The 77th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30, 1993. Emerson Fittipaldi took the lead with 16 laps to go, and won his second career Indy 500 victory. The race was sanctioned by USAC and was part of the 1993 PPG IndyCar World Series.
The pre-race attention for the month focused heavily on rookie Nigel Mansell, the reigning Formula One World Champion, who switched to the CART Indycar
series during the offseason. A large international media contingent
arrived at the track creating a huge frenzy surrounding the Englishman.
Mansell was leading the race on lap 184 as the field was coming to a
restart. His inexperience on oval circuits, however, caused him to misjudge the restart speed, and he was quickly passed down the mainstretch by Fittipaldi, which proved to be the winning move.
Fittipaldi, Arie Luyendyk and Mansell finished 1-2-3, the first time foreign-born drivers swept the top three finishing positions since 1915.
Four-time Indy 500 winner A. J. Foyt entered the race and participated in the first week of practice. On the morning of pole day qualifying, however, rookie Robby Gordon, driving a Foyt team car crashed during a practice session. The incident led to Foyt deciding to retire from Indycar racing after a 35-year career.
The 1993 race would be the final competitive drives at Indy for both Mario Andretti and Al Unser, Sr.
Andretti led the most laps, but faded at the end to a 6th place finish.
Unser also led laps during the race, en route to a 12th-place finish.
Andretti retired after the 1994 season, and Unser abruptly retired
during practice for the 1994 race.
Raul Boesel led 18 laps for owner Dick Simon,
the first time a Simon-entered car ever led the Indy 500. Boesel took
the lead at the start and had one of the fastest cars during the race.
His chances for victory, however, were foiled due to two pit stop
penalties, which dropped him to the back of the pack. He worked his way
back up to a remarkable 4th place finish, but in post race interviews,
felt the race had been stolen from him, saying "in my mind, this race is
A great race with 13 UNBELIEVABLE crashes
RUNNING TIME IS MORE THAN 3.5 HOURS
Failed to Qualify
1993 Chevrolet Camaro pace car.
Race day dawned sunny and warm. There was pre-race concern about
approaching precipitation, and the forecast was questionable. Some teams
prepared for a possible rain-shortened race. However, the rain never
arrived, and the race was completed without interruption.
At the green flag, polesitter Arie Luyendyk and Raul Boesel drag-raced down the frontstrech, with Mario Andretti
dropping back into third. Boesel got the edge, and grabbed the lead
into turn 1. The entire field circulated through the first lap cleanly,
and started to pick up the pace. Boesel began lapping the backmarkers on
lap 8, meanwhile Andretti moved past Luyendyk to take second place. On lap 16, Jim Crawford spun exiting turn 2. He flat-spotted his tires, but did not make contact. He drove back to the pits, and re-entered the race.
Under the caution most of the leaders pitted. Kevin Cogan stayed out, and took the lead. In the pits, Raul Boesel
was among those who pitted, and in the process, the crew was able to
remove a hot dog wrapper that was blocking the radiator inlet. As Boesel
was exiting his pit stall, he was momentarily blocked when Scott Goodyear pulled out of his stall. Further down the lane, Mario Andretti
slowly pulled out of his pit box, and was ahead of Boesel. Both cars
entered the warm up lane together. Boesel was going much faster and
slipped by Andretti in the warm up lane. Boesel was unaware and was not
informed by the officials that Mario had crossed the blend line first.
After the field went back to green on lap 21, the black flag was
displayed for Boesel. A controversial stop-and-go penalty was assessed
to Boesel. Confusion hovered over the reason for penalty. Owner Dick Simon
was initially informed it was for speeding in the pits, but then it was
changed to passing under the yellow. Boesel darted into the pits to
serve the penalty, and fell all the way back to the rear of the field.
He lost a lap in the process.
With Al Unser, Sr. leading on lap 31, Danny Sullivan, suffering from a pushing
condition, went high in turn three and smacked the outside wall. A
piece of the suspension pierced through the side of the tub, and
narrowly missed puncturing his leg. Nelson Piquet, who returned to Indy after his bad crash in 1992, dropped out with a blown engine.
Mario Andretti led the field back to green on lap 36, Arie Luyendyk ran second, and Emerson Fittipaldi
third. Mario led comfortably for the next 15 laps. On lap 47, the
leaders approached traffic, and Luyendyk passed Andretti to take the
lead into turn one. Nigel Mansell
began showing strength, passing Fittipaldi for third, then closing in
his teammate Mario Andretti in second. Down the mainstretch on lap 50,
Mansell dove inside Mario for position, but Mario held him off, sweeping
down in front in turn 1. Three laps later, Mansell finally got by Mario
in turn 1, after a hot pursute. Andretti pitted one lap later. On lap
56, Mansell passed Luyendyk coming out of turn 2 to take the lead fo the
first time. However, Mansell ducked into the pits on that same lap, and
was not credited with leading a lap yet.
During the sequence of green flag pit stops, the lead changed hands several times. After all of the leaders pitted, Nigel Mansell took over the lead.
