Danny Sullivan, winner of the 1985 Indianapolis 500, seemed on his way to duplicating that victory Sunday before a steering problem forced him out of the race.
Sullivan led 67 of the first 70 laps and it seemed that only the frequent yellow flags that pock-marked the race kept him within hailing distance of the rest of the field.But Sullivan knew something wasn't quite right with his car, even if the crowd of more than 400,000 didn't. It was evident when Penske Racing teammates Al Unser and Rick Mears closed on him.
"I had a problem with a front wing adjuster," he said. "We started to pick up push. It was probably aerodynamics. We knew we had a problem and it got worse. That was why Rick and Al got by."
Sullivan's pit crew did a hurry-up repair job and sent him back on the track.
"On turn one it was OK, just a little push," Sullivan said. "Then it stopped turning."
The car slammed into the wall but Sullivan escaped with only a bruised knee. He was disappointed with what happened with his car, though.
"With all the buildup this month and the car running so good, it's tough to have that happen."
Unlike many of the other drivers who complained about a slippery track and ended their races early, Sullivan had no complaints with the track. "It's in great shape," he said. "It's not too hot or greasy."