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1989 Indy 500: Unser, Jr. and Fittipaldi duel

Posted at 6:52 PM, May 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-01 18:52:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- 1989 was a year of progress in Indianapolis.

In March, Mayor Bill Hudnut officially kicked off the start of construction for the long-awaited Circle Centre Mall.

May brought the opening of the brand-new Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville. Hoosier favorite, Sandi Patty, performed the first concert.

The off-season was a busy one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well.

Drivers returning in May found a newly resurfaced track and pit lane.

Qualifying speeds were fast for the 73rd Indianapolis 500. The fastest front row ever averaging more than 223 miles per hour with Rick Mears on the pole.

But late in the race, it became a nail-biting duel between Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser, Jr.

With five laps to go, Little Al was out front and continued to hold off Emmo. But then Emmo made one final charge.

With less than 2 laps remaining and heading into turn three, a defining moment.

Little Al and Emmo touched wheels and Unser went into the wall.

The caution came out and that was it. Emerson Fittipaldi took the checkered flag under yellow.

The Brazilian becoming the first foreign winner of the race since 1966.

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