500 facts: leading the race 

Love that clean air

click to enlarge 500facts_webheaders6.jpg

149. Big Al's led the most laps in a career.

Unser, Sr. was in front for 644 circuits before he hung it up.

150. Billy Arnold led the most laps in a single race.

Arnold was in front for 198 laps in 1930.

151. That's also the most led by a winner, by the way.

Billy took the lead after lap 2 and never looked back.

152. Dan Wheldon set the record for fewest laps led by a winner.

Wheldon only led the lap that ended in checkered in 2011.

153. Ralph DePalma holds the record for single-race futility.

DePalma led for 196 laps and didn't win the 1912 500.

154. Rodger Ward led the 1960 race 10 different times and didn't win.

And speaking of single-race futility, that's also a record.

155. And when it comes to career futility — pity poor Michael Andretti.

Over the course of his behind-the-wheel career, Mario's son led a record 431 laps in the 500 without a single win.

156. A.J. Foyt holds the record for races led.

Foyt ran at the front in a total of 13 races.

click to enlarge A.J. Foyt readies for the 1984 500. - PAUL WILLIS
  • A.J. Foyt readies for the 1984 500.
  • Paul Willis

157. Tony Kanaan has led the race more times in his races than anyone.

Tony's been in front an incredible 46 times.

158. Kanaan and Marco Andretti shared a record stat in 2013.

Each driver led that race 15 times.

159. Kanaan led in every race from 2002-2008.

Seven consecutive races — another high-water mark for the Brazillian.

160. Rex Mays holds the record for races led without a win.

Mays ran in the clean air in nine different 500s but never saw checkered.

161. The most lead changes at a single race: 68.

2013 was a great year to be in the stands.

162. 2013 also saw the most lap leaders.

A total of 14 different cars ran at the front of the field.

163. The fewest lead changes: One.

Louis Meyer led for two laps in 1930, and then Billy Arnold turned the thing into a parade.

164. Two different races also saw only two lap leaders.

1930 and 1965.

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Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

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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