Category Archives: Indycar

Indianapolis 500 – You need to know more about Verizon IndyCar Series

Indianapolis 500 or Indy 500 as they call it is the automobile race, which takes place annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. PennGrade Motor Oil is the corporate sponsor for Indianapolis 500. Ray Harroun was the winner of the very first race held in 1911. The most noticeable drivers having the most wins include A.J.Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears. Penske is the team with the most wins. In 2011, the event celebrated 100 years. The current champion of the event is Takuma Sato. The event is full of popular traditions starting with pre-race ceremonies, race procedure, the post-race celebrations and all these are noteworthy.

indianapolis 500

Race Specifics: How long is the Indy 500?

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an oval circuit with a length of 4 km. The distance covered by drivers is 800 km with laps of 200 in a counter-clockwise motion around the circuit. After 1974, the very first Sunday around the Memorial Day has been the first choice for the event. The current engine manufacturers for the event are Chevrolet and Honda whereas the tire provider for the event is Firestone. Due to hydroplaning, the race is not common in the rainy weather. In terms of the capacity, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest sporting facility in the world.

How much does it cost to go to the Indianapolis 500?

Ticket to the Indy 500 cost for race day is $40.


In 1909, Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built and there were small events for motorcycles initially. Bob Burman won the very first long-distance event. There were two fatal accidents in the first two long-distance events because of the breakup of asphalt. It was shortened from 400 km to 378 km because of the damage. Carl G. Fisher paid for repaving the track as the event has gained popularity among the spectators. In 1910, Ray Harroun was the person to win the trophy on the repaved track. In 1911, Harroun was the winner once again. Joe Dawson was the winner of the second event in 1912. Harry Miller had emerged as a popular builder after the World War I.

How many cars are in the Indianapolis 500 race?

It was determined that the safe distance between each car spread equally around a course would be 400 feet, thereby limiting the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway to 33 cars.

Race name

The race was called 500-Mile International Sweepstakes from 1911–1915, then again from 1920–1941, and once again from 1946–1980. The name of the event was 300-Mile International Sweepstakes in 1916. The name of the race was Liberty Sweepstakes in 1919. Sixty-fifth Indianapolis 500-Miles Race was the official name of the event in 1981. For 100 years, the race avoided any sort of the naming rights but recently in 2016, the tradition ended. The new name for the race was Indianapolis 500. The sponsor for the event was the Motor Oil. Therefore, “The Indianapolis 500 presented by Motor Oil” was the name of the event.

Race sanctioning

AAA Contest Board was responsible for the organization of the race from 1911 to 1955. USAC was formed in 1956. Alberto Ascari, who was an Italian driver participated in 500 and gave an appearance in Ferrari in 1952. In 1958, Juan Manuel Fangio declined the race offers. There were conflicts in the 1970s on different issues. In 1978, the CART was formed. USAC had the sanction control of Indianapolis 500. There was a divide between CART and UASC however, the race was run in harmony between 1983 to 1995. There had been small issues between CART and UASC, however, the same machines had been used by both.

Verizon IndyCar Series

Tony George introduced Indy Racing League in 1994. The Indy 500 was the main feature. However, there were some issues, for example, the number of the foreign drivers were increased in comparison with the American drivers. There was a change in schedule by CART series in 1995, which resulted in a conflict with the Indy Racing League. In 1997, there were rules for the engines being production based. By the end of 2003, CART was bankrupt, which led to the rise of Champ Car World Series. After much struggle and conflict with CART, Indy Car Series was finally unified in 2008.

How fast is a Formula One car?

A modern F1 car can accelerate to 62 mph in less than two seconds, pull more Gs than a Space Shuttle launch, and hit a top speed over 200 MPH in qualifying.

NASCAR and the 500

Coca-Cola 600 was previously known as World 600 and in the 1960s both World 600 and Indy 500 were held at Charlotte Motor Speedway but they occur at the different weekdays. Lee Roy Yarbrough, Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, and Bobby Allison were the regular part takers of the NASCAR. The participation in both the events was not possible when they were held the same day. This same day issue has in fact given rise to the term Double Duty. Neil Bonnett had skipped Charlotte in order to qualify for the Indy. Tony Stewart was the very first driver, who is 2001 was able to complete full race distance not only in one but both the races.

Technical regulations

IndyCar write the technical regulations for the Indianapolis 500. The rules are almost similar for the races of IndyCar. The cars participating in the event go through rigorous technical inspection before receiving an approval for the race. The car, which qualifies, receives a sticker. The cars have to pass the additional inspections after the qualifications. The post-qualifying inspection is usually time-consuming and is done in the garage whereas the pre-qualifying inspection is usually brief because of the time constraints. If a car fails an inspection, it is disqualified for the Indianapolis 500 event.


The milk tradition is common with the winners. In 1933, Louis Meyer won the second Indy 500 race and he requested to have a glass of buttermilk. In 1936, when he won again, he made a similar request. However, this time he received a bottle of milk. This was a marketing opportunity for a local dairy company and they offered a bottle of milk to the winners in future. Emerson Fittipaldi was the winner in 1993 and he drank orange juice instead of milk, which damaged the public relations. However, in 2016 Indianapolis 500, the 100,000 were presented with milk to celebrate the race with the winner.


The race gets radio coverage since 1922. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcasts it live since 1953. WFBM-TV broadcast the race briefly on TV in 1949 and 1950. It was then broadcast live on CCTV from 1964 to 1970. ABC’s Wide World of Sports showed a few highlights of the race from 1965 to 1970. ABC has been covering Indianapolis 500 for the past 50 years. ESPN has covered some time trials between 1987 and 2008. Time trials are also covered by NBCSN between 2009 and 2013. However, in 2019 it is expected to broadcast on NBC hence ending the 54-year contract with ABC.