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The Indy 500 has set many records since its first race in 1911, but this year all the big ones are at stake.
The stars are aligned to position multiple drivers to place one or more marks.
The record for fastest qualifying speed was already broken in May by Scott Dixon, who won pole position averaging 234.046 mph over four laps.
Now it’s time for the races:
4-KICK INDY 500 CHAMPION HELIO CASTRONEVES IS READY TO WIN THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND CLASSIC AGAIN
Helio Castroneves is battling for his fifth Indy 500 win, which would put him ahead of AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, whom he calls “the gods of racing.”
Castroneves is the defending Indy 500 champion, so consecutive wins are on the table. Only five drivers have ever managed to do that, including Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. If he does it again, he will be the first to do it twice.
INDY 500 WINNERS: THE FULL LIST
Castroneves’ list of Indy 500 records is almost as long as the race. He achieved an average speed of 190.690 mph en route to the win track in 2021, breaking Tony Kanan’s record of 187.433 mph in 2013.
MOST CHANGES IN LEAD
The 2013 race was one of the most exciting ever, with 68 lead changes and 14 drivers leading at least one lap, both all-time records.
MOST ROUNDS LED
Four-time winner Al Unser Sr. led the most career laps at the Indy 500, with 644 over 28 starts, followed by 1915 race winner Ralph DePalma at 612 and 2008 winner Scott Dixon at 570. With 200 laps up for grabs this year, Dixon could top them both, though the record for one race of 198 by Wilbur Shaw in 1930 seems unattainable in modern times.
BONUS: FIRST NASCAR CHAMPION WINNER
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Indy 500 winners AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue and Juan Pablo Montoya all have NASCAR Cup Series wins on their resume, but no NASCAR champion has ever won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson could change that on his rookie outing on the track this year, but he will have to beat Montoya and the other 31 drivers in the field to make it happen.