What is the largest number of rookies that have started the Indianapolis 500 race?
Anyone who is not a Pro, is a "Rookie.. so you asked for it..
AUTO RACING - INDY500: 50 Indy 500 Facts
INDY500: 50 Indy 500 Facts
On the eve of the Indianapolis 500, SPEED.com has pulled 50 facts from the race's past and present for your amusement.
Marshall Pruett | Posted May 29, 2010 Indianapolis, IN
Fact No. 25: Chip Ganassi started 11th as an Indy 500 rookie in 1982. His mullet started two rows back in 17th. (IMS Photo)
You can learn a lot by reading through the Indianapolis 500 Official Media Guide. Here are 50 facts ahead of the Indy 500 being run Sunday, pulled from the 2010 guide.1) Al Unser Sr. is the oldest driver to win the Indy 500, in 1987, at 47 years, 360 days old. Troy Ruttman was the youngest winner, in 1952, at 22 years, 80 days old.2) The only back-to-back rookie winners of the Indy 500 came with Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000 and Helio Castroneves in 2001.3) Mercedes owns the record for the longest period between an engine manufacturer wins at the Indy 500 -- 79 years -- from their triumphs in 1915 and 1994.4) Driver Vitor Meira, who starts 30th, owns a dog named "Quattro." His teammate, A.J. Foyt IV, whose nickname is "Quattro," drove like a dog before quitting the team.5) The driver in the 2010 Indy 500 who has led the most laps is Dan Wheldon, with 234. Helio Castroneves is directly behind him with 228. That order will likely be reversed by the end of the race.6) Tony Kanaan has led 214 laps, the most of all active drivers without a win.7) the largest margin of victory in Indy 500 history belongs to Joules Goux, who finished 13 minutes ahead of Spencer Wishart in 1913.8) Harry Hartz holds the record for most runner-up finishes without a win (1922-23, 1926).9) Michael Andretti set the fastest race lap in 1992 at 229.118 mph. Driving for Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan set the fastest lap in 2003 at 229.188, just .070 faster.10) The total purse for the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911 was $27,550. In 2009, the total purse was $14,315,315, or 520 times greater.11) The total purse paid out for the Indy 500 is $243,441,847. The Toyota F1 team was rumored to spend more than twice this amount annually before their demise at the end of the 2009 season.12) The fewest starters for the Indy 500 came in 1916 when 21 cars took the green flag.13) The most starters for a single race came in 1933 with 42 cars.14) Al Unser Sr. has the best finishing record at the Indy 500, reaching the checkered flag 18 times.15) If Townsend Bell's No. 99 Herbalife IndyCar wins on Sunday, it will be the first time since 1951 that the No. 99 has reached victory circle.16) A.J. Foyt drove a combined 12,272.5 out of a possible 17,500 miles around the 2.5-mile Speedway during a career that spanned 35 Indy 500 races.17) Foyt also hold the record for leading the most Indy 500s with 13. Amongst active drivers, Tony Kanaan leads with 7.18) Amongst rookie Indy 500 drivers, Teo Fabi had the worst start-to-finish record, falling from first to 26th in 1983. Tony Stewart is second, falling from first to 24th in 1996.19) The hottest race day temperature for the Indy 500 was 92 degrees F in 1937. The coldest was 58 degrees F in 1992.20) Rick Mears hold the record for most pole positions with six (1979, 1982, 1986, 1988-89, 1991).21) Mears also holds the record for setting four-lap track records in qualifying with five (1979, 1982, 1986, 1988-89).22) Helio Castroneves leads active drivers with four poles (2003, 2007, 2009-10).23) Former ChampCar chief steward Chris Kneifel was the slowest qualifier in the 1983 field at 199.831 mph.24) Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe admits to driving a SmartCar.25) Chip Ganassi started 11th for his first Indy 500 in 1982, finishing 15th after an engine failure in his Wildcat-Cosworth.26) Dr. Jack Miller, the "Racing Dentist," started three Indy 500s, with his best qualifying performance of 15th coming in 1998, and his best finish of 20th coming in 1997.27) Wade Cunningham has won the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race on three occasions (2006, 2009-10) yet has never made an IndyCar Series start.28) Paul Tracy, who drove for Jimmy Vasser in 2009 and attempted to drive for Vasser in 2010, was an Indy 500 rookie in 1992 along with Vasser.29) The most recent rookie class to have no starters in the 2010 Indy 500 comes from 2007 (Milka Duno, Phil Geibler). 