Indianapolis 500 Fast Facts

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MAY 28: Josef Newgarden, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, after winning the 107th Running of Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the Indianapolis 500, known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

May 28, 2023 - Josef Newgarden wins the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

May 29, 2022 - Marcus Ericsson wins the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Other Facts

Known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

During the race, the cars attempt to complete 200 laps around the 2.5-mile track, equaling 500 miles.

The track’s current dimensions are much the same as when it was constructed in 1909.

The race is among the world’s best-attended single-day sporting events. It drew crowds of over 400,000 during the 1990s.

Currently 33 cars start the race in rows of three. In the past there have been as few as 21 (1916) and as many as 42 (1933).

With 35 starts, A.J. Foyt Jr. has the most starts of any driver.

Four drivers have won the race four times: Foyt Jr. in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977; Al Unser Sr. in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987; Rick Mears in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991; Helio Castroneves in 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021.

The youngest winner is Troy Ruttman. He was 22 years and 80 days old when he won in 1952.

The oldest winner is Unser Sr. He was 47 years and 360 days old when he won in 1987.

Since 1936, tradition holds that winners of the race celebrate with a bottle of milk (with the exception of 1947-1955).

Race record time (200 laps/500 miles) - Tony Kanaan, May 26, 2013; 2 hours, 40 minutes and 3.4181 seconds; average speed was 187.433 mph.


1906 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is founded by Carl Fisher.

February 9, 1909 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway track is built when 328 acres of farmland northwest of downtown Indianapolis are purchased by Fisher and his partners Jim Allison, Frank Wheeler and Arthur Newby.

August 19, 1909 - The first automobile race takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Twelve thousand people are in attendance.

1911 - The first Indianapolis 500 takes place, with Ray Harroun winning in 6 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds. The race has been held annually since 1911, except for the war years 1917-18 and 1942-45.

1945 - The track is sold to Anton Hulman Jr.

1994 - A new open-wheel racing championship series, called the Indy Racing League, is launched, and includes the Indy 500 as the signature race. The first races are scheduled for 1996.

March 26, 2020 - It is announced that the Indianapolis 500, originally scheduled for May 24, has been rescheduled to August 23 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

August 4, 2020 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces via Twitter that the race will take place without fans present.