IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY-MAY 30, 1968–BOBBY UNSER WINS INDIANAPOLIS 500

 

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On this day in 1968- Thursday May 30, 1968 Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500. The race was run on a Thursday that year due to the qualifying trials that year being repeatedly postponed due to the record rains in Indianapolis that May- it remains the rainiest Indy 500 month of May with 9.25 inches of rain.

Lloyd Ruby who had a history of bad luck at Indy- was leading when on lap 174 of the 200 lap race when his engine misfired, then Joe Leonard took the lead but on lap 191 of the restart his car stopped and Bobby Unser took the lead and went on to victory. Rounding out the Top 5 – Dan Gurney, Mel Kenyon, Denis Hulme, and Lloyd Ruby. 1/3rd of the 33 cars didn’t make it to the finish due to accidents or car issues. Unser’s average speed 152.888 MPH.

The Unsers would be big names in the history of the Indianapolis 500- Bobby would win it three times, his brother Al would win 4 times and Al’s son -Little Al- would win it twice. Nine 500 victories for the Unser family.

Back then the 500 was run on tape delay and shown on ABC television at 8pm in the evening. I try to watch it every year for one reason- back then I would always watch the race with my grandfather. He has long passed but watching it always brings back great memories of him.

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