The People of IMS

Many come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s glorious 2.5-mile oval in hopes of making a name for themselves, and some do. Throughout the past century, Indy has been an instrumental part in many drivers’ lives and careers. So many memories have been made throughout the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 years and these memories have helped to continue the atmosphere Indy creates.

Some of the faces responsible for these Indy memories are featured below. We have compiled “Where Are They Now” articles, “The Greatest 33” profiles and “Driver Spotlights” to create a place that highlights all of the greatest drivers to have ever driven over the Yard of Bricks.

Indianapolis 500 Drivers
Airton Dare
Airton Dare’s best finish in five starts at the IMS was eighth in 2001. He drove an A.J. Foyt machine to victory at Kansas during his Indy car stint.
 
Airton Dare
Airton Dare
A.J Foyt
No driver is more closely associated with the IMS than A.J. Foyt Jr. In a career spanning more than half a century, Foyt was the '500's' first four-time winning driver.
 
A.J. Foyt
A.J Foyt
Al Unser
If the Unsers have often been called “Indy’s First Family,” then Al Unser is the leader, with four of the Albuquerque-based clan’s nine Indianapolis 500 victories. 
 
Al Unser
Al Unser
Al Unser Jr.
The Unsers are the most successful family in the history of the IMS, with a total of nine victories in the Indianapolis 500. The most recent two fell to Al Unser Jr.

 
Al Unser Jr
Al Unser Jr.
Arie Luyendyk
Arie Luyendyk holds the IMS one- and four-lap speed records, and his average speed over 500 miles of 185.981 mph in 1990 is a mark that is unlikely to ever be broken.
 
Arie Luyendyk
Arie Luyendyk
Billy Arnold
Billy Arnold was the undisputed man to beat at Indianapolis from 1930-32 and one can only speculate what he would have achieved had he not retired after the 1932 season.
 
Billy Arnold
Billy Arnold
Bobby Allison
At the height of his stardom as a NASCAR stock car driver, Bobby Allison still competed at the local short tracks throughout the U.S. so that he kept in touch with “his people”.
 
Bobby Allison
Bobby Allison
Bobby Rahal
Bobby Rahal personified Indy car racing’s shift from its oval racing roots to more of a technology-driven form of racing dominated by road racers.
 
Bobby Rahal
Bobby Rahal
Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser is one of the most colorful characters in the history of the Indy 500. He’s also one of the most successful drivers, with 3 victories during his career.
 
Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough was a halfback in high school and played 4 years of semi-pro football. He also claimed three NASCAR Winston Cup championships.
 
Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough
Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan’s popularity helped fuel one of the greatest periods of growth in the century-long history of Indy car racing.
 
Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan
Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti made his first Indianapolis 500 start in 2002. The native of Edinburgh, Scotland now boasts two Indy victories in eight attempts at IMS.
 
Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti
Donnie Allison
Donnie Allison finished fourth and took Chase Rookie of the Year honors on the lead lap of the “500,” a feat that was not achieved again for 23 years.
 
Donnie Allison
Donnie Allison
E.G. “Cannonball” Baker
A confident man built of iron and steel, E.G. “Cannonball” Baker had a fearless attitude and a certain philosophy about riding and record breaking unlike any other of the time.
 
Cannonball Baker
E.G. “Cannonball” Baker
Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi’s highly successful “second career” as an Indy car racer blazed a trail to America for many other South American and European drivers.
 
Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi
Felipe Giaffone
In 2002 the big issue was Helio Castroneves and Paul Tracy vying for the Indy 500 victory. Felipe Giaffone could very well have won that race except for unexpected circumstances.
 
Felipe Giaffone
Felipe Giaffone
Gordon Johncock
Gordon Johncock was one of Indy car racing’s top stars into the 1980s, winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1973 and 1982 as well as the 1976 USAC National Championship.
 
Gordon Johncock
Gordon Johncock
Graham Hill
Graham Hill holds the unique distinction of being the only driver who has won the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula 1 world championship.
 
Graham Hill
Graham Hill
Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has parlayed his success in the Indianapolis 500 into mainstream stardom in America.
 
Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves
Jacques Villeneuve
Two drivers named Jacques Villeneuve competed in the Indianapolis 500, both related to legendary Formula 1 racer Gilles Villeneuve.
 
Jacques Villeneueve
Jacques Villeneuve
Jim Clark
Jim Clark is considered one of the greatest drivers of all time. He won 25 of the 72 Formula 1 races he contested before he was killed at age 32.
 
Jim Clark
Jim Clark
Jim Rathman
Jim Rathman could probably be considered Indy car racing’s first superspeedway specialist.
 
Jim Rathmann
Jim Rathman
Johnny Rutherford
Johnny Rutherford, dubbed ‘Lone Star JR’ due to his Texas heritage, is one of only nine men to have won the Indianapolis 500 three times or more.
 
Johnny Rutherford
Johnny Rutherford
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya raced only once in the Indianapolis 500, yet he has compiled perhaps the most diverse overall career in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti is renowned as perhaps the most versatile racer of all time and he was named “Driver of the Century” by the Associated Press in 2000.
 
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti
Mark Donohue
Mark Donohue was the driving force behind Penske Racing in the 1960s and ‘70s.
 
Mark Donohue
Mark Donohue
Michael Andretti
Although he never won the Indianapolis 500, Michael Andretti ranks as one of the greatest Indy car drivers of all time.
 
Michael Andretti
Michael Andretti
Mike Hiss
Hiss competed in four Indianapolis 500 races with a best finish of seventh in 1972, but he drew the attention of the legendary Roger Penske.
 
Mike Hiss
Mike Hiss
Parnelli Jones
Rufus “Parnelli” Jones’ is revered as one of the greatest racers in the history of the Memorial Day classic.
 
Parnelli Jones
Parnelli Jones
Ray Harroun
Ray Harroun, nicknamed “The Little Professor,” helped design and build the Marmon Wasp.
 
Ray Harroun
Ray Harroun
Rick Mears
Rick Mears is the third and most recent member of the three-man club of four-time Indianapolis 500 winners.
 
Rick Mears
Rick Mears
Roberto Guerrero
Roberto Guerrero was racing in Europe after leaving his native Colombia when the Indy cars drew his attention.
 
Roberto Guerrero
Roberto Guerrero
Roger Mears
The eldest member and leader of the “Mears Gang,” Roger Mears actually followed his younger brother, Rick, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 
Roger Mears
Roger Mears
Scott Dixon
For a five year period that ended in 2006, Scott Dixon was the youngest-ever winner of an Indy car race.
 
Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon
Stephan Gregoire
In 1993, media and fans swarmed around the IMS to see Formula One champion Nigel Mansell in an Indy car. Virtually ignored was Stephan Gregoire, in his first visit to the IMS.
 
Stepan Gregoire
Stephan Gregoire
Tom Sneva
Tom Sneva holds was first man to circulate the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at more than 200 miles per hour.
 
Tom Sneva
Tom Sneva
Wilbur Shaw
Wilbur Shaw is one of the most important figures in the history of the IMS. Shaw is one of only a handful of drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 as an owner/driver.
 
Wilbur Shaw
Wilbur Shaw
Fun Fact #13
More than 5,000 Firestone tires are used by teams during the month of May.
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