INDY 500

Fun Facts About the Indy 500

The much-anticipated Indy 500 is happening on Sunday, May 26. Featuring 33 drivers lapping 500 miles, this is “the greatest spectacle in racing.” If you’re a novice or an expert, here are some fun facts you can throw around while watching the big race with your friends!

  • The first Indy 500 took place in 1911.
  • The distance of one lap around the oval is 2.5 miles.
  • It is a tradition for the winner to drink a pint of milk at the end of the race. This was started by Indy 500 winner Louis Meyer in 1936 who guzzled a post-race bottle of chilled buttermilk.
  • Winners of the Indy 500 are given the Borg-Warner Trophy that not only features their name, but also their likeness permanently etched onto its sterling-silver base. The 5-foot-4-inch prize now includes more than 100 portraits of past champions, and it has even been enlarged on two separate occasions to make room for more faces.
  • The longest Indy 500 race happened in 2004. Rain delays stopped the race three times causing the longest broadcast with a record-breaking time of 8 hours and 22 minutes.
  • The youngest winner of the Indy 500 was Troy Ruttman, age 22 in 1952. The oldest winner was 47 year-old Al Unser in 1987.
  • Ten women have started the Indianapolis 500: Janet Guthrie (1977-79); Desire Wilson (1982-1984); Lyn St. James (1992-97, 2000); Sarah Fisher (2000-04, 2007-10); Danica Patrick (2005-11); Milka Duno (2007-09); Ana Beatriz (2010-12); Simona de Silvestro (2010-12); Pippa Mann (2011, 2013-2016) and Katherine Legge (2012)
  • If all of the Indy 500 hot dogs and bratwurst sold on race day were placed end-to-end, they would circle the oval more than three times.

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