The Return of ‘Spin & Win Sullivan’

Although the announcement of a driver steward is not something that I post on this blog, this weekend’s German Grand Prix will see former-Tyrrell pilot and 1985 Indy 500 winner, Danny Sullivan take the to the seat. While Sullivan’s solitary season in Formula 1 in 1983 was not spectacular, the American still garnered respect from peers with decent performances in an underpowered car; however it is for his Indianapolis victory that he is best known.

As Sullivan fought with rival Mario Andretti (Newman-Haas Racing) for the lead of the race on lap 120, he passed Andretti into turn 1, but lost control of his Penske in the short chute towards the second turn. During the incident, Sullivan spun around 360 degrees while also lighting up his rear tyres, making sure his engine remained engaged, however he also partially blinded Andretti in the process with tyre smoke.
With Andretti only a few short meter’s behind Sullivan, the 1978 World Champion veered sharply left, narrowly avoiding Sullivan, who regained control of his car as it turned toward the correct direction.

Unperturbed by the incident, Sullivan caught the famed Newman-Haas driver and eventually beat him to the flag by little over two seconds to claim his sole Indianapolis crown. Sullivan has since garnered the nickname ‘Spin & Win Sullivan’ for one of the greatest saves – and consequent victory’s – in motorsports history.

2 thoughts on “The Return of ‘Spin & Win Sullivan’

  1. Video didn’t tell how Sullivan came from behind (again), much slower, to catch, then pass, Andretti (again). And I don’t remember.

    1. It’s been a while since I have seen it, but I’m certain the full race is on YouTube somewhere as well.
      Still, he’s a classy guy.

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