Pat Patrick, the owner of Mario Andretti's car, said yesterday that the second reversal of the United States Auto Club's decision on the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500 "presents yet another example of the total incompetence demonstrated by USAC in prior years."
Patrick said, "This was the reason for the formation of CART," when he learned that Bobby Unser's appeal to regain his status as Indy 500 winner had been upheld Thursday in a split decision. Andretti had been declared the winner a day after the race when USAC stewards penalized Unser a lap for improper passing.
"At this point, Mario has not made a decision as to what course to pursue against USAC," Patrick said. "I will be talking to him soon to see what his thinking is. I know he must be shocked and hurt by this totally unexpected reversal.
"We can see absolutely no justification for the USAC action in response to the special-panel inquery. Our question is how can they now change the one-lap penalty which is designated in their rule book as the mandatory penalty for the infraction, an infraction which they have clearly recognized in their early review and ruling?"