500 facts: all time records 

The fastest at IMS

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67. Only three have won four.

"The only drivers to have won the Indianapolis 500 four times each are A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears." — ims.com

68. The first to win four was Foyt.

A.J completed the feat in 1977.

69. Penske has the lock on ownerships wins.

The Penske team has notched a total of 16 Indy 500 victories. Lou Moore's squad from the 1930s and '40s is a distant second with five.

70. Two men have won five races at Indy.

Jeff Gordon notched five Brickyard 400s before he retired and Michael Schumacher won the US Grand Prix Formula 1 race all but three of the eight times the road-course was open to F1 drivers at Indy.

71. Not counting the four-time winners, seven drivers have won it three times or more.

Louis Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti all have three wins.

72. Meyer was the first to three.

Louis wrapped the trifecta in 1936.

73. If you disregard the three and four-timers, nine drivers have won the 500 twice.

Tommy Milton, Bill Vukovich, Rodger Ward, Gordon Johncock, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Dan Wheldon and Juan Pablo Montoya have all won two championships.

74. Tommy Milton was the first to win two.

His wins came in 1921 and 1923.

75. Five drivers have won back-to-back 500s.

Wilbur Shaw won it in 1939-40, Mauri Rose in '47 and '48, Bill Vukovich took checkered in 1953 and '54 (and were it not for his tragic death at Indy in '55, likely have won more), Al Unser, Sr. took the 1970/'71 races and Helio Castroneves won in 2001 and 2002.

click to enlarge Little Al, Big Al and A.j. - PAUL WILLIS
  • Little Al, Big Al and A.j.
  • Paul Willis

76. No one's seen Victory Lane three times in a row.

Big Al and Helio Castroneves came close. Al Unser, Sr., won in 1970 and '71, finishing second in '72. Starting in 2001, Helio finished first, first and second — although his 2002 win was controversial.

77. The 500 has seen winning drivers from 20 states.

49 winners were from the U.S.

78. Indiana has produced the most winning drivers.

Seven Hoosier natives have won the 500, including: Joe Dawson (1912), Howdy Wilcox (1919), L.L. Corum (1924 co-winner), George Souders (1927), Louis Schneider (1931), Bill Cummings (1934) and Wilbur Shaw (1937, 1939, 1940)

79. Two of those were from Indy.

Schneider and Cummings were both from the Circle City.

80. California's second for producing winning drivers — six.

Ohio and PA have given us five winners each, too.

81. Internationally, Indy's seen 28 victories among 20 drivers.

Those winners are from ten different countries.

click to enlarge Although he hasn't won the 500, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud has won the Grand Prix of Indy — twice. - T.J. FOREMAN
  • Although he hasn't won the 500, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud has won the Grand Prix of Indy — twice.
  • T.J. Foreman

82. France has produced the most number of foreign-born drivers with four.

Brazil, England and Italy have given use three each.

83. Kansas has seen the same number of total victories as Indiana — nine.

You can thank several multiple-winners for that total: Rodger Ward (1959, 1962), Johnny Rutherford (1974, 1976, 1980) and Wichita's Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991)

84. Al Unser saw the longest stretch between his first and final win.

Al Sr. won his first in 1970 and his last in '87, a span of 17 years.

85. The name "Unser" has appeared at Indy more than any other family name.

Jerry Unser, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Johnny Unser and Robby Unser have all run in the 500. Louis Unser made it through several stages of the 1940 driver's test but didn't make the field.

86. Rick Mears has the most wins from the pole.

Mears went wire-to-wire three times.

87. Ray Harroun and Louis Meyer both won from the record-worst field position.

That'd be 28th in the field.

88. Jules Goux had the biggest lead at the checkered.

Goux finished the 1913 race a whopping 13 minutes and 8.4 seconds ahead of Spencer Wishart.

89. Little Al tallied the win in Indy's closest finish.

Al Unser, Jr., beat Scott Goodyear by only .043 seconds in 1992.

