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1990 Indy 500: New speed record in front of 350K

1990 Indy 500: New speed record in front of 350K
1990 Indy 500: New speed record in front of 350K
1990 Indy 500: New speed record in front of 350K
Posted at 6:05 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 18:05:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 1990, the downtown Indianapolis skyline changed: The Bank One Tower, now known as the Chase Tower, opened. It's still the tallest building in the state.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a family tradition continued: Tony Hulman George became president, following in his grandfather's footsteps.

An estimated 350,000 fans packed the track that year to see what turned out to be a three-man race between pole-sitter Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal and Arie Luyendyk. Those were the only three drivers to lead a lap during this 74th version of the 500-miles.

Defending race winner and pole-sitter Emerson Fittipaldi dominated the first half of the race and was trying to become the first back-to-back winner in 20 years. But a tire issue dropped him a lap down and he finished third.

With 35 laps to go, Luyendyk started to close in on Rahal and he successfully passed him with 32 laps to go. From there, it was all Luyendyk, who set a record for the fastest winning average speed of 185.981 miles per hour. That record stood for 24 years (2013) and the Flying Dutchman was born. 

The Dutchman was the second consecutive foreign-born winner, the first time since 1965 and 1966 that happened.

NOTABLE: Much of the month of May was rained out, including the first weekend of time trials. Jeff Andretti tried to become the fourth member of the Andretti family to qualify for the same race, but he was bumped on the final day of time trials.

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