On May 15, 1977, Clay Regazzoni crashed heavily after spinning to the inside of the track out of Turn 3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his hopes of qualifying for the Indy 500 were left in the balance.
Racing in Monaco the next weekend, Regazzoni had needed to secure his spot on the grid at the Speedway at the first time of asking. Now he’d need to do the same in Monaco qualifying on the Thursday, return to Indianapolis for another attempt on the Saturday, and then fly back again to Monte Carlo to race the following day.
After a rain-affected practice session on Thursday left him outside the top 20 required to make the Monaco grid, Regazzoni’s plans were looking risky. With grey weather on Saturday morning threatening to make an improvement impossible, the Swiss driver made the decision to head back to the Brickyard to get into the 500, giving up his chance of racing in the Principality.