Video: Tom Sneva breaks 200mph at Indy
A little over 65 years from the Indy 500’s inception and just fifteen years after Parnelli Jones broke the 150 mile per hour barrier, Tom Sneva became the first driver to nail its four ferocious corners fast enough to officially crack a 200 mile per hour lap.
His teammate, Mario Andretti, set an unofficial run over 200mph during practice, as did A. J. Foyt and Johnny Rutherford, but when it came to Pole Day it was Sneva that bested the favourites and nailed the perfect session.
And he wasted no time getting down to it, setting a record one-lap speed of 200.401 mph on his first lap, breaking his record to go 200.535 mph on his second lap and claiming pole position and the four-lap record at a speed of 198.884 mph. For his troubles, Phil Hedback poured two hundred silver dollars into his helmet – one for each mile per hour.
He stayed at the pointy-end throughout the race and lead three laps on his way to second place, with A.J. Foyt claiming a historic fourth win.
Special thanks to Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Image via Indianapolis Motor Speedway