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IZOD IndyCar Series - Indianapolis 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, May 27th
SITE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1909) -- Indianapolis, Indiana
TRACK: 2.5-mile oval - 3,330 feet (Frontstretch); 3,300 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 350,000 (257,325 Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 96th
TELEVISION: ABC
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever
RADIO: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS Satellite Radio
START TIME: 11 a.m. (et)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Dan Wheldon (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: J.R. Hildebrand
POLE WINNER: Alex Tagliani (Finished 28th)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: Arie Luyendyk, 1996 (236.986 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Arie Luyendyk, 1990 (185.981 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $13,509,485 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $2,567,255; 2nd Place - $1,064,895; 3rd Place - $646,945
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Dan Wheldon66Oriol Servia3
2J.R. Hildebrand127Bertrand Baguette14
3Graham Rahal298Tomas Scheckter21
4Tony Kanaan229Marco Andretti27
5Scott Dixon210Danica Patrick25
2011 Indianapolis 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 170.265 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 56 minutes, 11.7267 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under Caution
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 40 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 23 among 10 drivers
POLE WINNER: Alex Tagliani (224.864 m.p.h.)
FASTEST LAP: Dario Franchitti, 224.667 m.p.h., Lap 10
Past Indianapolis 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Dan Wheldon (6th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 170.265 m.p.h.
2010 -- Dario Franchitti (3rd) -- Dallara-Honda -- 161.623 m.p.h.
2009 -- Helio Castroneves (1st) -- Dallara-Honda -- 150.318 m.p.h.
2008 -- Scott Dixon (1st) -- Dallara-Honda -- 143.567 m.p.h.
2007 -- Dario Franchitti (3rd) -- Dallara-Honda -- 151.774 m.p.h.
2006 -- Sam Hornish Jr (1st) -- Dallara-Honda -- 157.085 m.p.h.
2005 -- Dan Wheldon (16th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 157.603 m.p.h.
2004 -- Buddy Rice (1st) -- Honda -- 138.518 m.p.h.
2003 -- Gil de Ferran (10th) -- Toyota -- 156.291 m.p.h.
2002 -- Helio Castroneves (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 166.499 m.p.h.
2001 -- Helio Castroneves (11th) -- Oldsmobile -- 131.294 m.p.h.
2000 -- Juan Montoya (2nd) -- Oldsmobile -- 167.704 m.p.h.
1999 -- Kenny Brack (8th) -- Oldsmobile -- 153.176 m.p.h.
1998 -- Eddie Cheever Jr (17th) -- Oldsmobile -- 145.155 m.p.h.
1997 -- Arie Luyendyk (1st) -- Oldsmobile -- 145.827 m.p.h.
1996 -- Buddy Lazier (5th) -- Ford -- 147.956 m.p.h.
1995 -- Jacques Villeneuve (5th) -- Ford -- 153.616 m.p.h.
1994 -- Al Unser Jr (1st) -- Mercedes -- 160.872 m.p.h.
1993 -- Emerson Fittipaldi (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 157.207 m.p.h.
1992 -- Al Unser Jr (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 134.477 m.p.h.
1991 -- Rick Mears (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 176.457 m.p.h.
1990 -- Arie Luyendyk (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 185.981 m.p.h. (race record)
1989 -- Emerson Fittipaldi (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 167.581 m.p.h.
1988 -- Rick Mears (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 144.809 m.p.h.
1987 -- Al Unser (20th) -- Cosworth -- 162.175 m.p.h.
1986 -- Bobby Rahal (4th) -- Cosworth -- 170.722 m.p.h.
1985 -- Danny Sullivan (8th) -- Cosworth -- 152.982 m.p.h.
1984 -- Rick Mears (3rd) -- Cosworth -- 163.612 m.p.h.
1983 -- Tom Sneva (4th) -- Cosworth -- 162.117 m.p.h.
1982 -- Gordon Johncock (5th) -- Cosworth -- 162.029 m.p.h.
1981 -- Bobby Unser (1st) -- Cosworth -- 139.084 m.p.h.