90. Arie Luyendyk was the fastest ever.

"The Flying Dutchman" turned a lap at 237.498 mph during quals on May 12, 1996. That's a lap time of 37.895 seconds.

91. Luyendyk was even faster in practice that year.

On May 10, Arie pulled a lap time of 239.260. Unfortunately for us stat freaks, however, practice laps aren't "official," even though that's the quickest trip around the oval ever recorded. He was on it, indeed.

click to enlarge Rick Mears, one of three who've won four. - PAUL WILLIS
  • Rick Mears, one of three who've won four.
  • Paul Willis

92. Tony Kanaan ran the fastest 500 — on average.

The speed for Kanaan's win, divided by every lap? 187.433 mph.

93. Harroun ran the slowest.

C'mon, it was 1911 — which explains the average speed below 75 mph.

94. Troy Ruttman was the youngest man to win the Indy 500.

Ruttman was 22 years and 80 days when he the Greatest Spectacle in 1952.

95. Al Unser Sr. was the oldest.

Al was five days short of 48 when he won in '87.

96. Offenhauser engines have powered more winning rides than any other.

The total is 27, with the last coming in 1976. Miller engines won 12 500s between 1922 and 1938.

97. The most successful chassis have come from the Dallara shop.

Trick answer, really: The "lock" in recent years by the Italian manufacturer on IndyCar bodies made for a tally of 15 wins since the end of last century.

98. 2008 was the first year all 33 cars ran the same make of engine and chassis.

The Dallara/Honda package was run by every entry from 2008 to 2011. Chevy and Lotus got back into the engine game in 2012, and Tony Kanaan's win in 2013 was powered by Chevrolet.

99. If you're picking a number for your car, go with "3."

Cars with that numeral have won the 500 a total of 11 times. Three not available? Go with No. 2 (nine wins) or Numero Uno (seven wins).

click to enlarge The No. 1 wasn't lucky for Bobby Rahal in 1987 — he was knocked out with mechanical issues that year. - PAUL WILLIS
  • The No. 1 wasn't lucky for Bobby Rahal in 1987 — he was knocked out with mechanical issues that year.
  • Paul Willis

100. The most number of cars running at the finish is 26.

It's happened twice: 1911 and 2013. (Seriously, that 2013 race was hella cool. More later.)

101. Fewest running at checkered: 7.

That happened in 1966.

102. Biggest jump from start to finish in a field larger than 33: 32 positions.

Zeke Meyer must've wished the 1932 Indy 500 had been limited to 33 cars, since he was able to take his 38th-place position at the green flag and manage to move up to sixth place by the end of the run.

103. Only two have run the "triple."

Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve have run in in the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and United States Grand Prix at Indy. Take it away, IMS website:

Montoya won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 in his only start in that event, drove in the United States Grand Prix from 2001-06 and raced in the Brickyard 400 in 2007-12. Villeneuve raced in the Indianapolis 500 in 1994-95, winning in 1995, drove in the United States Grand Prix from 2000-03 and 2006, and raced in the Brickyard 400 in 2010.

104. Fifteen drivers have run both Indy and the Brickyard (NASCAR, that is).

They are: John Andretti, Geoff Brabham, A.J. Foyt, Larry Foyt, Robby Gordon, Sam Hornish Jr., Jason Leffler, Juan Pablo Montoya, Max Papis, Danica Patrick, Scott Pruett, Tony Stewart, Danny Sullivan, Jacques Villeneuve and J.J. Yeley.

105. Four men have run the 500 and F1 at Indy.

Thomas Enge, Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato and Jean Alesi all ran the US Grand Prix at Indy in addition to the 500.

106. One million miles have been run.

Adding the mileage from the first 99 Indy 500s gives a total of 1,060,930 — that's enough to circle the planet 42 times.

107. Drivers from 31 countries have competed.

That's part of the reason the 500 has global appeal.


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Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

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Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.

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