30) The 2010 Indy 500 celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fastest average winning speed, set by Arie Luyendyk at 185.981 mph in 1990.31) The worst finishing record came at the 1966 Indy 500 where just seven cars made it to the checkered flag.32) The longest span between his first and last victory belongs to Al Unser Sr. at 17 years (1970-1987).33) The Indy 500s in 1939 and 1979 hold the distinction of having the fewest rookies in the field -- just one.34) The most cars entered for the Indy 500 came in 1984 with 117 cars.35) 2010 Indy 500 entrant Bryan Herta is tied for 163rd on the list of all-time lap leaders with three. 2010 Indy 500 starters Davey Hamilton, Ed Carpenter and Mario Moraes are also tied with Herta, having led three laps apiece. 36) The Offenhauser engine holds the record for the most Indy 500 wins with 27.37) Eight-cylinder engines have won the most number of Indy 500s with 54.38) Four-cylinder engines are second on the list with 37, with the last win coming in 1976, thanks to Johnny Rutherford.39) Six-cylinder engines have just two wins, and last tasted victory in 1946 with George Robson.40) Arkansas can claim only one Indy 500 winner, Parnelli Jones, who was born in Texarkana.41) The traditional "Back Home Again in Indiana" song was first played at the Indy 500 in 1919.42) Emerson Fittipaldi was the first driver to win more than $1M at the Indy 500, taking home $1,001,604 in 1989.43) Amongst active drivers, only Justin Wilson and Takuma Sato will have raced in the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis and the Indy 500 when Taku takes the green flag on Sunday.44) The banking in Indy's four turns is the same angle -- nine degrees, 12 minutes -- as it was when the track first opened in 1909.45) The Borg-Warner trophy weighs 110 pounds.46) Tomas Scheckter's favorite movie is "Scarface." I would have predicted "Pretty Woman."47) More than 16,000 gallons of Coca-Cola was served during the 2009 Indy 500.48) You can buy shish-kebab and fried rice in six different locations within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.50) Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon all won their first Indy 500 at the age of 27. (And here are a few more we couldn't overlook)51) Brazil has the most Indy 500 wins amongst foreign countries with five. 52) Kansas is the most successful state when it comes to winning the Indy 500 with the fewest numbers of drivers. Roger Ward, Johnny Rutherford and Rick Mears combined for nine victories.53) The oldest Indy 500 Rookie of the Year was Lyn St. James in 1992 at the age of 45 years, 72 days.54) The youngest Indy 500 Rookie of the Years was Josele Garza at 19 years, 70 days in 1981.55) Marco Andretti was just six days older than Garza -- 19 years, 76 days -- when he was named the 2006 Indy 500 rookie of the Year.56) Only two Japanese drivers have earned Rookie of the Year honors, and they did it back-to-back (Tora Takagi in 2001 and Kosuke Matsuura in 2002).57) 1996 Indy 500 winner buddy rice was bumped from the field in 2009 by Milka Duno.58) 2010 starter Mario Romancini completed one year of law school before leaving to pursue a career in auto racing.59) The fastest woman in the 2010 field, Brazil's Ana Beatriz, goes by the nickname "Bia." Her full name is Ana Beatriz Caselato Gomes de Figueiredo. We'll stick with "Bia."60) Bertrand Baguette, the rookie driver who hails from Belgium, says his favorite show is a Belgian comedy titled "Dikkenek." (Cue Beavis & Butthead laugh).The end.Marshall Pruett is SPEED.com’s Auto Racing Editor, and also covers IndyCar and sportscar racing for the site. Pruett grew up at ‘Pruett's Olde English Garage,’ his father's shelter for abused foreign cars, and spent his childhood being dragged across the West Coast to help with his dad's amateur racing exploits. Pruett spent 20 years working in the IRL, CART, IMSA, and most of the known open-wheel feeder series before retiring from active duty in 2001. And in case you were wondering, he isn’t related to Scott Pruett. ............................................................
