This Sunday, the Indianapolis 500 will take place for the 107th time. It is one of the most historic and traditional motor races in the world, and nearly every statistic surrounding it is tracked.
Some records will stand the test of time, such as the number of race starts (35 by A.J. Foyt) and the coldest race day weather (58°F in 1992), but others have a chance to be broken in this year’s event.
MotorsportWeek.com looks at some of the records that could be broken this Sunday at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Most wins by an individual driver
Current record: Four wins by four drivers. (A.J. Foyt 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977; Al Unser Sr. 1970, 1971, 1978, 1987; Rick Mears 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991; Helio Castroneves 2001, 2002, 2009, 2021)
Likely the most prestigious record of them all is the overall win record for a single driver. Four have won the famous race four times, with the most recent, Helio Castroneves, adding his name to the exclusive list in 2021.
Castroneves has a chance to extend that record by adding a fifth title to his name, which would be one of the most impressive feats in the long history of the race. He competes this year in the #06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda, and starts in the 20th position.
Current record: Al Unser Jr. won the Indy 500 in 1987 at 47 years and 360 days old.
There is a possibility this year that the record will be broken for the oldest driver to win the Indy 500. If Helio Castroneves wins, he will not only become the first driver to win the race five times, but he will also become the older winner at 48 years and 18 days old.
Tony Kanaan also has a chance to become the oldest winner in history. He is slightly older than Castroneves, and will be 48 years and 148 days old on race day. It would be a fitting send off for Kanaan, who is running his 22nd and final Indy 500.
Current record: Troy Ruttman won the Indy 500 in 1952 at 22 years and 80 days old.
In addition to the oldest winner, on Sunday there is a chance there will be a new bar set for the youngest winner. David Malukas is the youngest driver in the field, and will be just older than 21 years and 8 months on race day.
Sting Ray Robb and Christian Lundgaard are also still yet to reach 22 years of age, and would both claim the youngest winner crown if they took victory on Sunday. All three drivers would also earn their first IndyCar win simultaneously.
All time lap leader
Current record: Scott Dixon with 665 laps led over 20 starts.
One of the most likely records to be set this weekend is the achievement of the most laps led at the Indy 500. Scott Dixon currently has 21 more laps led than his nearest competitor, and has the ability to widen that gap when he competes on Sunday.
Seven different drivers have led over 500 laps at the famous race, and of those Dixon is the only one still racing. The nearest active driver to Dixon’s current record is Tony Kanaan, who is over 300 laps behind with 352 total, which means nobody has the ability to take over the top spot this year, even if they lead all 200 laps.
Most races led
Current record: Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan have each led 15 races.
Active drivers also lead the category of most individual races led. Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon both have led 15 separate Indy 500 events in their careers, and both have the potential to increase that total this weekend.
Helio Castroneves has led 13 races in his career, and is the next closest driver to the top spot. This type of statistic is one of the main reasons these veterans are praised for their consistent skill behind the wheel.
Highest finish by a woman
Current record: Danica Patrick finished 3rd in 2009.
With Katherine Legge making her comeback this weekend, she has the opportunity to break the record for the highest placed woman in the Indy 500. The current record is held by Danica Patrick her third place performance in her fifth start.
Legge has competed in two previous Indy 500’s, and her best result was 22nd in 2012. She will start this weekend’s race from the 30th position.
Closest margin of victory
Current record: Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds in 1992.
There is always a chance that this year will produce a thrilling finish with the closest margin of victory. With a higher downforce package brought this season, the record of 0.043 seconds could be broken if a driver gets a good run off turn 4.
12 races do not officially have a margin of victory recorded on account of the race finishing under caution. The largest margin of victory is 13 minutes, 8.40 seconds when Jules Goux won in 1913, but that record is almost certainly not under threat this year.
Most runner up finishes
Current record: Eight drivers have finished second in the Indy 500 three times.
In racing, finishing second is one of the worst things that can happen to a driver. Being so close to victory often gives drivers hope of a win, without the ultimate satisfaction.
There are eight drivers that have finished second in the Indy 500 three times, with all but one of them earning a win in one of their other attempts. Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves are among the drivers that have finished second three times, and have the possibility of taking an exclusive hold on the unceremonious statistic.
Span between first and last victories
Current record: Helio Castroneves has 20 years between his first and most recent win.
There is one driver that has two decades between his first and last Indy 500 win, with Helio Castroneves claiming the longevity award. His first win was in 2001, and his fourth came just two years ago in 2021. That timespan has seen many different aerodynamic packages, and he has mastered nearly every one.
Castroneves would claim several records if he were to win again this Sunday, but extending his own longevity record to 22 years would be the cherry on top.
Records already broken
With qualifying having taken place last weekend, there are already a number of Indy 500 records that have been shattered this year. Below are some of the entries that had to be rewritten in the record books when drivers set the grid for the 107th Indianapolis 500.
Fastest pole speed: 234.217 MPH average across four laps
Fastest front row speed: 234.180 MPH average among three drivers
Fastest complete field: 232.184 MPH average among all 33 drivers
Smallest gap between first and second: 0.0040 seconds difference after four laps of qualifying
Fastest qualifying lap by a woman: 231.596 MPH average across four laps
Most single-day qualifying attempts: 84 attempts by 34 drivers on Saturday
Leave a Reply