Graham Hill won 50th running in 1966. Photo: IMS Archives

Highlights from the the Indianapolis 500, Runnings 41-50

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The Associated Press has compiled a list of highlights of all past Indianapolis 500 races, as the buildup to the 100th running presented by PennGrade Motor Oil takes place this May 29.

Here are runnings 31-40, from 1957 through 1966.

Past pieces:

RACE: 41st Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1957

WINNER: Sam Hanks

AVERAGE SPEED: 135.601 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Hanks won the Indy 500, then promptly retired in victory lane. Hanks is considered the only Indianapolis 500 driver who competed in the race before World War II, served in combat, then raced again in Indy after the war. He drove the pace car at Indy from 1958 to 1963.

NOTABLE: Hanks won $103,844 in prize money, the first time a winner took home a six-figure purse. The total race purse was a record $300,000.

RACE: 42nd Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1958

WINNER: Jimmy Bryan

AVERAGE SPEED: 133.791 mph

WHAT HAPPENNED: Bryan, who would later die from injuries in a champ car race, won a race marred by a multi-car pileup that killed Pat O’Connor. Bryan won in the same car used by 1957 winner Sam Hanks. The 29-year-old O’Connor was killed in an accident on the first lap of the race. His car overturned and burst into flames.

NOTABLE: The 1958 race marked the debut of four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt. He finished 16th after his car spun on an oil slick and he completed 148 of the 200 laps.

RACE: 43rd Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1959

WINNER: Rodger Ward

AVERAGE SPEED: 135.857 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Ward won the first of his two career Indy 500s in perhaps the most competitive race at the point. Indy had a record 16 cars complete all 200 miles. Ward would later call Indy car races in the late 1960s.

NOTABLE: At this point in Indy’s history, death on the track was still a regular occurrence and 1959 was no exception. Driver Jerry Unser and Bob Cortner were both killed in accidents leading up to the race.

RACE: 44th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1960

WINNER: Jim Rathmann

AVERAGE SPEED: 138.767 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Widely considered one of the greatest finishes in Indy 500 history, Rathmann and Roger Ward were entwined in a two-car duel to the finish. There were a record 29 lead changes and Rathman finally took the lead with three laps left once Ward was forced to slow down because of tire issues. Rathmann topped Ward by just 12.75 seconds, then the second-closest finish in Indy history.

NOTABLE: Tragedy struck again, but in the stands, not on the track when a privately owned temporary scaffold collapsed, killing two people and injuring at least 82. The homemade scaffold tipped over under the weight of about 100 fans who had paid $5 to $10 a seat in the infield of the speedway’s northeast turn.

RACE: 45th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1961

WINNER: A. J. Foyt

AVERAGE SPEED: 139.130 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Foyt, one of the greatest drivers in history, breaks through and wins the first of his four Indianapolis 500s. He took the lead with four laps left and nipped Eddie Sachs by just 8.28 seconds. Foyt won the last race with exposed brick as the entire Indianapolis Motor Speedway surface was paved in asphalt, with just a single yard of bricks at the start/finish line left exposed – the same as it is today.

NOTABLE: Tony Bettenhausen Sr. was killed in a crash during practice in early May. Also, track worker John Masariu of the fire/safety crew was killed following a wreck on the track.

RACE: 46th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1962

WINNER: Rodger Ward

AVERAGE SPEED: 140.293 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Ward won his second Indy 500 to pair with his 1959 triumph. He led the final 31 laps and made it a 1-2 finish with Leader Cards teammate Len Sutton. The sweep marked the first one since Blue Crown went back-to-back in 1947 and 1948. Parnelli Jones started on the pole and led 120 laps before he faded to seventh.

NOTABLE: Jones became the first driver to top 150 mph when he hit 150.729 on his pole day run. He averaged 150.370 mph over his four laps and broke the 150 mark in each one.

RACE: 47th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1963

WINNER: Parnelli Jones

AVERAGE SPEED: 143.137 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Jones won the pole for the second straight year and his speed of 151.150 mph set the track record. Jones’ win came with some controversy because he was not black-flagged when his car started spewing oil and mucked up the track for several laps. The oil was believed responsible for at least one crash.

NOTABLE: NASCAR driver Junior Johnson failed to qualify for the race. Jim Clark and Dan Gurney were the final two cars in Indy history to use carburetors – though one of Indy’s biggest events, “Carb Day,” remains. All cars to this day use fuel injection.

RACE: 48th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1964

WINNER: A. J. Foyt

AVERAGE SPEED: 147.350 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: Foyt won the second of his four Indy 500s. Here’s something that would never happen today – Foyt raced all 500 miles on the same tires. His car was never restored to pre-race condition and remains in the collection of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum. Defending champion Parnelli Jones dropped out of the race after a fire on pit road and finished 23rd.

NOTABLE: Drivers Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald were killed in a fiery crash on just the second lap. Sachs was killed instantly. MacDonald was alive and taken to the infield care center. He later died at a hospital.

RACE: 49th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 31, 1965

WINNER: Jim Clark

AVERAGE SPEED: 150.686 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: British driver Jim Clark started from the front row and led the most laps (190) since Bill Vukovich led 195 in 1953. Clark became the first driver to win the Indy 500 and Formula One World Championship in the same year. Mario Andretti, the 1969 winner, made his debut in the race. Cursed? Nope, he finished third.

NOTABLE: The race aired on ABC Sports for the first time under the “Wide World of Sports” banner.

