The Indianapolis 500 is known to produce many exciting moments for the fans. Here are five of the most exciting moments in Indy 500 history.
1960 Lead Change Excitement
One of the most exciting moments lasted for about 250 miles. Jim Rathmann and Roger Ward battled it out in the last half of the race by changing leads fourteen times.
Roger Ward looked like the sure winner until he ran into tire wear problems. Jim Rathmann took the lead for the last time and had no problem with his only Indy 500 win.
From Indy to NASCAR
Sam Hornish, Jr. was the first place winner of the 2006 Indy 500. Driving for Team Penske he thrilled fans as he blew across the finish line ahead of Marco Andretti.
With just 200 yards to the finish Hornish passed Andretti and won by only 0.0635 seconds. The win was the second closest time in Indy racing. After his win, Hornish decided to ditch his open wheel Indy car for a stock car in NASCAR racing.
200 MPH Record
Hold onto your hat when Tom Sneva whizzes by. Qualifying for the Indy 500 has had it’s moments but none like the record set by Sneva where, for the first time, an Indy car qualified at over 200 MPH.
Sneva was known for his breath taking speeds and taking it to the edge, nearly losing his life in one crash that he walked away from. His qualification runs is now a part of Indy 500 history.
Need for Speed
Few men would be able to catch this gal. Janet Guthrie’s need for speed places her in Indy 500 history. Her exciting moment came when she became the first woman to qualify and run at the Indianapolis race in 1977.
What makes Guthrie really special is that a year earlier she was the first woman to compete in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series. Janet Guthrie is a name few will forget in the history of motor sports.
Push, Don’t Pull!
The 1912 Indy 500 ended with a push. It was not planned that way but driver Ralph DePalma did not give up when his car did. After leading for 193 laps though most of the race, and a 5 1/2 lap lead, his car experienced mechanical problems and died on the track.
With an insatiable urge to finish the race, DePalma and his mechanic made the decision to go the last lap by pushing the car to the finish line. It was an exciting moment in Indy history that is still talked about today.
The Indy 500 has many great moments to add to it’s colorful history. Ever since Ray Harroun won the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911 fans still come from all over the world for the annual event. There are more exciting moments ahead that will make Indy 500 racing history.
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