Welcome back to the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine: it’s early summer (June the Fourth, to be precise) and the proverbial bomb has recently gone off. An Indy 500 like no other saw Emerson Fittipaldi do something that looked a great deal like barging leader Al Unser, Jr into the wall with two laps to go, winning a third “500” for team owner Pat Patrick (and who knows, probably the first for Marlboro). Al Junior behaved like a professional and gentleman in the aftermath, although you can be sure that within the seas were boiling and the moon turning to blood. In any case, life went on.
To Milwaukee! The traditional post-Indy fixture and one of two trips to Wisconsin (the good old days!) sees a relatively reduced field of 22 drive round and round Milwauke State Fairgrounds flat-ish one-mile oval until a winner is finally shaken out. The track is tight enough to be busy but open enough that you can fight your way through. Did you know this is one of only three short ovals on the calendar? And we’ve already had one of them? I was shocked to consider this. You’d best enjoy it.
Who nailed qualifying? Why, Rick Mears, again. He was disappointingly a non-factor at Indy after mechanical problems took out all three of Roger Penske’s machines, but being Rick Mears he came straight back and secured pole for the Miller High Life 200 (what was Miller High Life?). Alarmingly (for Rick, or more precisely for me, identifying with Rick) Emerson Fittipaldi with his not-broken ‘89 Penske chassis lines up alongside. A gaggle of fast guys line up behind them, including, excitingly, the non-Ilmors of Bobby Rahal and Raul Boesel. Anyway, top 12 below:
1. Rick Mears 160.822 mph, Penske (Penske-Chevy)
2. Emerson Fittipaldi 157.418 mph, Patrick (Penske-Chevy)
3. Michael Andretti 155.159 mph, Newman-Haas (Lola-Chevy)
4. Bobby Rahal 154.752 mph, Kraco (Lola-Cosworth)
5. Raul Boesel 153.978 mph, Shierson (Lola- Judd)
6. Mario Andretti 153.774 mph, Newman-Haas (Lola-Chevy)
7. Pancho Carter 153.133 mph, Leader Card (Lola-Cosworth)
8. Danny Sullivan 152.756 mph, Penske (Penske-Chevy)
9. Teo Fabi 152.614 mph, Porsche Motorsports (March-Porsche)
10. AJ Foyt 151.617 mph, Foyt (Lola-Cosworth)
11. Arie Luyendyk 151.611 mph, Dick Simon (Lola-Cosworth)
12. Scott Brayton 151.013 mph, Dick Simon (Lola-Cosworth)
Scott Pruett in the Truesports car starts 14th, Al Unser, Jr is all the way down in 16th, Tom Sneva with the Buick in the back starts in P17. Just 22 cars starting this race, so no newcomers this week! But needless to say, a few guys whose seasons haven’t really started yet, looking for a result. I’m looking at you Porsche.
We’ll start this one at 6pm GMT on Sunday, 21 Feburary. Video below.