The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, USA. This automobile race event often shortened to “Indy 500” is held over Memorial Day weekend. The event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, can gather roughly around up to 300,000 patrons each year.
The inaugural race took place in 1911 and was won by Ray Harroun, an American racecar driver from Pennsylvania. In 2011, Indy 500 celebrated its 100th anniversary. Last May 29, 2016; the 100th running was held wherein Takuma Sato, a Japanese professional racing driver from Tokyo, Japan became the champion.
It was in 1909 when The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built. It served as a gravel-and-tar track and hosted few small events, including ones for motorcycles. The first long distance event, was the 100-lap Prest-O-Lite Trophy in 1909.
The race name was originally known as the “International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race” from 1911 to 1916. In 1919, the race was referred to as the “Liberty Sweepstakes” and from 1920 to 1980, the race officially reverted to the “International Sweepstakes” moniker.
In the 1981 race, the name “65th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race” was officially used, dropping “International Sweepstakes” moniker. In 2016 the race became known as the “Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.”
The most successful drivers who have won four times:
Anthony Joseph “A. J.” Foyt, Jr. Was born on January 16, 1935 in Houston, Texas USA. His first Indy car race was in 1958 where he finished 16th. In 1960, he won his first Indy car race and in 1961, he won the Indianapolis 500. He won his third and fourth Indy cars championships in 1963 and in 1964.
Alfred “Al” Unser, an American automobile racing driver from New Mexico was born on May 29, 1939. His racing career started in 1957 until his last Indy race in 1993. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987.
Rick Ravon Mears, is an American race car driver. He was born on December 3, 1951 in Kansas, USA but was raised in California. He has been active for over 14 years with 179 races run. He won the Indianapolis 500 race in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991.