Featured Articles

IMS Names The 33 Best Drivers In Speedway History

Posted in IndyCar, Lists, Promoted, Racing Coverage, Rankings by Kurt Ernst | May 16th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Image: Rick Dikeman

The Indianapolis 500 is billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing, and at one time was the largest single-day sporting event in the world. The massive track doesn’t release attendance figures, but ponder this: the grandstand seating capacity is 257,000, and the infield can accommodate another 143,000 fans. At the peak of the race’s popularity (before the CART / Indy Racing League split), grandstand tickets were virtually impossible to score, unless you had an in with one of the sponsor corporations. The usual way of “earning” grandstand seats was to spend a few years in the drunken melee that was the infield, then make your way to the cheap grandstand seats when tickets became available. Like the NFL’s NY Giants, getting good seats often took years of patience.

The race may lack some of its former glory, but it’s still a “must see” for anyone who considers themselves a racing fan. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the race, so to commemorate the event the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced a list of the 33 greatest drivers in Speedway history, as compiled by fans, media and participants. Thirty-three, in case you don’t know, is the traditional number of race starters, lined up in eleven rows of three. The 33 drivers named include 30 winners and 3 famous drivers (Michael Andretti, Dan Gurney, Tony Bettenhausen) who raced for years without a victory. Some, like A.J. Foyt, are familiar names, while others (such as Mauri Rose) may be unknown to all but the most hardcore 500 fans. Here’s the list according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but feel free to offer your rebuttal if you think they missed a driver.

1. A. J. Foyt
2. Rick Mears
3. Al Unser Sr.
4. Bobby Unser
5. Helio Castroneves
6. Johnny Rutherford
7. Mario Andretti
8. Wilbur Shaw
9. Bill Vukovich
10. Emerson Fittipaldi
11. Al Unser Jr.
12. Louis Meyer
13. Mauri Rose
14. Parnelli Jones
15. Gordon Johncock
16. Arie Luyendyk
17. Rodger Ward
18. Jim Clark
19. Dario Franchitti
20. Tom Sneva
21. Bobby Rahal
22. Mark Donohue
23. Michael Andretti
24. Ralph DePalma
25. Ray Harroun
26. Tommy Milton
27. Danny Sullivan
28. Graham Hill
29. Dan Gurney
30. Jim Rathmann
31. Juan Pablo Montoya
32. Tony Bettenhausen
33. Scott Dixon

Source: Autoweek

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *