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1981 Indianapolis 500

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Bobby Unser and Mario Andretti on the 1981 Finish

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1981 Indy 500: A controversial finish

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Rick Mears has a pit fire, 1981 Indy 500

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1981 Indianapolis 500 Centennial Moment

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Gordon Smiley Indianapolis 500 1981

The 65th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Sunday, May 24, 1981. The race is widely considered one of the most controversial races in Indy history. Bobby Unser took the checkered flag as the winner, with Mario Andretti second. After the conclusion of the race, USAC officials ruled that Unser had passed cars illegally while exiting the pit area during a caution on lap 149. Unser was subsequently issued a one-position penalty. The next morning, the official race results were posted, and Unser was dropped to second place. Mario Andretti was elevated to first place and declared the race winner.
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    • Background 

    • Race schedule 

    • Practice and qualifying 

    • Starting grid 

    • Race recap 

    • Controversy 

    • Protest and appeals 

    • Race Results 

    • Aftermath and lore 

    • Broadcasting