The Indy 500
100 Things About The Indy 500
May. 09, 2016
100 Things About The Indy 500
The First Indy 500
The first "500" was held at the Speedway on May 30, 1911.
1911 Program Cover
The race was originally advertised as the "International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race".
Which Driver has the Most Wins?
A. J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears each share the title for the most wins by a driver with 4 Indy 500 wins each.
Billy Arnold 1930
Fewest Lead Changes in any Indy 500 Race was one, in 1930. Bill Arnold won.
Danica Patrick led 19 laps in the 2005 race and 10 laps in the 2011 race, the only times a woman has led laps during the race. Her third-place finish in 2009 is the best finish for a woman.
Sarah Fisher has competed nine times, the most of any woman.
Youngest Indy 500 Driver
The youngest Indy 500 starter was A. J. Foyt IV (USA), at just 19 years, 0 days old, in 2003.
The Coldest Indy 500
Lowest Race Temperature: 58°F in 1992.
Ray Harroun's co-driver...
A driver named Cyrus Patschke relieved Harroun at the wheel for laps 71-102. Since Harroun started and finished the race behind the wheel, Patschke is not considered a “co-winner” of the event
In 1912, Ralph DePalma led 196 laps of the race, but ended up 11th after a connecting rod failed.
Two drivers in Indy 500 history named Dario
There have been two drivers in Indianapolis 500 history named Dario, Franchitti and Resta. Both won the race, Franchitti three times, and Resta in 1916.
The number 85 has only appeared in the race once
In the 100-plus year history of the “500”, the number 85 has only appeared in the race once, Denis Hulme used it in 1971 and finished 17th.
Physician driver nicknamed "Doc"...
Driver W.E. Shattuc was an actual physician who drove in the “500” from 1925-1927. His nickname, not surprisingly, was “Doc”.
The first driver to win from the pole position
Jimmy Murphy was the first driver to win from the pole position in 1922.
The last driver to win the “500” wearing a leather helmet
Jim Rathmann was the last driver to win the “500” wearing a leather helmet, when he took the checkered flag in 1960.
First time all 33 “500” starters qualified over 100 miles per hour
The first time all 33 “500” starters qualified at over 100 miles per hour occurred in 1927
The Borg-Warner Trophy and Milk
The Borg-Warner Trophy was first presented to the “500” winner in 1936. Louis Meyer, that year’s winner, also was the first winner to drink the traditional milk in Victory Lane.
The first time all “33” cars were rear-engined occurred in 1969.
Indy 500 Completions Without Pit Stops
Four different drivers have completed the 500 miles without a pit stop. Cliff Bergere finished the highest of the four, 5th in 1941.
Salt Walther is the only driver in history to finish last in three different Indianapolis 500’s.
In 1958, Jimmy Bryan won his only Indianapolis 500, the next year, 1959, he finished last.
1958 First Lap Crash
Both Jerry Unser and Art Bisch were caught up in a first-lap crash in 1958 and never completed a lap of the race. Neither made the 500 field again.
Driver Parnelli Jones drove in the Indianapolis 500 seven times, he led the race in five of them, and won in 1963. In one of the only two races Jones DIDN’T lead he finished second in the race. In his seven starts, Jones never started worse than 6th in the race.
In Rick Mears 15 starts in the Indianapolis 500, his worst starting position was 22nd in 1981, the year he was injured in a pit fire. Mears started on the front row 11 times.
Dan Wheldon's Shortest Winning Distance...
In 2011, Dan Wheldon led the shortest distance of any race winner. While Wheldon was credited with leading the final lap of the “500”, he actually only led a few hundred yards after J.R. Hildebrand’s accident.
The Most Indy 500s
A.J. Foyt holds the record for driving in the most Indianapolis 500’s (35).
Pole Sitter finishes
The pole sitter has finished last on five different occasions, including two straight years, 2000 and 2001.