"What’s in a number? For gamblers, seven is lucky. For race history statisticians, years ending in seven form a lucky pattern. Whether or not it carries any significance for this year’s drivers has yet to be seen, but if this year runs true to history, it bodes well for previous winners in the field. What are the odds on that?
1917: No race, due to WWI.
1927: Driving a Duesenberg, rookie George Souders won with an eight-lap margin.
1937: Wilbur Shaw drove his Offy to his first of multiple victories.
1947: Mauri Rose powered to his first of back-to-back wins.
1957: Sam Hanks steered his Offy to victory lane, where he announced his retirement.
1967: A.J. Foyt won his third Indy 500 in the orange Coyote, beating the turbine “whooshmobile.”
1977: Ten years later, same story: Foyt, another Coyote, another win — in a year that saw Tom Sneva break the 200 mph barrier and witnessed the first female in the field: Janet Guthrie.
1987: Al Unser Sr. replaced an injured Danny Ongais in a year-old March and became the second four-time winner and, simultaneously, the oldest winner.
1997: It was pole-to-pole for the flying Dutchman, Arie Luyendyk, whose Lola beat 34 other cars in qualifying and the race to earn his second Borg Warner.