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Road to 100: Three brothers qualify in 1982

Posted at 3:36 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 15:54:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 1982, Indianapolis was on its way to becoming known as the amateur sports capital of the world.

The Major Taylor Velodrome and IUPUI's natatorium and track & field stadium were all under construction – and all built to host Olympic-caliber athletes during that summer's National Sports Festival.

Some of the best race car drivers in the world arrived in Indianapolis in May looking to win one of the most prestigious races in the world: The Indianapolis 500.

For the first time, and only time, three brothers qualified for the same race: Don, Bill and Dale Whittington.

On the front row for the 66th running were Rick Mears, Kevin Cogan and A.J. Foyt.

They came down the front straight to take the green flag – and then chaos.

Cogan veered into Foyt, then took out Mario Andretti. The race ended before it even started for Cogan, Andretti, Roger Mears and Dale Whittington.

On the restart, Foyt jumped into the lead. But the race turned into a battle between Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears.

Mears closed the gap in the final three laps. They crossed the finish line nearly neck and neck.

Johncock held Mears off, though, winning by the closest margin in 500 history at the time – 1 hundredths of a second.

The win was Johncock's second trip to Victory Lane.

MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

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Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. every night for our Road to 100, where we take a look back at each of the races leading up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Want tickets to this year's race? Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. and watch for the daily trivia question and answer, then click here to enter the answer to be entered daily for your chance to win tickets to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

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