1980 -- Johnny Rutherford (1st) -- Cosworth -- 142.862 m.p.h.
1979 -- Rick Mears (1st) -- Cosworth -- 158.899 m.p.h.
1978 -- Al Unser (5th) -- Cosworth -- 161.361 m.p.h.
1977 -- A.J. Foyt (4th) -- Foyt -- 161.331 m.p.h.
1976 -- Johnny Rutherford (1st) -- Offenhauser -- 148.275 m.p.h.
1975 -- Bobby Unser (3rd) -- Offenhauser -- 149.213 m.p.h.
1974 -- Johnny Rutherford (25th) -- Offenhauser -- 158.589 m.p.h.
1973 -- Gordon Johncock (11th) -- Offenhauser -- 159.036 m.p.h.
1972 -- Mark Donohue (3rd) -- Offenhauser -- 162.962 m.p.h.
1971 -- Al Unser (5th) -- Ford -- 157.735 m.p.h.
1970 -- Al Unser (1st) -- Ford -- 155.749 m.p.h.
1969 -- Mario Andretti (2nd) -- Ford -- 156.867 m.p.h.
1968 -- Bobby Unser (3rd) -- Offenhauser -- 152.882 m.p.h.
1967 -- A.J. Foyt (4th) -- Ford -- 151.207 m.p.h.
1966 -- Graham Hill (15th) -- Ford -- 144.317 m.p.h.
1965 -- Jim Clark (2nd) -- Ford -- 150.686 m.p.h.
1964 -- A.J. Foyt (5th) -- Offenhauser -- 147.350 m.p.h.
1963 -- Parnelli Jones (1st) -- Offenhauser -- 143.137 m.p.h.
1962 -- Rodger Ward (2nd) -- Offenhauser -- 140.293 m.p.h.
1961 -- A.J. Foyt (7th) -- Offenhauser -- 139.131 m.p.h.
1960 -- Jim Rathmann (2nd) -- Offenhauser -- 138.767 m.p.h.
1959 -- Rodger Ward (6th) -- Offenhauser -- 135.857 m.p.h.
1958 -- Jimmy Bryan (7th) -- Offenhauser -- 133.791 m.p.h.
1957 -- Sam Hanks (13th) -- Offenhauser -- 135.601 m.p.h.
1956 -- Pat Flaherty (1st) -- Offenhauser -- 128.490 m.p.h.
1955 -- Bob Sweikert (14th) -- Offenhauser -- 128.209 m.p.h.
1954 -- Bill Vukovich (19th) -- Offenhauser -- 130.840 m.p.h.
1953 -- Bill Vukovich (1st) -- Offenhauser -- 128.740 m.p.h.
1952 -- Troy Ruttman (7th) -- Offenhauser -- 128.922 m.p.h.
1951 -- Lee Wallard (2nd) -- Offenhauser -- 126.244 m.p.h.
1950 -- Johnnie Parsons (5th) -- Offenhauser -- 124.002 m.p.h.
1949 -- Bill Holland (4th) -- Offenhauser -- 121.327 m.p.h.
1948 -- Mauri Rose (3rd) -- Offenhauser -- 119.814 m.p.h.
1947 -- Mauri Rose (3rd) -- Offenhauser -- 116.338 m.p.h.
1946 -- George Robson (15th) -- Sparks -- 114.820 m.p.h.
1945 -- Not Held
1944 -- Not Held
1943 -- Not Held
1942 -- Not Held
1941 -- Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose (17th) -- Offenhauser -- 115.117 m.p.h.
1940 -- Wilbur Shaw (2nd) -- Maserati -- 114.277 m.p.h.
1939 -- Wilbur Shaw (3rd) -- Maserati -- 115.035 m.p.h.
1938 -- Floyd Roberts (1st) -- Miller -- 117.200 m.p.h.
1937 -- Wilbur Shaw (2nd) -- Offenhauser -- 113.580 m.p.h.
1936 -- Louis Meyer (28th) -- Miller -- 109.069 m.p.h.
1935 -- Kelly Petillo (22nd) -- Offenhauser -- 106.240 m.p.h.
1934 -- William Cummings (10th) -- Miller -- 104.863 m.p.h.
1933 -- Louis Meyer (6th) -- Miller -- 104.162 m.p.h.
1932 -- Fred Frame (27th) -- Miller -- 104.144 m.p.h.
1931 -- Louis Schneider (13th) -- Miller -- 96.629 m.p.h.
1930 -- Billy Arnold (1st) -- Miller -- 100.448 m.p.h.
1929 -- Ray Keech (6th) -- Miller -- 97.585 m.p.h.
1928 -- Louis Meyer (13th) -- Miller -- 99.482 m.p.h.
1927 -- George Souders (22nd) -- Duesenberg -- 97.545 m.p.h.
1926 -- Frank Lockhart (20th) -- Miller -- 95.904 m.p.h.
1925 -- Peter DePaolo (2nd) -- Duesenberg -- 101.127 m.p.h.
1924 -- L.L.Corum and Joe Boyer (21st) -- Duesenberg -- 98.234 m.p.h.
1923 -- Tommy Milton (1st) -- Miller -- 90.954 m.p.h.
1922 -- Jimmy Murphy (1st) -- Miller -- 94.484 m.p.h.
1921 -- Tommy Milton (20th) -- Frontenac -- 89.621 m.p.h.
1920 -- Gastno Chevrolet (6th) -- Frontenac -- 88.618 m.p.h.
1919 -- Howdy Wilcox (2nd) -- Peugeot -- 88.050 m.p.h.
1918 -- Not Held
1917 -- Not Held
1916 -- Dario Resta (4th) -- Peugeot -- 84.001 m.p.h.
1915 -- Ralph DePalma (2nd) -- Mercedes -- 89.840 m.p.h.
1914 -- Rene Thomas (15th) -- Delage -- 82.474 m.p.h.
1913 -- Jules Goux (7th) -- Peugeot -- 75.933 m.p.h.
1912 -- Joe Dawson (7th) -- National -- 78.719 m.p.h.
1911 -- Ray Harroun (28th) -- Marmon -- 74.602 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called International 500-mile Sweepstakes Race (1911-16),
Liberty Sweepstakes (1919), International Sweepstakes (1920-80). Race is
The 500, The 500-Mile Race, Indy 500 or
Indianapolis 500.
 
