"Man In Charge"
"Million Dollar Moment"
"Man In Charge" and "Million Dollar Moment" are two films on the 1983 500-mile race, and both are included in COLOR on this 54-minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms! "Man In Charge" explains the new rules for '83 and has more detailed race and wreck coverage. The second film, "Million Dollar Moment", has driver interviews, more on qualifying, more pit stop action and shows more from the perspective of the Carl Hass-Paul Newman team with Mario Andretti driving. Both films are narrated by "voice of the 500" Paul Page but even as they both show the 1983 Indy 500, each film shows completely different footage of the race and the story of the month of May leading up to the spectacular classic on Memorial Day!
Beginning with "Man In Charge" by Championship Racefilms for Goodyear, the DVD opens by showing the practice spins and crashes of Chuck Ciprich, Dennis Firestone and Johnny Rutherford as a lead-in for one of the big stories of the month - the implementation of the new rules for this year's entries regarding design for increased ground clearance. Shown is A.J. Foyt arguing with an official over the clearance of teammate George Snider's red #1 Calumet Farms special. You'll hear Roger Penske, Tom Sneva and March designer Robin Herd explain the purpose of the rules and the necessary changes in car design for 1983. The first weekend of qualifying is rained out, but the following weekend you'll see Mike Mosely, Rick Mears, Sneva, Al Unser Sr and rookie Al Jr, Roger Mears, Josele Garza, Gordon Johncock and A.J. Foyt, qualifying for his 26th consecutive 500! The biggest surprise of qualifying however, is rookie Teo Fabi, a diminutive Italian who scorches the track for an all-time record qualifying speed of 207.395 MPH, easily winning the pole! This year Hall of Fame former driver Duke Nalon will drive the official Buick pace car and Duke compares the car to his first race car at Indy in 1938 as well as explains his duties with the car during the race.
On raceday, cars shown being rolled out are those of Al Unser, A.J. Foyt, Patrick Bedard, Sneva and Al Unser, Jr. Witness the traditional pre-race pageantry and drivers preparing to get into their cars: Mike Mosely, Sneva, Fabi, Rick and Roger Mears, Foyt, rookie Al Unser Jr, Gordon Johncock and Kevin Cogan. At the start pole-sitter Fabi jumps out to a lead with Rick Mears second, Mosely third and Rahal fourth. On lap 24 Fabi pits and Mosely leads for a lap, then Mears for two and Al Unser, laps 27-35 until Sneva leads for the first time on lap 36. The first accident of the day occurs when Patrick Bedard brushes the wall out of turn four and coasts to a stop against the outside wall on the main straightaway. Safety crews are shown assisting the uninjured driver. Sneva is still leading on lap 43 when Roger Mears loses the Machinists Union #9 in turn one, heavily crashing into the outside wall and you'll see emergency workers help him safely out of the car. Four laps later Fabi's promising race comes to an end in the pits as a refueling o-ring fails during his routine stop. Al Unser Sr is leading at 180 miles when Johnny Parsons loses control in turn one and tangles with Mario Andretti, taking both cars out of the race. More pit stops are shown in the second film, however in this one Sneva is shown taking on fuel only on the 89th lap. Shown in the pits also are Al Unser Jr and Gordon Johncock. Tom Sneva is leading the race at the 3/4 mark when Johncock makes his exit with a broken gearbox. Early leader Mike Mosely, still running 6th after 420 miles, suddenly hits the wall in the short chute and is out, finishing 13th. The Mosely caution gives both leaders Sneva and Al Unser a chance to duck into the pits together. Al gets out first and Unser leads Sneva by about 10 seconds! Now, it's a final 25-lap sprint to the finish with Al leading, Sneva 2nd, but with Al Jr. (several laps down) in between them and making it difficult for Sneva to get by. With 10 laps to go, Sneva finally passes Al Jr at the entry to turn one and then increasing his speed, sets his sights on Al Sr. By the end of the backstretch, Sneva takes the lead for the final time and the first driver to ever qualify at over 200 MPH has finally won Indy!
"Million Dollar Moment" by Car & Track Productions for Valvoline is a different film on the '83 race and there are more interviews in this one! Also cars not seen in the first film are those of Chip Ganassi, Dennis Firestone, Steve Chassey, Howdy Holmes, Derek Daly, Dick Simon, Billy Vukovich, Pete Halsmer, Jerry Karl, and Gary Bettenhausen, some of which did not make the race. There are a lot more scenes from qualifications on this film and no explanations about the new rules, except noting that 15 drivers including A.J. Foyt are forced into third day qualifying status for improper ground clearance and will be relegated to the rear of the field. Qualifying weekend approaches and former winners Foyt, Andretti and Johncock are struggling to reach speeds of 195 MPH, while younger drivers such as Al Jr, Rahal and Teo Fabi are easily running over 200! As the opening week of qualifying is rained out, the film interviews several drivers, some of which were glad for the rainout (Johncock, and Mario), while Fabi and Rahal explain it's a shame have to wait an extra week, because they are ready. Brief scenes of qualifying show Rahal, Mosely, Foyt and especially record-setting rookie Teo Fabi. Lots of scenes of the Haas-Newman team and Paul Newman, including soundbites from both Newman and Mario. Then the color and traditions of raceday are shown, including a clearer picture of what happened last year as Foyt reveals how he usually handles the start and what "Indianapolis" means to him. The front row this year is Fabi, Mosely and Rick Mears. The three major wrecks of the race are also shown in this film (Roger Mears, Parsons-Andretti and Mike Mosely) but all from different angles. A.J. Foyt's early exit from the race is given more coverage in this film. Other pit stops shown include those of Andretti, Rahal, Mosley, Geoff Brabham, Danny Ongais, and Dennis Firestone. During the race a pre-recorded interview with Howdy Holmes reveals why he thinks a small driver has an advantage over bigger men. There's more on this film of the end of race Al Jr./Sneva "blocking" controversy.
To get your own DVD containing both of these historic films, send only $29.95 plus $4.00 shipping (Illinois residents must add $3.20 state sales tax). Add $10 extra for BLU-RAY! (Highly recommended if you have a BLU-RAY player or HD large screen TV).
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