Nascar

Highlights from the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500

  • FILE - In this May 25, 1981 file photo, Danny Ongais hits the wall in the third turn on the 64th lap of the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. Ongais was hospitalized with multiple fractures. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this May 25, 1981 file photo, Danny Ongais hits the wall in the third turn on the 64th lap of the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. Ongais was hospitalized with multiple fractures. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 24, 1981 file photo, Bobby Unser celebrates after winning the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. Unser was issued a one-position penalty after the race and Mario Andretti was declared the winner. Then after a lengthy protest and appeals process, the penalty was rescinded and Unser was reinstated as the winner.  (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this May 24, 1981 file photo, Bobby Unser celebrates after winning the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. Unser was issued a one-position penalty after the race and Mario Andretti was declared the winner. Then after a lengthy protest and appeals process, the penalty was rescinded and Unser was reinstated as the winner. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 25, 1981 file photo, Bobby Unser scratches his head as he walks in Gasoline Alley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind.,  on Monday, the day after the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race. Unser, declared the winner of Sunday’s race, was stripped of the title by officials on Monday, and Mario Andretti was named the winner. After a lenghtly protest and appeals process, Unser was reinstated as the winner. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this May 25, 1981 file photo, Bobby Unser scratches his head as he walks in Gasoline Alley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday, the day after the 65th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race. Unser, declared the winner of Sunday‚Äôs race, was stripped of the title by officials on Monday, and Mario Andretti was named the winner. After a lenghtly protest and appeals process, Unser was reinstated as the winner. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

RACE: 65th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 24, 1981

WINNER: Bobby Unser

AVERAGE SPEED: 139.084 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: One of the most controversial Indy 500 races in history after Unser beat Mario Andretti to the checkered flag. USAC officials later ruled Unser had illegally passed cars while exiting the pit area during a caution. When the official results were posted the next day, Unser had been issued a one-position penalty and Andretti declared the race winner. Penske Racing appealed and the process wasn't settled until Oct. 9, when Unser was reinstated as the winner. It was Unser's third Indy 500 victory and he retired at the end of the season.

NOTABLE: A rainy month disrupted on-track activities and pole qualifying was stretched over three days because of the weather. The event was also marred by a crash that left an unconscious Danny Ongais completely exposed in the cockpit as the burning car continued to move. Ongais suffered a concussion and badly broken feet and legs, but returned to Indianapolis the next year. Rick Mears was also burned during a fire in the pits, forcing him to try to use a fire extinguisher on himself. His father, Bill, grabbed the extinguisher and put out the fire. The incident prompted a redesign to the fuel nozzle used on Indy cars, and Mears recovered after plastic surgery.