Friday, December 10, 2010

Frenetic Friday -- Did You Know Edition

Since Fast Friday is more than likely trademarked (and we don't want to step on anyone's toes here at 15 Days...especially if those toes have lawyers), the Frenetic Friday portion of the program involves little known facts, statistics or my very own opinion on a particular subject.

Today is little-known facts about 500 winners:

 1) 1911 winner Ray Harroun may have won the 500 in his only appearance, but it wasn't the only time he tasted victory at the Speedway. Harroun finished with eight wins total, having also won smaller feature races since the track had opened two years earlier.

2)From the start of the 1952 race until his tragic death in an accident on lap 57 in 1955, two-time winner Bill Vukovich (1953-54) dominated the race like few have in history. Vukovich turned 647 laps in that span and led 485 of amazing 75 percent.

3)Bobby Rahal finished his 1986 win with a flourish, turning the race's fastest lap of the day (209.152) on the last lap of the race. On the 75th anniversary of the first 500, it was also the fastest lap ever turned in the race at the time and still remains the only time since 1951 that the fastest race lap came on lap 200. Eddie Cheever, the 1998 winner, holds the record for the fastest race lap ever at 236.103 (1996). That one should stand for a while.

4)Harroun, Jules Goux, Rene Thomas, Peter DePaolo, Louis Meyer and Jim Rathmann all lived long enough to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first race win. Rathmann joined the club last year and at 82 is the oldest living race winner. A.J. Foyt, who won the first of his four races in 1961, will hopefully mark that milestone in 2011.

5)By contrast, Ray Keech was killed in a racing accident in Tipton, PA just 16 days after winning the 500 in 1929. Sadly, a total of 13 former winners later lost their lives in racing incidents, the last being 1972 winner Mark Donohue, who was killed in 1975 during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.

1 comment: