RACE: 73rd Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 28, 1989
WINNER: Emerson Fittipaldi
AVERAGE SPEED: 167.581 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: Fittipaldi, a Brazilian, became the first foreign winner of the race since 1966. He dominated most of the race but was trailing Al Unser Jr. on lap 199. Fittipaldi attempted to pass Unser Jr. by diving underneath him in the third turn. The two cars touched wheels and Unser Jr. spun and crashed into an outside wall. Fittipaldi won for Patrick Racing under caution.
NOTABLE: Fittipaldi was the first Indy 500 winner to earn $1 million in prize money ($1,001,600) from the purse. All three Team Penske cars failed to finish the race a year after they dominated the entire month. Danny Sullivan broke his arm during a crash in practice, and mechanical failures sidelined all three cars on race day. It was the only year in the 1980s and the first time since 1976 that a Penske car failed to finish in the top five (though Fittipaldi won driving a Penske PC-18 chassis that had been acquired from Penske in an arrangement with Patrick Racing). Fittipaldi went on to become the fourth driver since 1979 to win the Indy 500 and CART championship in the same season.