Indianapolis 500 in History

Motor Races: Le Mans

Events in Sport

  • 1909-08-19 Indianapolis 500 race track opens
  • 1911-05-30 1st Indianapolis 500 car race, Ray Harroun wins at 74.59 MPH (120 KPH)
  • 1912-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Joe Dawson wins in 6:21:06.144 (120.060 km/h)
  • 1913-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Jules Goux wins in 6:35:05.108 (126.686 km/h)
  • 1914-05-30 Indianapolis 500: René Thomas wins in 6:03:45.060 (132.729 km/h)
  • 1915-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Italian-born American driver Ralph DePalma accompanied by riding mechanic Louis Fontaine wins from Englishman Dario Resta
  • 1916-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Dario Resta wins in 3:34:16.990 (135.187 km/h)
  • 1919-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Howdy Wilcox wins in 5:40:42.930 (141.703 km/h)
  • 1920-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Gaston Chevrolet wins in 5:38:31.901 (142.617 km/h)
  • 1921-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Tommy Milton wins in 5:34:44.578 (144.231 km/h)
  • 1922-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Murphy wins in 5:17:30.845 (152.057 km/h)
  • 1923-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Tommy Milton wins in 5:31:19.618 (145.718 km/h)
  • 1924-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Lora L. Corum/Joe Boyer wins in 5:05:23.595 (158.092 km/h)
  • 1925-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Peter DePaolo wins in 4:56:39.401 (162.748 km/h)
  • 1926-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Frank Lockhart wins in 5:12:48.768 (154.343 km/h)
  • 1927-05-30 Indianapolis 500: George Souders wins in 5:07:33.022 (156.983 km/h)

  • 1928-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Meyer wins in 5:01:33.725 (160.101 km/h)
  • 1929-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Ray Keech wins in 5:07:25.458 (157.048 km/h)
  • 1930-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Arnold wins (161.6 kph)
  • 1931-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Schneider wins in 5:10:27.948 (155.509 km/h)
  • 1932-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Fred Frame wins in 4:48:03.761 (167.604 km/h)
  • 1933-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Meyer wins in 4:48:00.774 (167.632 km/h)
  • 1934-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Cummings wins in 4:46:05.254 (168.761 km/h)
  • 1935-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Kelly Petillo wins in 4:42:22.771 (170.977 km/h)
  • 1936-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Meyer wins in 4:35:03.314 (175.530 km/h)
  • 1937-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:24:07.861 (182.789 km/h)
  • 1938-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Floyd Roberts wins in 4:15:58.362 (188.615 km/h)
  • 1939-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:20:47.412 (185.131 km/h)
  • 1940-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:22:31.201 (183.911 km/h)
  • 1941-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Floyd Davis/Mauri Rose wins in 4:20:36.266 (185.263 km/h)
  • 1946-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Resumes after WWII; George Robson wins by 44 seconds ahead of rookie Jimmy Jackson
  • 1947-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Mauri Rose wins in 4:17:52.159 (187.228 km/h)
  • 1948-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Mauri Rose wins in 4:10:23.286 (192.822 km/h)
  • 1949-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Holland wins in 4:07:15.939 (195.257 km/h)
  • 1950-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Due to rain, race shortened to 345 miles, Johnny Parson wins
  • 1951-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Lee Wallard wins in 3:57:38.103 (203.170 km/h)

  • 1952-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Troy Ruttman wins in 3:52:41.930 (207.480 km/h)
  • 1953-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:53:01.668 (207.187 km/h)
  • 1954-05-31 Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:49:17.261 (210.567 km/h)
  • 1955-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Bob Sweikert wins
  • 1956-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Pat Flaherty wins in 3:53:28.872 (206.785 km/h)
  • 1957-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Sam Hanks wins in 3:41:14.238 (218.229 km/h)
  • 1958-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Bryan wins in 3:44:21.064 (215.316 km/h)
  • 1959-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Rodger Ward wins in 3:40:47.470 (218.641 km/h)
  • 1960-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Jim Rathmann wins in 3:36:11.384 (223.324 km/h)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961-05-30 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins in 3:35:37.540 (223.908 km/h)