Indy 500 Pre Race Picks and Predictions: « Triple League Racing
Indy 500 Pre Race Picks and Predictions:
The Centennial Indy 500 is upon us. In 1911, the first 500 mile race in May was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it started a tradition that has lasted a century. Because of the two World Wars, this is not the 100th running of the race, but it’s a significant milestone anyways. There are very few tracks around that existed in 1911, much less races! The Centennial 500 comes at a critical time in Indycar’s history. On one hand, it’s the strongest field in years yet on the other, all signs point to another Red Car Whitewash by team Penske and Ganassi. Indycar enters the 500 with the best ticket sales in years but also has come off of 3 races that score some of the lowest TV ratings possible. Indycar enters with momentum, largely from Randy Bernard and his ideas, but also has team owners trying to veto aero kits. A great Indy 500 would help revitalize Indycar’s momentum and provide a much needed boost to the summer stretch of races, many of which are on Versus. Remember this is by far and away the biggest race of the year. For teams, drivers, sponsors, and Indycar itself, this is it. It’s time to sink or swim. With that, let’s get picking and predicting!
One of the five favorites for this year's 500
Winner….Red Cars: 34/38. That is the number of races Penske and Ganassi have won since 2009. That’s almost 90% of the races in the last 3 seasons. These two teams have also won the last 3 Indy 500?s. And from what we’ve seen so far, they’ve shown no sign of slowing down. While other drivers have lead during practice those numbers have been inflated by drafting other cars on track. When the Red Car’s have attempted to show their speed they’ve jumped to the top of the charts almost instantly. Those are some pretty depressing numbers. There are five Red Car drivers, Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe. As the saying goes… All Red Cars are created equal, so predicting who out of those 5 are most likely to win is almost impossible. For Indycar’s sake, I hope it’s Power or Helio. If it’s one of the other three there’s a good chance most of the audience will be asleep.
Likely…Red Cars+Graham Rahal: All of those depressing statistics on the Red Car’s aside… Rahal might be the lone ray of hope and light. He’s driving a Ganassi satilette car and while he’s struggled for speed most of the year he was good in Brazil. Ganassi knows how to build a good car for Indy. If some of that Red Car Power can just rub off on Rahal, we could see our first American winner since 06, and more importantly, get a new face up front.
If John Andretti won... that would count as an underdog win
Darkhorse…Red Cars+Charlie Kimball, & Andretti Autosport:Andretti Autosport used to be one of the top teams in Indycar. In fact, the statistics on domination are even worse when they are included. Andretti plus the Red’s have won every oval race since 2005 and have won 37/38 races in the last 3 seasons. While Andretti has struggled in recent years they occasionally show some good speed. If they can just qualify well they might just be able to get back an win a race. Whatever you think about Danica and Marco, they do know how to get around Indy fast.
Charlie Kimball also has Red Car Power. He’s a true rookie and hasn’t been all that great this year, but again, the Red Car Power should show itself at Indy. As long as he can safely qualify this weekend he should be fine. And if things break just the right way… we could see a Trevor Bayne moment.
The Specter of Rain: Rain in May is a constant possibility in the Midwest. I know this firsthand, as I live in Michigan. We’ve had rain almost every day for the last week and a half. Rain has caused interrupted most of the practice sessions so far and has caused a few to be canceled. Rain could have a huge impact on qualifying. No matter what, they will give each team at least one shot at qualifying, but if rain comes up, they could end up with only one shot. Then there’s the possibility of a rain delay or a rain out… but I’d rather not dwell on that possibility. Needless to say, there aren’t many quicker ways to kill Indycar’s momentum then that.
Pole Day Predictability: Although some others (Tagliani and Carpenter) might get close, Pole Day is likely to be another Red Car Whitewash. Most importantly is that Pole Day will allow everyone to get their base qualifying run down and see who’s safe and who risks not making it.
Karma should see Saadavra fail to qualify.
