August 8, 2012-Happy Birthday Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1993  as defending F1 Champion. He started 8th and finished 3rd leading 34 laps earning him the Rookie of the Yeart award. Nigel then went on to win the CART championship becoming the only person to win the F1 and IndyCar title back to back. I met him briefly at the Bank One Rookie breakfast in their turn 2 suite early in the month. Newman/Haas PR rep Michael Knight attended with him, the only driver to be accompanied by someone. While that is common place now, back then it was unusual. I was hosting drivers as part of the Bob & Tom show and Nigel couldn’t hang around but Jimmy Vasser and Stefan Johansson did and were great guests on the show.

1994 at Indy was rougher as he started 7th and finished 22nd after a 3rd turn crash.

The media often credited him with having the “Lionheart spirit” More recently another British driver, Dan Wheldon, always had a Lionheart emblem on his helmets.

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