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • 1962-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Rodger Ward wins in 3:33:50.291 (225.780 km/h)
  • 1963-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Parnelli Jones wins in 3:29:35.365 (230.357 km/h)
  • 1964-05-30 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins in 3:23:35.813 (237.137 km/h)
  • 1965-05-31 Jim Clark becomes 1st foreigner in 49 years to win Indianapolis 500 - 3:19:05.370 (242.506 km/h)
  • 1966-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Graham Hill wins (232.2 kph)
  • 1967-05-31 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins in 3:18:24.211 (243.344 km/h)
  • 1968-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser wins in 3:16:13.786 (246.040 km/h)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Mario Andretti wins in 3:11:14.689 (252.453 km/h)

Racing Car Driver Mario Andretti
Racing Car Driver
Mario Andretti
  • 1970-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins in 3:12:37.057 (250.654 km/h)
  • 1971-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins in 3:10:11.545 (253.850 km/h)
  • 1972-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Mark Donohue wins in 3:04:23.851 (262.262 km/h)
  • 1973-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Gordon Johncock wins in 2:05:25.320 (255.944 km/h)
  • 1974-05-26 Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins in 3:09:10.094 (255.224 km/h)
  • 1975-05-25 Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser wins in 2:54:55.064 (240.135 km/h)
  • 1976-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins in 1:42:52.466 (239.350 km/h)
  • 1977-05-29 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins for a record 4th time
  • 1977-05-29 Janet Guthrie becomes 1st woman to drive in Indianapolis 500
  • 1978-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser became 5th to win the race 3 times
  • 1979-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Rick Mears wins in 3:08:47.950 (255.723 km/h)
  • 1980-05-25 Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins in 3:29:59.572 (229.914 km/h)
  • 1981-05-24 Bobby Unser wins, loses, & wins a controversial Indy 500
  • 1981-05-25 Bobby Unser becomes 1st Indy 500 winner to be disqualified
  • 1981-10-08 USAC appeals panel restores disputed Indy 500 victory to Bobby Unser
  • 1982-05-30 Closest Indy 500, Gordon Johncock beats Rick Mears by 0.16 seconds
  • 1983-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Tom Sneva wins in 3:05:03.092 (260.902 km/h)
  • 1984-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Rick Mears wins in 3:03:21.638 (263.308 km/h)
  • 1985-05-26 Indianapolis 500: Danny Sullivan wins by 24 seconds following a spin
  • 1986-05-30 Bobby Rahal is 1st to average over 170 mph in Indianapolis 500
  • 1987-05-24 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser Sr, 47, wins his 4th Indy 500
  • 1988-05-11 Mario Andretti records fastest Indianapolis 500 lap (221.565 mph)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil first foreign winner since 1966; completes final lap under caution after crashing with Al Unser Jr

Indy Car Driver Al Unser Jr.
Indy Car Driver
Al Unser Jr.
  • 1990-05-27 74th Indianapolis 500 runs
  • 1991-05-19 Willy T. Ribbs becomes 1st African American driver to make Indianapolis 500
  • 1992-05-24 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser Jr.wins
  • 1993-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi passes reigning F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell with 16 laps to go for his second race win
  • 1994-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser Jr.wins in 3:06:29.006 (255.89 kph)
  • 1995-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Jacques Villeneuve wins in 3:15:17.561 (247.221 km/h)
  • 1996-05-26 Indianapolis 500: Buddy Lazier wins in 3:22:45.753 (238.112 km/h)
  • 1997-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Arie Luyendyk wins his 2nd Indy 500
  • 1998-05-24 Indianapolis 500: Eddie Cheever Jr wins in 3:26:40.524 (233.604 km/h)
  • 1999-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Kenny Bräck wins in 3:15:51.182 (246.513 km/h)
  • 2000-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Juan Pablo Montoya wins in 2:58:59.431 (269.737 km/h)
  • 2001-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Hélio Castroneves wins in 3:31:54.180 (227.841 km/h)
  • 2002-05-26 Indianapolis 500: Hélio Castroneves wins in 3:00:10.871 (267.954 km/h)
  • 2003-05-25 Indianapolis 500: Gil de Ferran wins in 3:11:56.989 (251.526 km/h)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2004-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Buddy Rice wins from pole for team owners Bobby Rahal and David Letterman in a rain shortened race

