|The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
|Fatalities - May 15, 1982
Gordon Smiley qualified the Valvoline Phoenix/Cosworth
for the Patrick Racing team in 20th position for the 1980
Indy 500. His turbocharger blew on lap 47 to finish in 25th.
Gordon Smiley qualified the Intermedics Wildcat
VIII/Cosworth for the Patrick Racing team in 8th position
for the 1981 Indy 500. He crashed out on lap 141 to finish
Saturday, May 15, 1982: POLE DAY
Rick Mears came out early to qualify and shattered both
the single and four-lap records. with a single-lap speed of
207.612 mph and averages 207.004 mph.
About an hour later, two-time starter Gordon Smiley gets
loose on his second warm-up lap and slams head-on into
the outside wall of Turn 3. His car disintegrates and
Smiley dies instantly. His is the first fatality at the
Speedway since 1973.
I was there that day, down in the snake pit in Turn 1.
I knew there had been a crash, but had no idea what
happened. The action on the track stopped. After several
hours, the track reopened and I learned that Smiley was
Year Car No. Car Laps Completed Start Finish
1980 70 Valvoline 47 - turbo 20 25
1981 60 Intermedics 141 - accident 8 22
|Gordon Smiley (1946-1982)
|Calvary Cemetery, Omaha NE