IRL: Indy 500: Track notes

86th INDIANAPOLIS 500 TRACK RECORDS: (Qualifying, one lap) Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone, 37.895 seconds, 237.498 mph, May 12, 1996 (Qualifying, four-lap average) Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone,...

86th INDIANAPOLIS 500

TRACK RECORDS:

(Qualifying, one lap)
Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone, 37.895 seconds, 237.498 mph, May 12, 1996

(Qualifying, four-lap average)
Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone, 2 minutes, 31.908 seconds, 236.986 mph, May 12, 1996

(Race)
Arie Luyendyk, 90 Lola/Chevy Indy V8/Goodyear, 2 hours, 41 minutes, 18.404 seconds, May 27, 1990. Average: 185.981 mph

THE RACE:

-- The Indianapolis 500 has taken place annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1911 with the exception of the World War years (World War I, 1917-18 and World War II, 1942-45). It is the oldest automobile race in the United States.

-- The Indianapolis 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.

RACE NOTES:

-- Six Indianapolis 500 champions are on the entry list: Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997) Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Kenny Brack (1999) and Helio Castroneves (2001). The six winners are the most on an entry list since 1994.

-- Penske Racing will seek its 12th Indianapolis 500 win. The team scored victories in 1972, '79, '81, '84, '85, '87, '88, '91, '93, '94 and 2001. Helio Castroneves captured the 11th win for Penske at the Indianapolis 500 last year and will drive for Marlboro Team Penske in this year's race.

-- Helio Castroneves will attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500 since Al Unser in 1970 and '71. Unser now serves as a driver coach for the Indy Racing League.

-- Kenny Brack will attempt to qualify for the "500" for the first time since he won the event in 1999 driving for A.J. Foyt Racing. Brack is driving for Chip Ganassi Racing this year.

-- Of the 37 drivers on the entry list as of April 24, 20 have won a race in the Indy Racing League, CART, NASCAR Winston Cup or Formula One.

-- Al Unser Jr. and Arie Luyendyk have the chance to become one of only nine drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 at least three times if one of them drinks milk in Victory Lane on May 26. The eight drivers who have won at least three times: A.J. Foyt (1961, '64, '67, '77), Al Unser (1970, '71, '78, '87), Rick Mears (1979, '84, '88, '91), Louis Meyer (1928, '33, '36), Wilbur Shaw (1937, '39, '40), Mauri Rose (1941, '47, '48), Johnny Rutherford (1974, '76, '80) and Bobby Unser (1968, '75, '81).

-- Five former MBNA Pole Award winners are on the entry list: Arie Luyendyk (1993, 1997 and 1999), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Billy Boat (1998), Greg Ray (2000) and Scott Sharp (2001).

-- If a rookie wins this year's event, it will be the first time in Indianapolis 500 history that a rookie has won three years in a row. Juan Montoya won in 2000, and Helio Castroneves won in 2001.

-- Arie Luyendyk has the most previous starts of any driver scheduled to participate, with 15. Luyendyk came out of retirement in 2001 to attempt to claim one more victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having already won in 1990 and 1997. He announced his retirement prior to the 1999 Indianapolis 500, in which an accident in Turn 3 ended his day early. Since then he has competed only in last year's "500." Luyendyk has scored four top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in his 15 starts.

-- There are 13 rookies on the entry list for this year's Indianapolis 500. All will attempt to capture the Bank One Rookie of the Year Award, given annually since 1952. The rookies are: Alex Barron (Blair Racing), John de Vries (Brayton Racing), Dario Franchitti (Team Green), Shigeaki Hattori (Bradley Motorsports), Johnny Herbert (Beck Motorsports), PJ Jones (Team Menard), Tony Kanaan (Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing), Anthony Lazzaro (Sam Schmidt Motorsports), George Mack (310 Racing), Max Papis (Red Bull Cheever Racing), Laurent Redon (Mi-Jack Conquest Racing), Tomas Scheckter (Red Bull Cheever Racing) and Rick Treadway (Treadway and Associates Racing).

-- If Michael Andretti leads 32 laps in this year's event, he will move into the top 10 in career laps led at the Speedway. He is 12th on the list with 398 laps, the most of any driver without a "500" victory. Andretti is also the only active driver among the top-25 lap leaders of all time.

-- Ten championship-winning teams have entered cars in this year's Indianapolis 500: five Indy Racing League championship teams (Bradley Motorsports, A.J. Foyt Racing, Team Menard, Hemelgarn Racing, Pennzoil Panther Racing), four CART championship teams (Marlboro Team Penske, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Rahal, Team Green) and one NASCAR Winston Cup team (Richard Childress Racing). Marlboro Team Penske now competes full time in the Indy Racing League, while Target/Chip Ganassi Racing competes with a one-car effort in the IRL and two cars in CART. Richard Childress Racing is partnered with Team Menard for Robby Gordon's effort at the "500."

-- This will be the fifth time the race is scheduled to take place on May 26. Previous years include 1974, 1985, 1991 and 1996. Three of those four years produced first-time winners (Johnny Rutherford, '74, Danny Sullivan, '85 and Buddy Lazier, '96). The other produced a four-time winner (Rick Mears, '91).

-- Nine champions of major series are entered in this year's event. Five Indy Racing League champions: Scott Sharp (1996), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999), Buddy Lazier (2000) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2001), and four CART champions: Al Unser Jr. (1990, 1994), Michael Andretti (1991), Jimmy Vasser (1996) and Gil de Ferran (2000, 2001). Brack now competes in CART with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. Unser now competes full time in the Indy Racing League with Kelley Racing while de Ferran competes full time in the IRL with Marlboro Team Penske.

-ims-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Johnny Herbert , Greg Ray , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Rick Treadway , Alex Barron , Laurent Redon , Sam Schmidt , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Bobby Unser , George Mack , John de Vries , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Conquest Racing , Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing