With 100 plus years of the Indianapolis 500, there are too many records, traditions, and facts to remember, unless your name is Donald Davidson. I didn’t include the obvious ones in this list, such as the four-time winners, female drivers, track records, etc. If you have any you would like to add, feel free to do so.
- The first person to win from Pole position was Jimmy Murphy in 1922.
- The first two-time winner was Tommy Milton in 1923 (won 1921 race).
- The first rain-shortened race winner was Frank Lockhart in 1926.
- The first winner to have only led the final lap was Dan Wheldon in 2011.
- Howdy Wilcox is the first driver to finish in first and last place (1919, 1921).
- Local station WTTV provided the first television coverage of the race in 1949.
- In 1958, front row drivers Dick Rathmann, Ed Elisian, and Jimmy Reece failed to lead a lap, the only time this has occurred in the history of the 500.
- In 1974 the Speedway rescinds their “never on a Sunday” policy. The race has been held on the Sunday before Memorial Day ever since.
- Seven races have failed to run the full 500 miles due to rain.
- Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City all can fit inside the Speedway.
- Rick Mears holds the record with the most Pole positions with six.
- Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon all won their first Indy 500 at the age of 27.
- Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti are the only two drivers to win the race after starting in 16th.
- Since the first race in 1911, no driver with the last name Smith has ever qualified for the Indianapolis 500. Smith is the most common surname in the United States.
- From 1911 to 1997 the Indianapolis 500 mile race took place on May 24 just three times. The Unser family won all three (1981, 1987, and 1992).
Here is a list of every driver to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
|1924||L.L. Corum, Joe Boyer|
|1941||Floyd Davis, Mauri Rose|
|1992||Al Unser, Jr.|
|1994||Al Unser, Jr.|
|1998||Eddie Cheever Jr.|
|2003||Gil De Ferran|
|2006||Sam Hornish Jr.|