Posted on: February 15, 2011
Gasoline Alley Unplugged
By: Donald Davidson
Gordon Johncock's 1982 Indianapolis 500 Winning Car
Gordon Johncock’s 1982 Indianapolis 500 Winning Car
Tagged as: Gordon Johncock, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 500 Winners, race cars, racing
There are 8 comments for this post.
Ahh! The good old days. I love it!
I was there. I remember being there. I was only 8 but I knew something big was happening. You could feel the excitement and the energy as Mears took it to Johncock. You were not cheering for one or the other, I am sure some people were, you were cheering that they would make it close and not kill each other in the process. My Dad was there in ’73 and he says Johncock redeemed himself that day. Gordy deserved a win like that. He did win the one no body wants to remember and he did win the one we will never forget. ’82 was much more exciting than ’92. ’92 was a crash fest and it was, except for the last ten laps, the most miserabeal race i have ever been to. The ’82 race makes the Johncock legend, it added to the Mears legend. As exciting as ’82 was it still was not as exciting as 2006.
Exciting was 1959 and 1960..The Rathman Ward duels are legendary AND they were done with tires as hard as nails NOT the super soft gumbos. Tires were skinny and the drivers were fat….actually big arms, legs and chests. No pencil necks allowed.
Listening to the TV broadcast of the end of the race is really cool. Sam Posey for a while pretty much thinks the race is over. Jim McKay thinks otherwise and starts checking intervals. Then Mears starts gaining ground in a big hurry. It’ all on Youtube!
I remember that after the race, Roger Penske took the blame for Mears’ slow pit stop. Roger also took the blame in ’95 when his guys missed the show. He told Sam Hornish,”my mistake” on the radio in ’06 after the fueling mix up near the end. When Team Penske comes out on top Roger talks up the great people in his organization. When things go bad, he takes the heat. No wonder he’s a billionaire.
When Donald said that this was the last race car built in America, it stunned me a little. But when I think back, the Lola, March, and Penske chassis of the late 80s and early 90s were all built in England. Amazing! Hopefully, Cheverolet, Ford, and other American auto makers will work to change this sad fact.
I just bought the 1982 Camaro Gordon Johncock was awarded for his win! Only 49,083 miles on it, pretty cool piece of Indy history. Anyone ever see a photo of him with the car?
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Let me know what you think?
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