Indy 500 History
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Indy 500’s history does not start with the race itself; Indy 500’s history began with the building of a new racetrack. Built in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted other small events before focusing on one main event. The first race in Indy 500 history was held on May 31, 1911. Ray Harroun drove a Marmom “Wasp” with his invention of the rearview mirror and became the first winner in Indy 500 history. 80,200 fans were in attendance at this historic Indy 500 event, and only paid $1 to see the race. This was the first race to be won by an American driver in an American car in Indy 500’s history.
The first historic Indy 500 name was the “International 500 Mile Sweepstakes Race”, in 1911. For one year, in 1919, following World War I, the then historic Indy 500 name changed names again, this time to the “Liberty Sweepstakes”. In 1920, the name reverted back to its original name from 1911. During 1981, the historic Indy 500 officially changed its’ name one last time to the “
European makers (Italian Fiat and French Peugeot companies) began to develop their own vehicles to win the Indy 500 and ended up winning Indy 500 championships from 1913 to 1919, a historic Indy 500 first. After World War I, American drivers and manufacturers took over the dominance of the Indy 500. Henry Arinius Miller became the most competitive post-war builder in Indy 500 history.
Just before World War II, European manufacturers, who had disappeared from the historic Indy 500 for almost two decades, returned with a Maserati 8CM. Wilbur Shaw was the driver and the first in Indy 500 history to win consecutively at the Indy 500. Foreign cars became the rule and foreign drivers showed up to the historic Indy 500 on a regular basis. The
NASCAR also ties into Indy 500 history. A.J. Foyt, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and John Andretti were the first NASCAR drivers in Indy 500 history to participate in the race. John Andretti was the only driver in Indy 500 history to complete the full 1110 miles, from both equally challenging races. Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt were the only NASCAR drivers in Indy 500 history to win the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500.
Women were not left out of the Indy 500 history books. The first woman in Indy 500 history to participate in the Indy 500 was Janet Guthrie, in 1977. Lyn St. James put her name on the Indy 500 history scroll when she raced in the Indy 500 from 1992-1997, and again in 2000. Sarah Fisher competed in the historic Indy 500 from 2000-2004, and Danica Patrick raced in 2005 and 2006.
On Point is an independent Indy 500 travel package and ticket broker that specializes in sports travel packages and tickets to high demand events worldwide. The sports travel packages we offer can be catered to your individual desires and are sure to be an unforgettable experience. Though we offer pre-planned Indy 500 travel packages, with the many options we have available, On Point can arrange customized Indy 500 packages that no one else in the industry can provide.
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