I'm counting down the days until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

I'm not a race fan in the fanatic sense. I've only been to the Indy 500 a handful of times. My memories center around listening to the race on the radio in the backyard while filling out the leading laps grid from the Indianapolis Star.

I do love Indianapolis, tradition, and most of all a theme! Each day I will share a memory or tidbit of history.

And since I do love a theme, I feel like I need to start at 100 for the countdown, so let me catch you up. 


Did you know that of the 756 drivers that have qualified for the race, there has never been driver with the last name of Smith? Sam Schmidt is as close as it's come. He raced in three consecutive Indy 500's, 1997 - 1999. 


Schmidt was hurt in a terrible crash while preparing for the 2000 racing season. After months on a respirator he started learning to live as a quadriplegic. He started Sam Schmidt Motorsports, sponsoring Indy Light Series and in 2011 the team became full time in the IndyCar series, with several racers competing in the Indy 500. 


If there hasn't been a racer named Smith in 99 years of races, I wonder how long it will take to have a Spitznogle in the field?