The Indianapolis 500, also known as the Indy 500, is one of the most prestigious and iconic motor racing events in the world. It takes place annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race, characterized by its oval-shaped track, has a rich history that dates back over a century.

The inaugural Indianapolis 500 was held on May 30, 1911, and attracted a crowd of around 80,000 spectators. Ray Harroun emerged as the victor, driving the Marmon "Wasp" car, which featured a rearview mirror, a groundbreaking innovation at the time.

Over the years, the Indy 500 grew in popularity and became a symbol of American motorsport. It witnessed several notable moments, such as the first female driver, Janet Guthrie, qualifying for the race in 1977, and the introduction of turbocharged engines in the 1960s and 1970s, which led to increased speeds.

WOMI-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

In 1996, the Indy Racing League (IRL) was formed, which became the sanctioning body for the Indy 500. The event experienced a split in open-wheel racing with the formation of the rival Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. However, in 2008, the two organizations merged, reuniting the sport and bringing together the best drivers for the Indy 500.

attachment-Motorsports On NBC via YouTube
Motorsports On NBC via YouTube
loading...

The Indianapolis 500 has seen numerous legends of motorsport etch their names in history. Drivers like A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears, and Helio Castroneves have won the race multiple times, cementing their status as icons of the sport.

Today, the Indy 500 continues to captivate fans worldwide with its thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing and rich tradition. The event draws a massive crowd, with hundreds of thousands of spectators filling the grandstands, making it one of the largest single-day sporting events in the world.

During the 2023 race on May 28th, with less than twenty laps remaining in the race, the left rear tire of Kyle Kirkwood's car came off after a collision with another driver. That tire, according to Britannica.com, "bounced off the track and over the fence and the corner of the grandstand in the second turn before landing in a parking lot. It traveled about 350 yards (320 meters)" before crashing into a car that belonged to one unsuspecting race fan.

The race fan, Robin Matthews of Indianapolis will reportedly be receiving a new vehicle after the Chevrolet she drove to the event was hit by the runaway tire, leaving it undrivable. According to WRTV, her vehicle had to be towed from the scene. Indiana Motor Speedway and Penske have confirmed that Matthews will be receiving a new car.

[Source: Britannica.com]

LOOK: Highest-rated free things to do in Indiana, according to Tripadvisor

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated free things to do in Indiana from Tripadvisor.

More From WOMI-AM