Past Indianapolis 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Alex Tagliani -- 28th
2010 -- Helio Castroneves -- 9th
2009 -- Helio Castroneves -- 1st
2008 -- Scott Dixon -- 1st
2007 -- Helio Castroneves -- 3rd
2006 -- Sam Hornish Jr -- 1st
2005 -- Tony Kanaan -- 8th
2004 -- Buddy Rice -- 1st
2003 -- Helio Castroneves -- 2nd
2002 -- Bruno Junqueira -- 31st
2001 -- Scott Sharp -- 33rd
2000 -- Greg Ray -- 33rd
1999 -- Arie Luyendyk -- 22nd
1998 -- Billy Boat -- 23rd
1997 -- Arie Luyendyk -- 1st
1996 -- Tony Stewart -- 24th
1995 -- Scott Brayton -- 17th
1994 -- Al Unser Jr -- 1st
1993 -- Arie Luyendyk -- 2nd
1992 -- Roberto Guerrero -- 33rd
1991 -- Rick Mears -- 1st
1990 -- Emerson Fittipaldi -- 3rd
1989 -- Rick Mears -- 23rd
1988 -- Rick Mears -- 1st
1987 -- Mario Andretti -- 9th
1986 -- Rick Mears -- 3rd
1985 -- Pancho Carter -- 33rd
1984 -- Tom Sneva -- 16th
1983 -- Teo Fabi -- 26th
1982 -- Rick Mears -- 2nd
1981 -- Bobby Unser -- 1st
1980 -- Johnny Rutherford -- 1st
1979 -- Rick Mears -- 1st
1978 -- Tom Sneva -- 2nd
1977 -- Tom Sneva -- 2nd
1976 -- Johnny Rutherford -- 1st
1975 -- A.J. Foyt -- 3rd
1974 -- A.J. Foyt -- 15th
1973 -- Johnny Rutherford -- 9th
1972 -- Bobby Unser -- 30th
1971 -- Peter Revson -- 2nd
1970 -- Al Unser -- 1st
1969 -- A.J. Foyt -- 8th
1968 -- Joe Leonard -- 12th
1967 -- Mario Andretti -- 30th
1966 -- Mario Andretti -- 18th
1965 -- A.J. Foyt -- 15th
1964 -- Jim Clark -- 24th
1963 -- Parnelli Jones -- 1st
1962 -- Parnelli Jones -- 7th
1961 -- Eddie Sachs -- 2nd
1960 -- Eddie Sachs -- 21st
1959 -- Johnny Thomson -- 3rd
1958 -- Dick Rathmann -- 27th
1957 -- Pat O'Connor -- 8th
1956 -- Pat Flaherty -- 1st
1955 -- Jerry Hoyt -- 31st
1954 -- Jack McGrath -- 3rd
1953 -- Bill Vukovich -- 1st
1952 -- Fred Agabashian -- 27th
1951 -- Duke Nalon -- 10th
1950 -- Walt Faulkner -- 7th
1949 -- Duke Nalon -- 29th
1948 -- Rex Mays -- 19th
1947 -- Ted Horn -- 3rd
1946 -- Cliff Bergere -- 16th
1945 -- No Race
1944 -- No Race
1943 -- No Race
1942 -- No Race
1941 -- Mauri Rose -- 26th
1940 -- Rex Mays -- 2nd
1939 -- Jimmy Snyder -- 2nd
1938 -- Floyd Roberts -- 1st
1937 -- Bill Cummings -- 6th
1936 -- Rex Mays -- 15th
1935 -- Rex Mays -- 17th
1934 -- Kelly Petillo -- 11th
1933 -- Bill Cummings -- 25th
1932 -- Lou Moore -- 25th
1931 -- Russ Snowberger -- 5th
1930 -- Billy Arnold -- 1st
1929 -- Cliff Woodbury -- 33rd
1928 -- Leon Duray -- 19th
1927 -- Frank Lockhart -- 18th
1926 -- Earl Cooper -- 16th
1925 -- Leon Duray -- 6th
1924 -- Jimmy Murphy -- 3rd
1923 -- Tommy Milton -- 1st
1922 -- Jimmy Murphy -- 1st
1921 -- Ralph DePalma -- 12th
1920 -- Ralph DePalma -- 5th
1919 -- Rene Thomas -- 11th
1918 -- No Race
1917 -- No Race
1916 -- Johnny Aitken -- 15th
1915 -- Howdy Wilcox -- 7th
1914 -- Jean Chassagne -- 29th
1913 -- Caleb Bragg -- 15th
1912 -- Gil Anderson -- 16th
1911 -- Lewis Strang -- 29th
Last Race Results
RACE: Sao Paulo Indy 300 (April 29th)
SITE: Streets of Sao Paulo -- Sao Paulo, Brazil
MILES: 195
LAPS: 75
WINNER: Will Power
RUNNER-UP: Ryan Hunter-Reay
THIRD: Takuma Sato
FOURTH: Helio Castroneves
FIFTH: Dario Franchitti
POLE WINNER: Will Power (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 8 minutes, 18.2816 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 88.945 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.9045 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 15 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 5 among 5 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Will Power 1-51; Dario Franchitti 52; Helio Castroneves 53-54;
