1981 Indianapolis 500
The 65th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24, 1981. A hectic month of May was interrupted several times by rain. Bobby Unser took the checkered flag as the winner, with Mario Andretti second. The following morning, USAC officials ruled that Unser had passed cars illegally while exiting the pit area on lap 149, and issued him a one-position penalty. The next morning, the official posted results scored Unser finishing second, and declared Andretti the race winner.
After a lengthy protest and appeals process, the penalty was rescinded, and Unser was reinstated the victory on October 9. Officially, it became Unser's third-career Indy 500 victory and his final win in Indy car competition. Unser stepped out of the car at the end of the season, and ultimately retired from driving. The race is widely considered one of the most controversial races in Indy history.
The race was officially part of the 1981-82 USAC season. However, most of the top entrants participated in the 1981 CART/PPG Indy Car World Series. Championship points for the 1981 Indy 500 were not awarded towards the CART title.