 96Roman Wheels
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
DCWally Dallenbach40STP Oil TreatmentPat PatrickWildcat / Cosworth
DCGeorge Snider84Valvoline / GilmoreRobert SchultzParnelli / Cosworth
WDSteve Ball85B&G Racing

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

Points Standings after this race:
RankDriverPointsDiff
1   Mario Andretti 800    
2   Vern Schuppan 700   -100  
3   Geoff Brabham 500   -300  
4   Sheldon Kinser 400   -400  
5   Tony Bettenhausen Jr 300   -500  
6   Dennis Firestone 150   -650  
7   Michael Chandler 50   -750  
8   A.J. Foyt 25   -775  
8   Tim Richmond 25   -775  
8   Jerry Karl 25   -775  
11   Larry Dickson 20   -780  
11   Tom Bigelow 20   -780  
13   Josele Garza 15   -785  
13   Bill Whittington 15   -785  
15   Tom Sneva 10   -790  
15   Gary Bettenhausen 10   -790  
17   Mike Mosley 5   -795  
17   Tom Klausler 5   -795  
17   Don Whittington 5   -795