James Hinchcliffe 55; Scott Dixon 56-63; Power 64-75.
Indianapolis 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
2Ryan Briscoe (Sydney, Australia)IZOD/Team Penske
3Helio Castroneves (Brazil)Shell V-Power/Team Penske
4J.R. Hildebrand (Sausalito, CA)U.S. National Guard/Panther Racing
5E.J. Viso (Caracas, Venezuela)Citgo/PDVSA/KV Racing Technology
6Katherine Legge (Guildford, England)TrueCar/Dragon Racing
7Sebastien Bourdais (Le Mans,France)Dragon Racing
8Rubens Barrichello (Brazil)BMC/Embrase/KV Racing Technology
9Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealand)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
11Tony Kanaan (Sao Paulo, Brazil)GEICO/KV Racing Technology
12Will Power (Toowoomba, Australia)Verizon/Team Penske
14Mike Conway (Bromley, England)ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Enterprises
15Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
17Sebastian Saavedra (Columbia)Team AFS/Andretti Autosport
18Justin Wilson (Sheffield, England)Sonny's Bar B-Q/Dale Coyne Racing
19Jamie Jakes (Leeds, England)Boy Scouts America/Dale Coyne Racing
20Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis, IN)Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing
22Oriol Servia (Pals, Spain)Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
25Ana Beatriz (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Ipiranga/Andretti Autosport/Conquest
26Marco Andretti (Nazareth, PA)RC Cola/Andretti Autosport
27James Hinchcliffe (Toronto, Canada)GoDaddy.com/Andretti Autosport
28Ryan Hunter-Reay (Ft Lauderdale, FL)DHL/Sun Drop/Andretti Autosport
30Michel Jourdain (Mexico City, Mex.)Office Depot/Rahal Letterman Lanigan
38Graham Rahal (New Albany, OH)Service Central/Chip Ganassi Racing
39Bryan Clauson (Noblesville, IN)Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
41Wade Cunningham (New Zealand)ECat/ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Enterprise
46Jean Alesi (Avignon, France)Fan Force United/Lotus-FP Journe
50Dario Franchitti (Scotland)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
67Josef Newgarden (Hendersonville, TN)Dollar General/SFH Racing
77Simon Pagenaud (Poitiers, France)Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports
78Simona de Silvestro (Switzerland)Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Lotus-HVM
83Charlie Kimball (Camarillo, CA)NovoLog FlexPen/Chip Ganassi Racing
98Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, Canada)Team Barracuda/Bryan Herta Autosport
99Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, CA)BraunAbility/Sam Schmidt Motorsports
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
J.R. Hildebrand------------------------2nd
Graham Rahal---------------33rd31st12th3rd
Tony Kanaan3rd2nd8th5th12th29th27th11th4th
Scott Dixon17th8th24th6th2ndWon6th5th5th
Oriol Servia---------------11th26th---6th
Marco Andretti---------2nd24th3rd30th3rd9th
Ed Carpenter---31st11th11th17th5th8th17th11th
Dario Franchitti---14th6th7thWon---7thWon12th
Will Power---------------13th5th8th14th
Helio Castroneves2nd9th9th25th3rd4thWon9th17th
Ryan Hunter-Reay---------------6th32nd18th23rd
Ryan Briscoe------10th---5th23rd15th24th27th
Alex Tagliani------------------11th10th28th
James Hinchcliffe------------------------29th
Simona de Silvestro---------------------14th31st
E.J. Viso---------------26th24th25th32nd
Takuma Sato---------------------31st33rd
Rubens Barrichello---------------------------
Josef Newgarden---------------------------
 
