On the 30-year anniversary of his last Indianapolis 500, Penske legend Rick Mears joins The Race IndyCar Podcast for a special episode.
The four-time Indy 500 winner discusses his dirt-racing roots and how that helped him carve out almost immediate success at the Speedway, winning just three years after his first attempt in which he failed to qualify for the race.
He discusses turning down Bernie Ecclestone to race for his Brabham F1 team and the reasons behind that, his wait for a second Indy 500 win and how the burns he received in pitlane at the 500 impacted him in 1982.
Of course, his 1991 victory is also covered, Mears’ favourite win given it helped him join the four-time club, but also how he rebounded from his first Indy 500 crash – that wasn’t his fault – the day before qualifying.
The next day he headed a legendary front row of his heroes Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt with a stunning effort the next day.
Mears also describes his role as a driver advisor at Penske which he has held since retiring, how that stacks up in satisfaction against his own Indy 500 wins, and Scott McLaughlin’s rapid IndyCar rise under Mears’ tutelage.