Grand Prix of Portland Rewind: The 90's - Record Breakers

The Race Winners:

June 24, 1990 - Michael Andretti
June 23, 1991 - Michael Andretti
June 21, 1992 - Michael Andretti
June 27, 1993 - Emerson Fittipaldi
June 26, 1994 - Al Unser Jr.
June 25, 1995 - Al Unser Jr.
June 23, 1996 - Alex Zanardi
June 22, 1997 - Mark Blundell
June 21, 1998 - Alex Zanardi
June 20, 1999 - Gil de Ferran

After the Father’s Day gift to his dad Mario in 1986, karma returned good favor to Michael Andretti as the 1990s began.  He went back-to-back-to-back in winning and sweeping the 1990-1992 CART races at Portland International Raceway as the only driver to accomplish that feat.  Those victories tie Andretti with Al Unser Jr. (the race’s first winner and also in 1994 and 1995) for most by any driver in the event’s history at three.

Another record was accomplished on a chilly and drizzly day in June 1997 when Mark Blundell passed Gil de Ferran on the final lap of a drying track to win by 0.027 of a second.  It remains the closest finish on a road or street circuit in the Indy car annals and also produced the closest 1-2-3 finish with the top three including Raul Boesel covered by just 0.055 of a second.

Watch the 1997 race and Blundell’s thrilling victory.

 “I didn’t know that I’d won the race,” Blundell said. “It was quite a thrilling thing to understand it. I looked up at the leaderboard and saw our number on top. I didn’t know we’d won it.”

Of the ten race winners across six drivers in the 1990s at PIR, all of them except Mark Blundell won an Indy car series championship in their illustrious racing careers, and three of them occurred in the same season when they won at Portland.

Come back next week when we look at the 2000's.

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