IRL, Indy 500: Brack takes lead on Lap 199, wins after Gordon's fuel gamble fails
31 May 1999INDIANAPOLIS - Kenny Brack passed Robby Gordon with two laps remaining when Gordon's fuel gamble failed and went on to win the 83rd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Brack took the lead on Lap 199 of the 200-lap race when Gordon was forced to pit for a splash of fuel in his Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Brack went on to beat Jeff Ward by 6.562 seconds for his first victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and first win of the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season in the A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Brack's average speed was 153.176 mph.
Billy Boat finished third in the A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, while the third Foyt driver, Robbie Buhl, finished sixth.
It was the first victory at Indy for a Foyt-owned car since he won in 1977, the last of his record four victories. Brack led six times for 66 laps, more than any other driver.
"I am happy for both of us," Brack said. "I think more for me. He (Foyt) has won it four times already. It has been very special to me."
1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Brack stalked Gordon over the last 10 laps, cutting the lead from 4.064 seconds on Lap 193 to 1.271 seconds on Lap 197.
Whether Brack could catch Gordon was just one question. Whether Gordon had enough fuel was the other. Gordon had pitted last on Lap 164, taking the lead when all other lead cars pitted between Laps 169-171. Brack took fuel and tires on Lap 170, his last stop.
The result became academic when Gordon pulled into the pits on Lap 199.
"Whether I would have been able to overtake him, I would have tried my hardest," Brack said. "I think we could have done it."
Pole sitter Arie Luyendyk led four times for 63 laps in his final appearance at Indianapolis, including the first 32 laps, in the Sprint PCS-Meijer G Force/Aurora/Firestone. But Luyendyk crashed on Lap 117 when he spun while trying to pass the lapped car of Tyce Carlson. He was unhurt.
"I had so much fun driving today," Luyendyk said. "It was like, really cool. It's been great throughout the years."
Greg Ray led four times for 32 laps in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. But his race ended on Lap 120 when he collided with Mark Dismore while exiting the pits.
Tony Stewart finished ninth in The Home Depot Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, four laps down. He then flew to Charlotte. N.C., to compete in the NASCAR Winston Cup event this evening.