By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
As I’ve written in these pages before, the history of the Indianapolis 500 is filled with the stories of drivers who seemingly had the race won, only to have victory snatched from them with just a few laps to go.
There was Eddie Sachs who, in 1961, made a pit stop to replace a badly worn rear tire with just three laps to go, allowing A.J. Foyt to claim his first Indy win. Six years later Foyt became a three-time winner of the Memorial Day Classic when Andy Granatelli’s turbine-powered car, driven by Parnelli Jones, lost a six-dollar ball bearing in the transmission when Jones was well out in front with four laps left. And in 1912 Ralph DePalma’s big Mercedes engine broke a rod just five laps from the end when he had a five-lap lead, and hometown favorite Joe Dawson cruised to the win.
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