Nigel Mansell's team had called him in to park in the pits early in the race because, with the throttle stuck wide open, his car was unsafe. His team manager, Jim McGee, had momentarily offered him the option of 'cruising around as long as you can stay out of traffic', but it was a good call at the time to bring Mansell in rather than risk a bad crash. As it turned out there was so little traffic at the end that the defending champion may have had a chance to finish well after all.
With a fuel fire in the pits and fewer than 10 cars finishing, the race looked more like Formula One than IndyCar. A miscue in the Galles pits caused the fuel hose to be pulled out of the nozzle, spilling fuel which burst into flames. The methanol used in IndyCars burns without flame, but the educated eye can see the heatwaves from the burning fuel. Any observer can also see crew who are on fire flailing at the invisible flames.
In the case of an IndyCar pit fire all crew members, no matter what team, run to the rescue with buckets of water that dilute the alcohol-based fuel and douse the flames. A member of Mansell's Newman-Haas team hastened to the aid of the Galles driver, Adrian Fernandez.
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