Comedian and Television Host David Letterman
Comedian and Television Host
David Letterman
  • 2005-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Dan Wheldon wins in 3:10:21.0769 (253.637 km/h)
  • 2006-05-28 Indianapolis 500: Sam Hornish Jr wins in 3:10:58.7590 (252.804 km/h)
  • 2007-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Dario Franchitti wins in 2:44:03.5608 (244.257 km/h)
  • 2008-05-25 Indianapolis 500: Scott Dixon wins in 3:28:57.6792 (231.049 km/h)
  • 2009-05-24 Indianapolis 500: Hélio Castroneves wins in 3:19:34.6427 (241.913 km/h)
  • 2010-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Dario Franchitti wins in 3:05:37.0131 (260.107 km/h)
  • 2011-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Dan Wheldon wins in 2:56:11.7267 (274.015 km/h)
  • 2012-05-27 Indianapolis 500: Dario Franchitti wins in 2:58.51.2532 (269.934 km/h)

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1884-01-23 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA National Dirt Track C'ship 1908-11), born in Biccari, Italy (d. 1956)
  • 1886-12-02 Earl Cooper, American auto racer (AAA National Championship 1913, 15, 17; Indianapolis 500 1924 runner-up), born in Broken Bow, Nebraska (d. 1965)
  • 1902-10-31 Willie Shaw, race car driver (Indy 500-1937, 39, 40) (d. 1954)
  • 1903-08-04 Tony Gulotta, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1927 3rd), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1981)
  • 1906-05-26 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47-48), born in Columbus, Ohio (d. 1981)
  • 1909-10-14 Bernd Rosemeyer, German race car driver (Indy 500), born in Lingen, Germany (d. 1938)
  • 1918-07-04 Johnnie Parsons, American race car driver (won the Indianapolis 500 in 1950) (d. 1984)
  • 1918-12-13 Bill Vukovich, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1953-4), born in Fresno, California (d. 1955)
  • 1925-08-09 Len Sutton, American auto racer and broadcaster (Indianapolis 500 1962 runner-up), born in Portland, Oregon (d. 2006)
  • 1926-01-06 Pat Flaherty, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1956), born in Glendale, California (d. 2002)
  • 1928-07-16 Jim Rathmann, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1960; Race of Two Worlds at Monza 1958), born in Alhambra, California (d. 2011)
  • 1933-08-12 Parnelli Jones, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1963) and team owner (Indy 500 1970–71; USAC National Championships 1970, 71, 72), born in Texarkana, Arkansas
  • 1934-02-20 Bobby Unser, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1968, 75, 81), born in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Person of interestA. J. Foyt

1935-01-16 A. J. Foyt, American racing driver (Indy 500 - 1961, 64, 67 & 77), born in Houston, Texas

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • 1936-03-04 James "Jim" Clark, Scottish F1 Indianapolis 500 winner and World Champion (1963 & 1965), born in Kilmany, Fife, Scotland (d. 1968)
  • 1937-03-18 Mark Donohue, auto racer (1972 Indianapolis 500)
  • 1938-03-12 Johnny Rutherford, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1974, 76, 80), born in Coffeyville, Kansas
  • 1939-05-29 Al Unser, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1970-71, 78, 87), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Person of interestMario Andretti

