Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ESPN Classic [Print without images]

Monday, May 28, 2001
Updated: May 26, 4:40 PM ET
Johncock edges Mears by .16 to win Indy 500

By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com

May 30, 1982

Gordon Johncock takes the lead at the Indy 500 on the 160th lap, and with 15 laps left, it looks like he's going to be an easy winner after his last pit stop. But Rick Mears isn't about to let that happen.

Trailing by 11 seconds on lap 186, he reduces his deficit to a half-second by lap 199 and is battling Johncock wheel-to-wheel in the final miles. But Johncock holds off Mears' charge and wins by .16 of a second.

"One more lap," Mears says, "and it could have been 16-hundredths of a second the other way."

"There was no way I was going to back off," Johncock says.

Driving a Wildcat-Cosworth, Johncock averages 162.026 mph in winning his second Indy 500. This time, he goes the full 500 miles; in his 1973 victory, the race was shortened to 133 laps because of rain.