Revson's head drops to his chest in despair and, very much under his breath so the girl can't hear him, he murmurs, "one more time."
REVSON: The first few laps at Indianapolis are potentially the most dangerous a driver will ever face. You are going very fast and you are in close quarters. Coming down the straight for the start there is a great deal of turbulence from the other cars, and since you are not in the racing groove there is a lot of dust kicked up. It is very difficult to see.
I probably think too much at Indianapolis, anyway. The things that are instinctive to the people who race there all the time are not so instinctive to me.
So I see and I think about how dangerous it is. I know that in those close quarters you can't avoid a car when it spins as you can on a road course. A car will spin and there's no place he can go. That means there's no place you can go to avoid him.
From the start my car was a handful. I had to fight it from the very beginning. Somewhere during the early laps I was getting ready to overtake another car, fighting the turbulence and drafting him on the backstraight. Having to pull out of the draft to pass meant having to enter the turbulent air outside the draft just when we came through the fourth turn entering the start and finish straightaway.
The fourth turn was more slippery than the others, especially in the early laps before rubber was put down. I went to make the pass, and my tail swung out and the car got loose out toward the wall. I controlled it, but then it began to swing in the other direction, toward the inside, and started to fishtail. I delicately backed off the throttle to regain stability, and then the car swung once too often.
With the power off I did not have the instantaneous throttle response to be able to correct, and the car began a slow spin.
On its second complete spin I caught it going in the right direction, but it was too late. The car hit the inside retaining wall, crushing its left-front suspension, and I was out of the race.
I left that night in a Lear Jet, making the New York connection for Monte Carlo, where I arrived in time to get in exactly one day's practice for the Grand Prix of Monaco.
I had seen the end of the Indy race on television before I left, including Swede Savage's accident. Thinking about how dangerous the start is in the 500 and how dangerous the track is, I kept coming back to one of my impressions when I first drove there. When cars start spinning and crashing, there's no place to hide at Indianapolis.