So, You Think You Know Indy

I’m hitting the road for Indy this morning, so we’ll keep it light. How well do you know your trivia concerning the Indianapolis 500? Who’s the next Donald Davidson out there? Here are thirty-three questions to test your skill. I’m too cheap to award prizes, but top honors will be announced next Saturday. At least you can achieve a warm, fuzzy feeling. We’re not technical enough to have you submit it online except to have you e-mail the answers to me at They are short-answer and not multiple choice. Plus, they are not easy – although some are tougher than others. So load up Wikipedia, pull out those old programs and see how many you can get. Again, answers and winners will be announced next Saturday May 30. I’ll have my personal reflections of Race Day on Sunday morning. See you at the track!  –  GP

1.   Tony Bettenhausen, Sr.’s real name was Melvin. Tony was just a nickname. How did he get the nickname “Tony”?

2.   What was Tony Bettenhausen’s nickname while he was racing?

3.   Who is the youngest pole sitter in the history of the Indianapolis 500?

4.   Driver Pat O’Connor lost his life in an opening lap pile-up in turn three. What year did this happen?

5.    What was the last year that gasoline was used as fuel in the Indianapolis 500?

6.    Al Unser is the oldest driver to win the Indianapolis 500. Prior to his fourth win in 1987, who had been the oldest driver to win?

7.  What was the first year that the Borg-Warner trophy was presented to the winning driver? Who was that driver?

8.    What car number has won the Indianapolis 500 the most times?

9.    Which starting spot has produced the most winners for the Indianapolis 500?

10.   Which driver is the only driver to finish last in his first 500 and then finish first in his last 500?

11.   What was the last year that a front-engine car started in the Indianapolis 500? Who was the driver?

12.   What was the last year that a woman did not start in the Indianapolis 500?

13.   Who is Cyrus Patschke?

14.   Which driver has the most consecutive starts in the Indianapolis 500?

15.   The rookie class of 1965 produced three future 500 winners. Name them.

16.   This year will be John Andretti’s tenth Indianapolis 500 start. What year was his first?

17.   With Lloyd Ruby’s death this past spring, there only eight drivers remaining that drove both front-engine and rear engine cars in the Indianapolis 500. Name them.

18.   How many times has a Lola chassis won the Indianapolis 500?

19.   Who is the only driver to win in a front-engine and rear-engine car?

20.   Who was the first driver to break the 150 mph race average barrier?

21.   When was the last time a relief driver was used in the Indianapolis 500?

22.   How many drivers that raced in the Indianapolis 500 in the 1950’s are still living?

23.   Of the thirty-three drivers that started in AJ Foyt’s first Indianapolis 500 in 1958; how many would lose their life while racing?

24.   How many turbine powered cars actually raced in the Indianapolis 500?

25.   What was the final year that Sid Collins headed the broadcast for the IMS Radio Network?

26.   How many Indianapolis 500 victories does Roger Penske currently have as a car owner (as of Sat May 23, 2009)?

27.   Including this year’s race, there have been nine different drivers with the last name of Jones to run in the Indianapolis 500. How many are related?

28.   How many different Indianapolis 500 drivers have had the last name of Smith?

29.   Who was the first father-son combination to try to qualify for the same Indianapolis 500? What year?

30.   Who was the last driver to be fatally injured at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

31.   What driver holds the record for most pole positions for the Indianapolis 500?

32.   Arie Luyendyk holds the record for the fastest four lap qualifying average. What driver holds the single lap record?

33.   There were a record, ten former winners in the 1992 Indianapolis 500. Name them.


One Response to “So, You Think You Know Indy”

  1. I just sent the answers to most of these but I too have a question:
    Who was the first driver to drive a Lola in the race?
    If you have the answer George (not me) owes you 20 thousand dollars.

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