1980sABCAuto RacingHighlightsIndy 500InterviewsJim McKay

Auto Racing – 1986 – ABCs Jack Arute Interviews Pole Sitter Rick Mears Prior To Start Of Indy 500


Rick Ravon Mears (born December 3, 1951), also known by the nickname “Rocket Rick”….is a retired  American race car driver….who is one of three men to win the Indianapolis 500 four times in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991….and is the current record-holder for pole positions in the race with six in 1979, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991.  Rocket Rick is also a three-time Indycar series/World Series champion in 1979, 1981 and 1982.  For 1983 the Penske team would acquire the Pennzoil sponsorship with its yellow paint scheme….as teammate Al Unser took that year’s title. The team switched to the March chassis for the 1984 Indianapolis 500 after the Penske chassis proved unsuccessful in the first two races of the year….when Mears scored his second Indy win that May….but suffered severe leg injuries later in the year in a crash at Sanair Super Speedway. The March chassis, like most contemporary open-wheel racing cars, sat the driver far forward in the nose….with little protection for the legs and feet.  After the Sanair crash, Mears was slowed by the injuries to his right foot that affected him throughout the remainder of his career. Over the next three seasons, he won only two races….as he completed a comeback from his injuries by winning the 1985 Pocono 500.  In 1986, he won the pole position for the Indy 500….as seen in this video herewith…..but finished only 3rd.  He also won the 1987 Pocono 500.

Jack Arute III (born September 28, 1950) is a former sportscaster for the NFL and college sports for Sirius XM Radio….and he is the president of the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. He used to be an auto racing pit reporter and college football sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC….and covered the Izod IndyCar Series, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Versus.


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