MAY 31st 1986


!!  World's first full RUNNING TIME APPROX MORE ALMOST 4 HOURSlive coverage of the race  !!

DVD with the original American live commentary and no commercials breaks !


With the following 33 brave race legends:


Bobby Rahal, Kevin Cogan, Rick Mears, Roberto Guerrero, Al Unser jr, Michael Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Johnny Rutherford, Danny Sullivan, Randy Lanier, Gary Bettenhausen, Geoff Brabham, Raul Boesel, Dick Simon, Arie Luyendijk, Pancho Carter, Ed Pimm, Josele Garza, Roberto Moreno, Jacques Villeneuve (brother from Gilles), Chip Ganassi, Al Unser sr, Danny Ongais, A.J. Foyt, Rich Vogler, George Snider, Johnny Parsons, Tony Bettenhausen, Jim Crawford, Scott Brayton, Phil Krueger, Mario Andretti and Tom Sneva.

 original American live commentary and no commercials breaks !


1986 Indianapolis 500

Starting grid

Row Inside Middle Outside 1 United States Rick Mears United States Danny Sullivan United States Michael Andretti 2 United States Bobby Rahal United States Al Unser United States Kevin Cogan 3 United States Tom Sneva Colombia Roberto Guerrero United States Al Unser, Jr. 4 United States Ed Pimm Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United States Johnny Rutherford 5 United States Randy Lanier United States Pancho Carter Canada Jacques Villeneuve 6 United States Danny Ongais Mexico Josele Garza United States Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 7 Netherlands Arie Luyendyk Australia Geoff Brabham United States A.J. Foyt 8 Brazil Raul Boesel United States Scott Brayton United States Phil Krueger 9 United States Chip Ganassi United Kingdom Jim Crawford United States Rich Vogler 10 United States Johnny Parsons United States Gary Bettenhausen United States Mario Andretti† 11 United States George Snider†† Brazil Roberto Moreno†† United States Dick Simon

Race summary

Bobby Rahal during the race


Saturday May 31 saw sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s. Traditional pre-race ceremonies were retooled slightly, with some replacement performers, and a smaller balloon spectacle. Mary F. Hulman gave the starting command just minutes before 11 a.m., and the field pulled away for the parade and pace laps.

On the final pace lap, Tom Sneva veered off-course at the exit of turn 2. Further down the backstretch, a massive smoke bomb was set off by some unruly spectators. The yellow flag was displayed, and the start was waved off. The next time by, the field was red flagged, and halted on the frontstretch. Sneva's crash was cleaned up, but it was determined that the field had burned an unnecessary four laps of fuel. A decision was made to replenish each of the 32 remaining cars' pitside fuel tanks with 3 gallons of methanol. The red flag wound up delaying the start by over a half-hour.

At 11:34 a.m., Tony George gave the command to restart the engines, and the field assembled for two pace laps. The field was straggling through the fourth turn to take the green, and Michael Andretti jumped into the lead from the outside of the front row. He set a new all-time record for the first lap at 202.940 mph (326.600 km/h), the first time the opening lap was run over 200 mph (320 km/h).

First half

After charging from the 30th starting position, Mario Andretti's day was short-lived. On the 15th lap, he brought out the yellow when he stalled in turn 3 with an ignition problem. Michael Andretti set the early pace, leading the first 42 laps.

The first half of the race saw record average speed, with only two yellows for 10 laps, and no major incidents. The second yellow on lap 52 came out for debris when Michael Andretti lost a mirror. Rick Mears came to the lead by lap 49, and held it until the next round of pit stops. On lap 83, Bobby Rahal took the lead for 19 laps, and led at the halfway point.

Second half

Johnny Parsons spun out of turn two on lap 102, and came to a stop along the inside wall. The car suffered minor damage, and Parsons was uninjured. After another long stretch of green, Rich Vogler crashed in turn 3 on lap 135.

On the 135th lap, Rahal (1st) and Cogan (2nd) pitted under caution. Rahal's team nearly made a serious error, and did not change the left-front tire (it had not been changed yet in the race). Rahal had to pit once again the next time around to correct the oversight. Since the field was under caution, the consequences were not quite as serious, but he still fell from 1st to 4th.

On the restart, Rick Mears resumed as the leader. Short-pitting due to poor handling, 4th place Michael Andretti was the first of the leaders to pit again (on lap 163). Mears led all the way until his final scheduled pit stop on lap 165. Moments later Roberto Moreno brought out the caution by stalling in turn four. After Rahal and Cogan cycled through their final planned stops on lap 166, Mears again found himself up front. Michael Andretti (at the tail-end of the lead lap in 4th place) actually led the field behind the pace car as the field went back to green with 31 laps to go.


With 14 laps to go, Rick Mears led Bobby Rahal and Kevin Cogan. Fourth place Michael Andretti was still clinging on to the tail-end of the lead lap, just ahead of Mears. As the leaders approached traffic, Rahal looked to pass Mears for the lead. Down the backstretch, Rahal took the lead and headed towards turn 3. Cogan passed Mears on the outside of turn four and took second place. Down the frontstretch, Rahal was caught up behind the lap car of Randy Lanier. Cogan diced back and forth, and slipped by Rahal going into turn one.

With then 13 laps to go, Cogan suddenly pulled out to a sizable 3-second lead. Cogan's car was visibly loose in the turns, and on several occasions nearly clipped the outside wall in turn 2. With 7 laps to go, fourth place Michael Andretti ducked into the pit area for a splash of fuel. On lap 194, Arie Luyendyk who was running 11th, spun exiting turn four. His car whipped around and lightly tagged the inside wall near the entrance of the pits. The yellow flag came out, and the field was bunched up behind the pace car.

Safety crews were able to quickly clean up the incident. Cogan led, with Rahal second, and Mears third, all together on the track. With 2½ laps to go, the lights on the pace car were turned off, signifying that the field was ready to go back to green. Cogan, Rahal, and Mears picked up the pace in the northchute, and came out of turn four for a restart and 2 laps to go. Rahal got the jump on Cogan out of turn four, and took the lead mid-way down the frontstretch. Rahal led at the line, and dove in front of Cogan in turn one.

Down the backstretch, Rahal pulled to over a 1-second lead, and Mears set up to pass Cogan in turn three. Cogan held off the challenge, as Rahal took the white flag. Rahal's speed on the 199th lap was a noteworthy 203 mph (327 km/h). Rahal pulled out to a 1.4 second advantage, and won his first Indianapolis 500. Cogan and Mears finished second and third, in what was the closest three-car finish to date. Rahal's final lap was an all-time record 209.152 mph (336.598 km/h), the fastest race lap to-date in Indy 500 competition.

Rahal completed the 500 miles (800 km) in 2 hours, 55 minutes, 43.470 seconds; becoming the first driver to complete the Indianapolis 500 in less than three hours. His average speed of 170.722 broke Rick Mears' 1984 record.