The yellow came out for debris on lap 89, and after pit stops, Mario Andretti was back in the lead. Nigel Mansell
overshot his pit stall, and his crew had to wheel him back to
administer serive. Mansell dropped back to 6th place after a 40-second
The green came out on lap 94, but only lasted two laps. Scott Brayton and Paul Tracy
tangled entering turn three, and Tracy was forced into the outside
wall. Brayton came down on Tracy, pinching him to the grass, and clipped
his front wheel.
On lap 128, the only multi-car crash of the day occurred. Jeff Andretti and Roberto Guerrero came together in turn three, with both cars crashing out. Leader Mario Andretti
ducked into the pits, however, he entered the pit lane when it was
closed. He was given the black flag and assessed a stop-and-go penalty.
After the shuffle, Al Unser, Jr. took over the lead, with Andretti second. Meanwhile, Raul Boesel was now back on the lead lap in 8th place.
Robby Gordon brought out the yellow on lap 169 when he stalled on the track with a broken gearbox. Under the yellow, Raul Boesel
entered the pits while they were closed, and was assessed a stop-and-go
penalty; however, he did not lose any considerable track position.
After the shuffle from the final sequence of pit stops, Nigel Mansell was now back in the lead, with Emerson Fittipaldi second, and Arie Luyendyk third.
On lap 182, the yellow came out when Lyn St. James stalled in turn 4. Nigel Mansell was leading Emerson Fittipaldi and Arie Luyendyk. On lap 184, the field was ready to go back to green. Mansell, driving in his first-ever Indy car oval
race, was inexperienced in restarts, and was too hesitant bringing the
field back to green. He exited turn four too slow, and immediately
Fittipaldi and Luyendyk were on his rear bumper. Mansell realized he was
a sitting duck, and swept to the inside of the track to attempt to
quickly diced around, and got by on the outside to take the lead. Going
into turn one, Luyendyk precariously swept by Mansell on the outside
and took over second place.
With Fittipaldi pulling away, the laps dwindled down, and Mansell's
chances for victory started to slip away. On lap 192, Mansell slid high
exiting turn two, and "whitewalled" the outside wall. A caution came out
for the contact, but Mansell stayed out on the track. His suspension
suffered minor damage, but he continued.
The green flag came out for the final time with 5 laps to go. Emerson Fittipaldi got the jump on the restart, and pulled away to a comfortable lead. Fittipaldi won his second Indy 500 by 2.8 seconds over Arie Luyendyk. Nigel Mansell held on to finish third, while Raul Boesel worked his way all the way back to the front-runners to come home fourth.
Nigel Mansell became the first rookie to finish the full 500 miles since Donnie Allison in 1970. He won the rookie of the year award,
and led a total of 34 laps during the race. his late-race miscue cost
him two positions, and was largely chalked up as a 'rookie mistake.'
During post-race interviews, Mansell claimed he was trying to follow the
rules, waiting for the green flag to come out before he accelerated,
and he was surprised that Fittipaldi and Luyendyk had caught up such
ground on him so quickly. He claimed that "everybody, if you like, cheats
on the restarts, and I'm trying to do it by the rules...and I lost the
lead..." However, he did not protest the results, and was pleased with
his performance. Later that same year, Mansell won the Michigan 500 and went on to win the 1993 CART Indycar championship.
Race winner Emerson Fittipaldi, who previously won in 1989 pulled into victory lane to celebrate his win with team owner Roger Penske.
It would be the final time a driver celebrated in the "hydraulic lift"
version of Indy's victory lane, as a new one was built for 1994. As
Fittipaldi emerged from the cockpit, he immediately began the
traditional winner's interview, being given by Jack Arute live on ABC-TV. Fittipaldi broke a decades-old tradition, and chose not to drink the ceremonial milk in victory lane, a tradition that dates back to 1936. Fittipaldi instead drank orange juice, which he himself provided, in order to promote the Brazilian citrus industry. Arute immediately shifted his questioning to the milk snub, and the exchange on live television went as follows:
NOTE: Effective with the 1993 Indianapolis 500, a driver is no longer
"Flagged" if he is a lapped car, and crosses the checkered flag.
1993 saw big changes at Indy, the 'apron' at the bottom of the track
was gone. Instead a warm up lane was installed, along with a grass verge
around the track, and rumble strips to narrow the race track and
encourage slower speeds into the corners, thus changing the corners from
effectively two lanes to one lane which made passing more difficult.
There was also a huge media frenzy at the track as Englishman Nigel Mansell, the reigning Formula One
world champion was competing in his first oval race in the US, and also
his first race exceeding 200 miles (320 km) race distance. Earlier in
the month of May, A. J. Foyt
officially retired from Indycar racing, and drove a farewell lap in his
famed #14 Copenhagen Lola. Another Indy legend, four-time winner Rick Mears,
announced his retirement in late 1992, so with Foyt and Mears not
participating in the '93 500, the only four-time winner of the Indy 500
running that years race was Al Unser, Sr.
Mansell tapped the outside wall on lap 190 while in 3rd position in
pursuit of Luyendyk and Fittipaldi, aided when his shunt triggered
another caution. At the end of the race, Fittipaldi emerged victorious
to win his second Indianapolis 500, leading only the last 16 laps of the
race. Fittipaldi ignited a minor controversy in victory lane when he
refused the traditional sip of milk, opting instead for orange juice
that he had produced in his native São Paulo, Brazil.