Held annually over the Memorial Day weekend, the race called “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” is the Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (aka The Brickyard) hosts the event, which began in 1911, and participants drive open-wheel, or Indy Cars,
Pete DePaolo, in winning the 1925 race, became the first driver to average more than 100MPH (101.1) over 500 miles. One of Indy’s unique traditions began in 1936 when Louis Meyer, after winning his third 500, requested milk in the wiiner’s circle, a practice that continues to this day.
Racing resumed in 1946, and under new owner Tony Hulman, major renovation took place at the Speedway, and the famous “Gentlemen, start your engines!” call began.
The 1964 500 is notable for a second lap, seven-car crash that claimed the lives of two drivers, prompting a switch from gasoline to methanol the following year. The ’64 race, won by A.J. Foyt, was the last 500 to be won by a car with the engine located in the front of the vehicle.
Janet Guthrie, in 1977, became the first female driver to qualify for the 500, although she completed just 27 laps. 1992 saw Indy’s closest-ever finish, with Al Unser, Jr. edging out Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds.
Three drivers, Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser, Sr. are tied with the most Indy 500 wins with 4 apiece, while the Penske Racing Team holds the most victories overall with 15.