RACE: 50th Indianapolis 500

DATE: May 30, 1966

WINNER: Graham Hill

AVERAGE SPEED: 144.317 mph

WHAT HAPPENED: The milestone 50th running was a disaster from the start when 11 of the 33 cars were eliminated in the wake of a first-lap accident on the main stretch. Only four cars finished 200 laps, led by Hill, and he became just the second rookie to win the race. There wouldn’t be another winner in his first Indy 500 until Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.

NOTABLE: A.J. Foyt was the only driver seriously injured in the wreck and it didn’t happen behind the wheel. Long before Helio Castroneves made it an art form, Foyt hurt his hands trying to scale the fence and escape the wreck.

 

Scott McLaughlin will make IndyCar debut for Team Penske at St. Pete

Scott McLaughlin IndyCar debut
Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
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Two-time defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut with Team Penske in the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

McLaughlin, 27, drove for Penske in preseason IndyCar testing at Circuit of the Americas, Sebring International Raceway (in a rookie evaluation) and Texas Motor Speedway, and he was announced Feb. 5 as making his debut with the team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic delayed the start of the season.

Travel restrictions also made it difficult for the New Zealand native to leave Australia, where he leads the points for DJR Team Penske in the Virgin Australia Supercars series with three races remaining. He set a Supercars record last season with 18 victories.

The Supercars season will conclude Oct. 18 with the prestigious 24 Hours of Bathurst. McLaughlin then will head directly to the States to drive the No. 3 Dallara-Chevrolet at St. Pete as a teammate of Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.

“This is something I haven’t stopped thinking about, but I wanted to ensure my focus was on winning our third-straight Supercars championship for DJR Team Penske and all our partners in Australia,” McLaughlin, who also has won at Barber and Indianapolis while unofficially finishing first in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, said in a release. “We are still laser-focused on that and have three more rounds to get it done, but I’m equally as excited to finally get the chance and make my IndyCar debut.”

McLaughlin, whose wife, Karly, is from New York, said he has discussed racing in America with car owner Roger Penske since he was hired by the team for the 2017 season.

“I’ve always said I’d love to have a crack at something else,” McLaughlin told reporters in February during the preseason test at Austin, Texas. “My goal was always to win the championship in Bathurst and Australia. I ticked those boxes, and then opportunities arise over time. The conversation between me and Roger was pretty short. ‘Would you be interested in IndyCar?’ I’d literally drive a wheelbarrow with a Team Penske sticker on it. I’d race anything that comes with the opportunity.

“I’ve always intended I’d love to get America one day potentially if I’ve done my goals in Australia. I’ve always said whether it’s now or 30 years down the track, I’d love to finish up (in America). I’ve promised Karly that we would come back here eventually. She’s not pushing me by any means, but I’ve always had a passion for American motorsport and certainly would love the opportunity.”

McLaughlin also has indicated a desire to try racing in NASCAR for Team Penske. He discussed his comfort with stock cars during a 2017 episode of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast (click on the link below to hear it).

Here’s the release from Team Penske:

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 17, 2020) – Team Penske announced today that Scott McLaughlin, the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship points leader, is scheduled to make his long-awaited NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in the series’ 2020 season finale on the Streets of St. Petersburg on Sunday, October 25.

The two-time and defending Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP) was set to compete in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race earlier this year on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before the COVID-19 global pandemic forced several delays and postponements on racing schedules, along with international travel restrictions. Before the pandemic shutdown, McLaughlin participated in the INDYCAR SERIES preseason open test at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, where he ran consistently well and posted the third-fastest time of the test session. The 27-year-old native of New Zealand also competed in separate tests at the Sebring International Raceway road course and the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval.

“This is something I haven’t stopped thinking about, but I wanted to ensure my focus was on winning our third-straight Supercars championship for DJR Team Penske and all our partners in Australia,” said McLaughlin. “We are still laser-focused on that and have three more rounds to get it done, but I’m equally as excited to finally get the chance and make my INDYCAR debut. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep up with the series this year, from watching as many races as I can on TV to even talking to the drivers and some of the engineers back at the Team Penske shop. I never knew if I would be able to get behind the wheel of one of these cars this year due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, but I wanted to be ready if it became an opportunity.”

McLaughlin currently leads the Supercars point standings with just three rounds of competition remaining on the 2020 schedule. McLaughlin has produced a series-best 10 wins and 10 poles and holds a 143-point lead over Jamie Whincup entering this weekend’s race at The Bend. Over the course of his Supercars career, McLaughlin has won an impressive 53 races and 71 poles, while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019 and winning the driver’s title in each of the last two seasons. He also earned his first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in 2019 with co-driver Alex Premat. Though he is in just his fourth season competing for Team Penske, McLaughlin already ranks third on the organization’s all-time wins list, trailing only Brad Keselowski and Mark Donohue.

Earlier this year, McLaughlin made his “virtual” INDYCAR debut, competing in the series’ iRacing Challenge and winning two races among the full field of current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers that were competing against each other while traditional racing was put on hold.

“Our plan has always been for Scott to run a race in the INDYCAR SERIES this season, but we never wanted to take the focus away from the main goal, which is winning another Supercars Championship,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. “COVID-19 certainly altered those plans early on, but with the way the schedules have lined up at the end of this season, St. Pete became an available option and we remain committed to getting him some INDYCAR seat time. We know Scott is ready for this challenge and this should add even more excitement to the 2020 season finale in St. Petersburg.”

McLaughlin will pilot the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara/Chevrolet at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was postponed from its original date in March and will now take place on Sunday, October 25. The race on the 1.8-mile street circuit will be seen live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with radio coverage on the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network and SIRIUS XM.