Johnny Rutherford's Chaparral-Cosworth, also known as the Yellow Submarine, was one of 15 ground-effects cars in the race. The faster these cars went, the closer their rubber undersides would sit to the track, creating a vacuum that essentially sucked the car to the pavement. As Rutherford said of his '80 vehicle, "This car handles so well, I could probably take my hands off the steering wheel going down the backstretch."
Toward the end of the century, the cars became increasingly streamlined, as evidenced by Jacques Villeneuve's needle-nosed Reynard-Ford. He had an airbox above his head, a feature now included on all cars to provide air to the engine and increase power. On this particular model the winglets on the side are angled down in an attempt to achieve greater downforce. "It looks like they were bent," says Davidson, "but they were designed like that."
The so-called "third-generation" of IndyCar, introduced after a year of tests, had a reduced weight, with slightly wider sidepods on the driver's right and left, and was held to higher crash standards in an effort to improve driver safety. Tony Kanaan drove his Dallara-Honda to a third-place finish in 2003 and was runner-up the following year.