With COVID-19 pandemic raging on, we are back with another list after our F1 Saves article as here we will look at the saves in IndyCar from 1990s to until now.
After our F1 Saves article last week, we decided to compile a list for IndyCar, all from the last 30 years of the sport (with one very deserving exception). We covered the Top 10 best saves in the modern history of the pinnacle of motor racing.
However, F1 is not the only series to have some remarkable recoveries filling its compilations of best moments. Far from it, in fact. So, to commemorate the best saves of other series’, and IndyCar specifically, we’ve decided to do a follow-up article.
Here we have the Top 5 saves in the highest level of American single-seater racing. Also like last time, we’ve decided to keep it to a modern time frame, due to the lack of documentation on ones prior to the last 30-40 years.
Here’s the list for F1 Saves if you missed it: https://formularapida.net/f1-saves-top-10-from-the-1990s-to-2010s-decade/
Here we have top five IndyCar Saves, where we go from fifth to first:
5) Michael Andretti – 1997 Detroit Grand Prix:
During the 1997 Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle – when the series ran under CART – Newman-Haas Racing’s Michael Andretti was hot on the tail of another driver when the driver in front lost grip. With the leading driver’s car perpendicular to the apex, he was left with little space, and he managed to navigate the situation, despite a snap of oversteer. Ultimately in the race, Al Unser Jr. won, and Andretti came second, in what was an event dominated by second-generation drivers.
4) Felix Rosenqvist – 2019 IndyCar Classic at COTA:
Lapping COTA in a race dubbed the IndyCar classic in 2019, Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist ran wide, just as many other drivers – including Sebastian Vettel in the F1 race at the same circuit – do. However, the Swede ran wide more so than most, and he very nearly paid the price. Running across the grass, and hitting rather enormous bumps, he countered oversteer, and even managed some air time, before recovering and getting back on track.
3) Alexander Rossi – 2019 Iowa 300:
In what was another incredible display of car control from the California-born Andretti Autosport driver, Alexander Rossi saved his car, despite the fact that he was crossed-up entirely. It transpired that Rossi came sixth in the race, as Josef Newgarden was victorious at the race on the short oval.
Here’s a video of both Rosenqvist and Rossi: https://youtu.be/HMh7kUPrnwI
2) Ed Carpenter – 2017 Texas:
At a track that never fails to provide dramatic moments – Texas Motor Speedway – ECR’s Ed Carpenter pirouetted on the restart, in incredible fashion. After just minor contact, the American spun across the track and slid across the pit exit towards the wall. Remarkably, though, he stopped the car from continuing to spin, and got it facing the right direction mere feet from the barrier. The save allowed him to finish 11th in the end.
1) AJ Foyt IV – 2003 Indy 500 qualifying:
Starting this article, we were acutely aware that – unless we dug up something impossible – this would top the list. In qualifying for the 2003 Indianapolis 500, AJ Foyt IV spun on the exit of turn two and ended up facing the wrong direction, while still traveling 200 miles per hour. Despite multiple wiggles, and even a dramatic lockup during over the course of his backward-facing excursion, he kept his car in a straight line so as to avoid damage.
Honorable mentions which missed the cut:
Danny Sullivan – 1985 Indy 500:
Now a somewhat commonly used phrase in racing, Danny Sullivan invented the term ‘Spin and Win’ at the 1985 Indy 500. Missing the cut due to the fact that it precedes the threshold year we set by 5 years, this was an iconic save pulled off, which ultimately led to a race win for the American.
Here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZgaFQ6kKxk
Alexander Rossi – 2019 Texas:
Having been edged out by other saves, Rossi’s 2019 save at Texas Motor Speedway, which saw him just slide just under a crashing Dixon and Herta, driving below the white line, Rossi’s Texas save was incredible to witness, and one not to be cut from the list entirely, even if it wasn’t as much of a ‘save’ in the same way his Iowa recovery was.
That’s it for our IndyCar Saves segment – hope you have enjoyed it. But before that let us know some of your favorite on-track driver battles in the comments section from the above era – if we get some good ones, we may do a special fan list.