This was a good piece of writing, Brian !!
I put your Racing page and this "article" in my "Additions" to SPORTS page, not yet in working order.
Scott Goodyear drives for Eddie Cheever (1998 winner) this year. Five years ago, on the first lap of the first day of practice, the two of them happened to be at the same place on turn one. Each wanted to be in front of the other and neither would lift. They touched wheels and both hit the wall, bending lots of expensive car parts. There were hard feelings, but this year Cheever hired Goodyear to drive for him. Goodyear almost won the Indy 500 three times.
1992: Goodyear's car was bumped from the field, and he had to drive his teammate's car and started in last place. Goodyear tries to pass Al Unser Jr. at the finish line, finishing 2nd place by half a car length, .043 seconds.
1995: Goodyear leads Jacques Villeneuve with eight laps to go. The green flag waves and the pace car is slow to get off the track. Goodyear passes the pace car, and Villeneuve brakes hard to stay behind it. Goodyear is black-flagged and his last eight laps are not scored. Villeneuve wins the Indy 500 and the Formula One world championship two years later.
1997: Goodyear finishes half a second behind Arie Luyendyk, his teammate. Most people experience one pinnacle in their career, Goodyear had three.
Al Unser, Jr. won the Indy 500 twice (1992, and 1994). He never dominated the race but always hung in there to the end.
1983: Al Unser Jr.'s rookie year. He found himself, a lap down late in the race, between his father, who was leading the race, and second place, Tom Sneva. Junior stayed in front of Sneva for 20 laps, slowing him down. Sneva eventually passed both of them and won the race.
1987: Jr. finished in 4th place, and his father won.
1989: Al Unser was lapped twice and managed to unlap himself with good pit strategy. He had a richer fuel mixture than Emerson Fittipaldi and finally caught him with 10 laps to go. Junior passed Fittipaldi with five laps to go and had the race won. But the leaders caught up to lapped traffic, enabling Fittipaldi to catch Junior. They went down the back straight side-by-side and neither driver lifted. They touched wheels and Junior hit the wall, and Fittipaldi saved his car and won the race.
1992: Junior won the race by half a car length.
1994: Emerson Fittipaldi led Junior by almost a full lap with 25 to go. Fittipaldi could have coasted to the win, but he decided to lap Unser and clinch the win. He closed but lost traction behind Unser in turn 4 and hit the wall. Unser won his 2nd Indy 500.
1995: Unser and the entire team Penske failed to qualify for the Indy 500.
1996-1999: Unser continued to drive for Penske in CART, and did not win a race for more than two years. Team Penske did not return to the Indy 500 until 2001.
2000: Team Penske did not rehire Unser, and Unser returned to the Indy 500.
2001: Unser was practicing on bubble day. He had the 2nd slowest qualified car and was in danger of being bumped from the field. He barely made it into the field this year.
Brian's fax & voicemail number is (707) 248-0038 -- 30 second voice msg