Mover of the Week
Takuma Sato - Started 25th on the grid and finished 3rd
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Dario Franchitti
Darkhorse - Simon Pagenaud
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Will Power) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Mike Conway) - Finished 19th
 
NOTES:
The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 will have a somber staging this year, due to the passing of 2011 race champion Dan Wheldon, who died last October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indy 500, died from injuries sustained in a crash at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship.

Last season, Wheldon capitalized on rookie J.R. Hildebrand's costly mistake on the last turn of the final lap to post a stunning victory in the centennial anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.

Hildebrand had the checkered flag in sight in what would have been one of the greatest upsets in the illustrious history of the Indy 500. Instead, the 23- year-old driver from Sausalito, CA slapped the wall in turn four. Wheldon then drove past Hildebrand on the front straightaway, en route to his second win in this prestigious race.

Wheldon led only the final lap. He became the 18th different driver to win the Indy 500 multiple times.

While Wheldon took the traditional sip of milk and hoisted the 110-pound Borg- Warner Trophy in Indy's Winner Circle, race officials reviewed the finish to determine if Wheldon was indeed ahead of Hildebrand when the caution lights came on around the 2.5-mile oval. The field is frozen when the caution occurs. Officials made a lengthy examination of the finish and then officially declared Wheldon as the winner.

