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I attended the race with my girlfriend of a few years.  
We were in love and fought a lot.  I learned a lot about
crazy from that relationship.

Her older brother gave us a couple of tickets near the
top in the SW Vista.

He attended with his two young sons and they sat next
to us.

The weather was sunny and warm.
After the start of the race, my girlfriend
and I headed into the infield.  She was
literally the most jealous person on the

We no sooner stepped toward the
snake pit than she imagined I had
looked at another girl and in a fury,
ran off into the crowd.

The Snake Pit could be a dangerous
place for a young female back then
and I was  concerned.  She was very
independent and she often acted

I walked around the infield but never
found her.
Michael Andretti(#18), Danny Sullivan(#1), Rick Mears(#4).
Notice the stands in Turn 1 infield.
This was a recent development.
They put a crimp in the Snake Pit, but
the stands did not run the entire
distance so there was still room for
the partiers to sit by the fence.

You could never see much track action
from the Snake Pit anyway.  The party
people were there to party and the
race was just background noise.

This party tradition continues to this
day.  Some people don't even make it
into the track on race day!  They sit
outside the track near their car the
whole day partying, listening to the
roar of the engines and not caring a
red cent about who is leading.
Josele Garza (#55), Jim Crawford (#31), Rick Vogler (#6)
I met two chicks and they took this photo of me with my camera.  
I returned to our seats and hoped my girlfriend was
back there.

However, she was not there.

I remained there with her brother and nephews for
the rest of the race.

She returned at the very end of the race safe and

The Speedway built the new concrete garages for 1986.

The cars had new Cosworth and Ilmore V8s replacing
the turbo V6s.  

Most of the chassis used were Marchs.  There were
several Lolas as well and Penske had his own chassis
and ran the Chevy Badged Ilmor engine.

The average qualifying speed was 210 mph.  
Rick Mears qualified on pole at 216.828 mph.  
Dick Simon made his 15th Indy 500 at age 52.

A yellow Corvette convertible was the pace car.  Chevy
had just brought back the convertible after an 11-year

The race was rained out on Sunday the 25th and again
on Monday the 26th (Memorial Day.)  The race was
finally ran on the following Saturday!

The weather post-poned the first live coverage since
1971.  Tape-delay had been used since 1971.

Bobby Rahal won the race, beating Kevin Cogan to
the finish line by 1.441 seconds.  

This was the first time that the 500 was ran in less than 3

Rahal's average speed of 170.722 mph shattered the
previous record set two years prior.

Sadly, Rahal's car owner,
Jim Trueman, died of cancer
11 days after the race.
Dan's Race Journals