1940-02-28 Mario Andretti, Italian American race-car driver (1969 Indianapolis 500, 1978 Formula One World Champion), born in Montona, Italy

Racing Car Driver Mario Andretti
Racing Car Driver
Mario Andretti
  • 1948-06-01 Tom Sneva, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1983; USAC C'ship 1977, 78, 82-83), born in Spokane, Washington
  • 1950-03-09 Danny Sullivan, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1985, CART C'ship 1988), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1951-12-03 Rick Mears, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1979, 84, 88, 91; Indycar series/World Series champion 1979, 81-82), born in Wichita, Kansas
  • 1953-12-21 Arie Luyendyk, American-Dutch Indy-car racer (1990 Indianapolis 500), born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
  • 1956-01-03 Willy T. Ribbs, American auto racer (first African-American to drive in Indianapolis 500), born in San Jose, California
  • 1959-02-20 Scott Brayton, American auto racer (4 x top 10 finishes Indianapolis 500; 2 x pole), born in Coldwater, Michigan (d. 1996)

Person of interestAl Unser Jr.

1962-04-19 Al Unser Jr., American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1992, 94), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Indy Car Driver Al Unser Jr.
Indy Car Driver
Al Unser Jr.
  • 1971-04-09 Jacques Villeneuve, Canadian auto racer (World F1 champion 1997; Indianapolis 500 1995; Indy Car World Series 1995), born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
  • 1976-01-31 Buddy Rice, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 2004, 24 Hours of Daytona 2009), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1977-01-28 Takuma Sato, Japanese auto racer (Indianapolis 500 2017, 20), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1981-03-01 Will Power, Australian auto racer (Indianapolis 500 2018), born in Toowoomba, Queensland
  • 1984-05-18 Simon Pagenaud, French auto racer (IndyCar champion 2016; Indianapolis 500 2019), born in Poitiers, France

Weddings in Sport

  • 2005-11-05 2004 Indianapolis 500 racecar driver winner Buddy Rice (29) weds Michelle Noonan in Arizona
  • 2005-11-19 Indianapolis 500 racer Danica Patrick (23) weds physical therapist Paul Hospenthal in Scottsdale, Arizona

Deaths in Sport

  • 1939-05-30 Floyd Roberts, Auto racer, killed during 1939 Indianapolis 500 (b. 1904)
  • 1954-10-20 Willie Shaw, race car driver (Indy 500-1937, 39, 40), dies at 51
  • 1955-05-31 Bill Vukovich, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1953-4), dies in crash in Indianapolis 500 at 36
  • 1956-03-31 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA National Dirt Track C'ship 1908-11), dies of cancer at 73
  • 1965-10-22 Earl Cooper, American auto racer (AAA National Championship 1913, 15, 17; Indianapolis 500 1924 runner-up), dies at 78
  • 1968-04-07 Jim Clark, Scottish auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1965, world F1 Champion 1963, 65), dies in race accident at Hockenheim, Germany at 32
  • 1973-07-02 Swede Savage, dies of injuries at Indianapolis 500
  • 1974-03-22 Peter Revson, US race car driver (Indianapolis 500), dies at 35
  • 1981-01-01 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47-48), dies at 74
  • 1981-03-02 Tony Gulotta, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1927 3rd), dies at 78
  • 1996-05-17 Scott Brayton, American auto racer (4 x top 10 finishes Indianapolis 500; 2 x pole), dies in a practice accident at 37
  • 2002-04-09 Pat Flaherty, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1956), dies from cancer at 76
  • 2006-12-03 Len Sutton, American auto racer and broadcaster (Indianapolis 500 1962 runner-up), dies from cancer at 81
  • 2011-11-23 Jim Rathmann, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1960; Race of Two Worlds at Monza 1958), dies after a seizure at 83