Three thousand or so drivers and one field of 33, but only one man (or woman) will make the history books crowned as a legend today.
A.J. Foyt Jr. takes pole for all-time lineup at the Brickyard. Row 1 – A.J. Foyt Jr., Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr.
Four victories, 35 races, 12,272.5 miles and 53 years as either a driver or owner not only put A.J. on the pole, they make him Mr. Indy. And who else to sit alongside but the other two four-time winners?
Row 2 – Bill Vukovich, Wilbur Shaw, Helio Castroneves
Vukovich beats out two three-time winners as perhaps the most iconic figure in Speedway history. He wasn’t around long – just five years – but in those five years he won twice (1953-54), broke down just nine laps from another victory (1952) and was on his way to a third straight victory when he was killed while leading in 1955. Row 3 – Louis Meyer, Mauri Rose, Bobby Unser
Only 40 cars stared the race in 1911, all powered by a 600 cu in engine. The race was won by Ray Harroun in his Marmon Model 32-based Wasp racer, a car that featured his invention, the rear view mirror. At the race, there were 80,000 spectators and many of them considered Harroun a real danger during the race, being the only one driving without the mandatory riding mechanic.
Race Day at Indianapolis (all times ET)
8 a.m. Spectacle of Bands
9:25 a.m. 500 Princess Lap
9:50 a.m. 1911 Race Cars Pace Lap
10 a.m. Past Indy 500 Winners Pace Lap
10:30 a.m. Fearless at the 500 Stunt
11 a.m. Decade Cars Pace Lap
11:10 a.m. Military Salute Pace Lap
11:30 a.m. Driver Intros
11:47 a.m. America the Beautiful, performed by Miss America, Teresa Scanlan
11:51 a.m. God Bless America, performed by Florence Henderson
11:54 a.m. Our National Anthem, performed by David Foster, Seal and Kelly Clarkson
11:57 a.m. Invocation, given by Bishop Christopher Coyne
12:02 p.m. Taps
12:03 p.m. Back Home Again in Indiana, performed by Jim Nabors
12:05 p.m. Command To Start Engines, given by Mari Hulman-George
12:10 p.m. Pace Laps, led by A.J. Foyt
12:12 p.m. Start
In 2005, Danica Patrick became the first woman to lead the race, only four laps before the end. However, the female rookie driver was not able to hold off Dan Wheldon, who managed to win the race.
ESPN on ABC’s production will use 64 cameras, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will come from Batcam, a high-definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph.
All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, play back and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers, and viewers will learn more about the technical aspects of the sport with segments from the Emmy-winning ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
In addition, the IMS Radio Network will broadcast live, with pre-race coverage also starting at 11 a.m. (EDT). Coverage also can be heard on SiriusXM, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of INDYCAR. SiriusXM listeners can hear the race on Channel 94 on XM and Channel 212 on Sirius Premier.
ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 47th consecutive year Sunday, with live pre-race coverage starting at 11 a.m. (EDT) and race coverage at noon.