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.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl G. Fisher is commonly credited with the concept of a "rolling start" led by a pace car. Nearly all races at the time of the first 500, as well as all Formula One races even to the present, utilize a standing start.
The Indianapolis 500 has utilized a pace car since the first race. Carl Fisher himself was the pace maker, driving a Stoddard-Dayton (manufactured by John Stoddard in Dayton, OH - who would have guessed?)
Traditionally, the make of the pace car (or truck) has always been a domestic American-made brand.
In 1991, the Dodge Stealth was originally named the pace car. However, the UAW, along with traditionalists, protested since the Stealth was a captive import built by Mitsubishi in Japan. Shortly before the race, the Stealth was downgraded to be the festival car. The pre-production Dodge Viper RT/10 was substituted on race day.
Since 2002, Chevrolet has had an exclusive deal with the Speedway to provide the pace car and other official vehicles.