Bump Day Drama: With new cars coming in 2012 the current car is about to become worthless. Thus, there are a lot of teams and drivers coming out to race. With most of the drivers and teams being fairly good (except Jakes) this will make qualifying very tense, and means it’s almost certain a good driver or two will go home. Numerous rookies have never raced an Indycar before or even raced on an oval. For those drivers qualifying will be especially rough. Anyone who wrecks or drives for an underfunded team cannot sleep too easily either. And unfortunetly, after their wreck yesterday, HVM might be in trouble.
Starts, Restarts, both 2 and 3 wide: In the past the Indy 500 had a nice 3 abreast start. Then, and I’ve heard this happened with the last head of Race Control before Barnhardt, everything went wrong. The cars, instead of starting three wide ended up spreading out and letting the leaders get through turn 2 before the rest of the field was green. Indycar has committed to closer starts and double file restarts but there are some issues. The drivers also believe CART is still around, and have tried to petition Indycar to not make them do that. Not only that, but the idiot in Race Control has said he will not wave off the start or restarts. So that put’s Indycar in a bit of a tough spot. NASCAR starts and restarts fine, so why cannot Indycar? The 500 is a race that a lot of NASCAR fans will watch, and if the drivers can’t/won’t do double file restarts that will be an issue. It’s time for Indycar to pull out the hammer. F— up the start and it get’s waved off, with the pole sitter sent to the back. If a majority of drivers keep screwing it up, fine all of them and put them on probation. If they keep it up, well, I’m sure Indycar can find some drivers who are willing to do proper starts an restarts.
Another Four Time Winner?: Helio Castroneves has a chance to win his 4th race (although Paul Tracy and his fans would argue it’s actually an attempt to get his 3rd). Helio would join AJ Foyt, Al Unser, an Rick Mears as the only 4 time winners in over 90 races. He would also be the first 4 time winner in 20 years. If a Red Car has to win it, might as well be a history making (well, tying) one.
Danica?: Whatever you think of her, a Danica win would be the best possible outcome for Indycar. No other driver would get more publicity or build more momentum. Can it actually happen? Maybe. She’s good at Indy and she’s good on the ovals. Can she get her car setup well is the real question. She’s struggled this year so far but it’s been all road and street races. Last year she struggled through Indy qualifying but redeemed herself in the race, and followed it up with a 2nd place finish at Texas. If the Red Cars falter and Danica has a good race, a win is possible. But not only must she beat the Red Cars, she’ll have to beat her 4 teammates.
Scott Speed and Fuzzy's fit well together.
Scott Speed in Indycar!: In a move many (myself, at least) have waited for for years, Scott Speed is now an Indycar driver! Well, he will be, if he can just qualify. Of all the drivers without Indycar experience he’s got the most oval experience out of NASCAR. That should set him up for a good run. I’d imagine if things go well he could finish top 10 and even has a shot at winning the Rookie of the Race award.
Rookie of the Race: Charlie Kimball is my favorite for Rookie of the Race because he’s got Red Car Power. Still, Hildebrand (with Panther), Speed, and Hinchcliffe could make a run at it. The Rookie of the Race doesn’t necessarily go to the highest finisher as it’s based on a media vote (think college football rankings). So a good run by one of these guys could get them the award even if they don’t finish that great.
Pace Car Conflict: Originally, reality TV star, business man and conspiracy theorist Donald Trump was selected to be the pace car driver. Thankfully this relationship was ended before the Month of May started and AJ Foyt was put into the car instead.
Hot Wheels Stunt: For those who’re attending the race, Hot Wheels is doing a stunt that involves making a world record setting jump in a truck. Rumor has it Tanner Faust is the driver. Sadly, Faust was part of the Top Gear USA experiment, but this could redeem him a bit. Should be interesting to see what happens. Also worth remembering for those who’re going to be at Indy is the “Largest Autograph Session in the World” where many of the living Indy 500 drivers will be doing autographs
The famed 2.5-mile oval will open with a flurry of activity Sunday, May 4 on Indianapolis Star Opening Day/Rookie Orientation, as 12 rookies will participate due to the influx of drivers into the IndyCar Series created by the unification of North American open-wheel racing in February. The last time at least 12 rookies started the Indianapolis 500 was in 1997, when 13 first-timers took the green flag.
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