Indianapolis 500 Winners
The Indianapolis 500 is an annual automobile race, held each year typically on the last weekend in May in correspondence with Memorial Day weekend. The race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located in Speedway, Indiana. The Indianapolis 500 is an open-wheel car race and is currently sanctioned by IndyCar, LLC (formerly the Indy Racing League) and has been run as an IndyCar Series event since 1996. The Indianapolis 500 is considered one of the most traditional and historical races in the world, and is also considered one of the three most significant motorsport races in the world.
The first Indianapolis 500 was held in 1911, where Ray Harroun was declared the first winner, driving the Marmon Wasp. The race has been run annually since 1911 (with exceptions during World War I and World War II) and 67 drivers have been crowned champions of the 500-mile race over the course of 96 races. The most race victories held by a single driver is four, which has been accomplished only by A. J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. The Indianapolis 500 has also drawn many international drivers to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the years, with 25 of the winners coming from outside of the United States, representing nine separate countries. The most recent champion of the Indianapolis 500 is Dario Franchitti, who won his third Indianapolis victory at the 2012 race.
The winner of the Indianapolis 500 receives many prizes, many based on past tradition. One of the most iconic traditions is for the winner of the of the Indianapolis 500 to drink a bottle of milk, a tradition started by Louis Meyer who won the race in 1936. The winner is also presented with a wreath in victory lane, and has the opportunity to kiss the yard of brick (the start/finish line), an Indianapolis Motor Speedway tradition started by NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett in 1996 at the Brickyard 400 and adopted by 500 winners since 2003. The winner of the race also receives the pace car used during that race, and the Borg-Warner Trophy, on which they will have a bas-relief sculpture of their face. The Borg-Warner Trophy has been used since 1936 and the along with the sculpture on the original trophy, the winner receives a small replica. The Indianapolis 500 winner also receives a large purse, most recently at $2.56 million, given to Dan Wheldon in 2011. Other prizes have been given to the race winner over the years, including a quilt, made by Jeanetta Holder, which is presented to the driver annually at the winner's photo shoot.
Read more about Indianapolis 500 Winners: Owners
Famous quotes containing the word winners:
“The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people dont acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (b. 1922)