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.