Alex Tagliani started on the pole but failed to finish the race due to contact on lap 147.

Back in 2010, Dario Franchitti stretched his fuel long enough to capture his second Indianapolis 500. Franchitti, the 2007 Indy 500 winner, dominated the race by leading 155 of 200 laps. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver last pitted on lap 164. During that stop, several drivers, including pole sitter Helio Castroneves, remained on the track.

Castroneves gave up the lead to Franchitti with nine laps remaining when Castroneves was forced to pit for fuel. Franchitti went into fuel conservation mode from there until the final lap when Mike Conway was involved in a horrifying crash between turns three and four. Franchitti, a four-time winner in 2011, en route to his third straight IndyCar title, has 20 career IndyCar wins.

In 2009, pole sitter Castroneves led twice for 66 laps, including the final 58, to claim his third Indianapolis 500 win. Castroneves led the opening seven laps, until Dario Franchitti took over for the next 45. Ryan Briscoe then gained the advantage, leading for 11 laps, before Scott Dixon took control. Dixon led for 73 of the next 78 laps. Castroneves then gained the lead and avoided a rash of accidents to cross the finish line 1.9819 seconds ahead of 2005 race winner Dan Wheldon for his 15th career IZOD IndyCar Series victory.

Scott Dixon dominated the race in 2008, as he led 115 of 200 laps to capture his first Indianapolis 500. Despite the domination, Dixon still needed a great final pit stop from his No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing team to secure the win, as he finished 1.7498 seconds ahead of Vitor Meira. On his last pit stop, Dixon was running in second place, but his crew put up a lightning 7.0-second stop. He beat Meira out of the pits to take the lead for good.

In 2007, Franchitti took the checkered flag under caution, as he defeated Scott Dixon to capture the coveted racing title. Starting in the third position, Franchitti moved into the top spot on the 74th lap and held the position through lap 88. Franchitti reclaimed the lead on the 137th lap for another seven laps, until Jaques Lazier took the lead. Tony Kanaan moved in front on lap 146, but Franchitti overtook him on the 155th lap. With rain pending, Franchitti stayed in front and maintained the lead through lap 164, as the rain came. Franchitti eased his car around the flooded track and saw the checkered flag for his first win at Indy.

The 2007 race was the seventh shortened by rain. The first time this occurred in Indy 500 history was in 1926, when only 160 laps (400 miles) were completed. The shortest rain-plagued event was in 1976 when 102 laps (255 miles) were finished. The 2004 race was the longest, rain-shortened race with 180 laps (450 miles) completed.

Sam Hornish Jr scored the victory in the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500, as he clipped Marco Andretti by less than one second for his 15th career IndyCar title and his first at the famed Brickyard. Helio Castroneves, who held the lead for the first nine laps, failed to finish due to an accident, completing only 109 laps. Dan Wheldon dominated most of the race, leading five times for a race-high 148 laps, but finished fourth. Hornish led on three separate occasions for only 19 laps, but he overtook Andretti on the final lap for the .0635-second win. The margin of victory was the second closest in Indianapolis 500 history.

When Wheldon won in 2005, he fought off a late challenge from Danica Patrick to capture the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. His seventh career IndyCar title was his first at the famed Brickyard. The win also enabled Michael Andretti to earn his first Indy 500 win as an owner after going 0- for-14 as a driver. Wheldon grabbed the lead from Patrick on lap 193, and held it the rest of the way. The race finished under caution following a crash by Sebastien Bourdais. Patrick, trying to stretch her fuel for more than 38 laps, fell to fourth place behind Vitor Meira and Bryan Herta.

This race traditionally has run on Memorial Day weekend since 1911, except war years (1917-18, 1942-45). It is the oldest automobile race in the United States.

The track was once paved with 3.2 million bricks, earning the nickname "The Brickyard." A 36-inch "Yard of Bricks" remains at the start/finish line. They are the only remaining visible bricks on the track.

Eddie Cheever Jr's win in 1998 came from the 17th starting position, only the second driver to win from that spot in the history of the race. This is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, with an estimated 350,000 to 400,000 spectators.

