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Fun Facts About The Indianapolis 500!

The Indianapolis 500 is called the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing”, and this year’s race will be held on May 27th. Here are some fun facts about this race:

  • Construction of the famous 2.5-mile track started in 1909. It was built on 328 acres of farmland that was purchased for $72,000.
  • The track is nicknamed “The Brickyard”, because its original racing surface consisted of 3.2 million paving bricks. The track’s turns were later paved in 1935.
  • The first race was held on May 30, 1911. Ray Harroun won that race with an average speed of 74.6 miles per hour.
  • The oldest winner of the race is Al Unser, Sr. He was 47 years and 360 days old when he won in 1987.
  • The youngest winner is Troy Ruttman. He was 22 years and 80 days old when he won in 1952.
  • Tony Kanaan holds the race record time (200 laps/500 miles) of 2 hr., 40 minutes. He did that in 2013, with an average speed of 187.433 miles per hour.
  • It took 6 hours and 42 minutes for Ray Harroun to win the first race.
  • The race is among the world’s best attended single-day sporting events. It drew crowds of over 400,000 during the 1990s.
  • J. Foyt has the most starts of any driver, with 35.
  • Three drivers have won the race four times: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Sr., and Rick Mears.
  • Takuma Sato finished first in 2017 and became the first Japanese driver to win the event.
  • Roger Penske is the most successful car owner with 16 wins.
  • Cars using Firestone tires have won the race 68 times. Goodyear is in second place, with 29 wins.
  • In 1996, Arie Luyendyk set the fastest qualifying record at 237.498 miles per hour.