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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Rutherford wins third Indy 500 in seven years
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

May 25, 1980

Despite 13 caution flags that stay up for 60 of the 200 laps and keep the field together, and despite the controversial limitations of power that helped equalize the field, Johnny Rutherford wins the Indy 500 for the third time in seven years.

Rutherford is the first driver in the 64 years of the race to win it twice from the pole position. He averages 142.862 mph, the slowest in 18 years and 16 mph slower than the winner averaged last year.

"We were running like turtles," four-time winner A.J. Foyt says testily.

Rutherford is the fastest turtle, finishing more than a mile ahead of runner-up Tom Sneva. While the green light is on, Rutherford is never passed on the track as he leads for 119 of the 200 laps. "I was not in any serious trouble all day," he says.

That's because no matter the speed -- fast, slow or in-between -- Rutherford's car is the swiftest. "The Chaparral is two or three years ahead of its time," Rutherford says.

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