Mario Wreck 1969
                                        by TC
                                   [05/08/2010]

As a kid who grew up on 30th st. and Moller Rd; I would almost
always go to the track for practice after school in May. On this
particular day when I was in the sixth grade, I snuck down to the
outside area of turn 4. In those days they only let you go into the
inside straight for practice setting.

USAC was the sanctioning body for the race in those days and
they used to have little green wooden booths placed on the out
side walls for USAC officials to sit in. On that day I went to sit in
an observation stand outside of turn for as no one was around
and I seized a goldon opportunity. The year was 1969 and Mario
Andretti was driving a really hot revolutionary lotus. Around 5:30
p.m., he rounded turn 3 on a practice lap and lost it, which sent
him into the outside wall. The lotus came apart like a cheap toy
on Christmas morning and burst into flames. Fortunately, Mario
only suffered burns to his face.  He went on to win his first and
only 500 that year driving the Brawner Hawk.

It was amazing to be in the right place at the right time to see this
amazing and somewhat historical incident.

I now reside in Tallahassee, Fl. and return to Indy as often as I
can for the race. Last year I took my son to his first Indy 500.

PREVIOUS STORY            INDEX