START YOUR ENGINES // RACE FACTS
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 goes green Sunday. The historic event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will add another chapter to the legacy of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” But how well to you know about this year’s field of 33?
Below is everything a race fan needs to know before the big day.
The Indianapolis 500 will be the 100th 500-mile race conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s oval. Ray Harroun won the inaugural race in 1911. Juan Pablo Montoya won the race in 2015 to become a two-time winner of the race.
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There have been three different winners in five Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016. Simon Pagenaud has won the last three (Long Beach, Barber and Grand Prix of Indianapolis). Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg) and Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway) were the other race winners.
James Hinchcliffe stopped a streak of pole winners from Team Penske in 2016 by winning the Verizon P1 Award for the Indianapolis 500. Simon Pagenaud (Barber and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Helio Castroneves (Phoenix and Long Beach) and Will Power (St. Petersburg) earned Verizon P1 Awards through knockout qualifying.
Six drivers entered have won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Helio Castroneves has won the race three times (2001, 2002 and 2009), while teammate Juan Pablo Montoya has won the race twice (2000 and 2015). Buddy Lazier (1996), Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014) are the other former winners entered.
Kanaan has finished in the top four in three of the past five Indianapolis 500s, including his win in 2013.
Montoya has each finished in top five in his three previous Indianapolis 500 starts.
At least five drivers will compete in their first Verizon IndyCar Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval: Matt Brabham, Max Chilton, Spencer Pigot, Alexander Rossi and Stefan Wilson. Brabham, Chilton, Pigot and Wilson have raced at IMS in Indy Lights.
Twenty drivers have won the race from the pole — most recently Castroneves in 2009.
Team Penske has 16 wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, most of any team. Chip Ganassi Racing has won four times. Andretti Autosport has three wins, while A.J. Foyt Enterprises has won twice.
Two drivers have a chance to become the first to win on both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the famed 2.5-mile oval: Simon Pagenaud and Will Power have road course wins.
Pippa Mann is the only female driver in the field. It marks the 17th consecutive Indy 500 that a female has qualified for the race.
Dixon won at Phoenix earlier this season and is tied for fourth with Al Unser on the all-time IndyCar victory list with 39.
Kanaan seeks to start his 255th consecutive race, which would extend his IndyCar-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon has made 196 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in IndyCar racing.
The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the most recent technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams — one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals — but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.
The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.