Twenty drivers have won this race from the pole position, the last coming in 2009, when Castroneves captured the checkered flag. The pole sitter has won four of the last eight Indy 500s.

There are nine drivers who have won this race three or more times. Four-time champions are: A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970-71, 1978, 1987), Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991), while three-time winners are: Louis Meyer (1928, 1933, 1936), Wilbur Shaw (1937, 1939, 1940), Mauri Rose (1941, 1947-48), Johnny Rutherford (1974, 1976, 1980), Bobby Unser (1968, 1975, 1981) and Helio Castroneves (2001-02, 2009).

Castroneves took a controversial win in 2002 over Paul Tracy when it was determined that Tracy passed him after the yellow flag had been displayed for a caution. Castroneves also became the eighth rookie to win this race in 2001 when he started from the 11th spot. Castroneves took the lead on lap 149 and held on the rest of the way to beat Gil de Ferran by just over one second. The other rookies to win the Indianapolis 500 are: Ray Harroun (1911), Jules Goux (1913), Rene Thomas (1914), Frank Lockhart (1926), George Souders (1927), Graham Hill (1966) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000).

Only three rookies have started on the pole position, other than the inaugural event in 1911: Walt Faulkner (1950), Teo Fabi (1983) and Tony Stewart (1996).

With his win in 2009, Castroneves became the all-time money winner in Indianapolis 500 history. He has currently won $9,539,528. Castroneves has appeared in 11 Indy 500s, with nine top-10 finishes, including three victories and four poles.

When Al Unser Jr clipped Scott Goodyear for the 1992 title, he took the checkered flag by just 0.043 seconds, the closest margin of victory in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

THIS AND THAT FOR 2012: Martina McBride will sing the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies. Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri will drive the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car, leading the field to the green flag.

There are three former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Helio Castroneves (2001, '02 and '09), Dario Franchitti (2007, '10) and Scott Dixon (2008). The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912.

There are eight rookies in the field; Josef Newgarden, Rubens Barrichello, James Jakes, Simon Pagenaud, Wade Cunningham, Katherine Legge, Bryan Clauson and Jean Alesi.

The Borg-Warner Trophy, which is one of the most recognizable trophies in all of sports, has been awarded to every Indianapolis 500 winner since 1936. Crafted out of sterling silver by Spaulding-Gorham of Chicago, it was unveiled at a dinner in New York in February 1936, featuring bas-relief sculptures of every "500" winner up until that time. The new winner has been added every year since, and in 1986 (the trophy's 50th anniversary), the final space became filled. The solution for 1987 was to add a base, but this too became filled, and in 2004, an even larger version replaced it, this one with enough spaces to last through 2034. The only sculptured face not of a winning driver is that of the late speedway owner Tony Hulman, whose likeness, in gold, was placed on the base in 1987.

DID YOU KNOW: Only three of the 731 drivers who have competed in the race have won four times: A.J. Foyt (1961, '64, '67, '77), Al Unser (1970, '71, '78, '87) and Rick Mears (1979, '84, '88, '91). Rick Mears holds the record with six Indianapolis 500 pole positions (1979, '82, '86, '88, '89, '91). Eight rookies have won the Indianapolis 500, with Helio Castroneves in 2001 the last driver to achieve the feat. Ray Harroun won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and immediately retired as a race driver. Troy Ruttman is the youngest driver to win the Indianapolis 500, age 22, in 1952; Al Unser is the oldest driver to win, age 47, in 1987. Arie Luyendyk won the 1990 Indianapolis 500 at an average speed of 185.981 mph, the record average speed for the race. Luyendyk also holds the all-time speed record for qualifying at the race, a four-lap average of 236.986 mph in 1996. Helio Castroneves earned $3,048,005 for his 2009 victory, a record winner's purse for the race. The top three positions have won 42 of the 95 previous Indy 500s. A car with the number of 1, 2 or 3 has won the Indianapolis 500 26 times.

The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to Detroit on June 3 with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Raceway of Belle Isle Park. Justin Wilson won the most recent race there in 2008.

05/21 16:50:55 ET

As of May 21, 2012, at 04:51 PM ET

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