Live blog: Indianapolis 500, what you need to know

Published 11:36 am Sunday, May 29, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been 100 years since racing began at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today is not the 100th race, but the 100th year since the track held its first event. For five years there were no races at the famed speedway.

When the 33-car field hits the start-finish line, Canadian Alex Tagliani will lead the field to the green flag. Along side him in the front row will be past 500 winner Scott Dixon and Oriol Servia.

Other former winners in the field include Dan Wheldon (starting sixth), Buddy Rice (7th), Dario Franchitti (9th) and Helio Castroneves (16th).

Castroneves will be looking for a record-tying fourth victory, while Franchitti will be trying to win his third 500.

Ray Harroun was the first winning in 1911.

Here are some more historical facts:

Victories Most victories: 4 – A.J. Foyt (1961, 64, 67, 77), Al Unser (1970-71, 78, 87), Rick Mears (1979, 84, 88, 91)

Most consecutive victories: 2 – Wilbur Shaw (1939-40), Mauri Rose (1947-48), Bill Vukovich (1953-54), Al Unser (1970-71), Helio Castroneves (2001-02)

Longest span between first and last victory: 17 years – Al Unser (1970 to 1987)

Youngest winner: Troy Ruttman (1952) – 22 years, 80 days old

Oldest winner: Al Unser (1987) – 47 years, 360 days old

Most victories from pole position: 3 – Rick Mears (1979, 88, 91)

Lowest starting position, winner: 28th – Ray Harroun (1911), Louis Meyer (1936)

First two-time winner: Tommy Milton (1921, 23)

First three-time winner: Louis Meyer (1928, 33, 36) First four-time winner: A.J. Foyt (1961, 64, 67, 77)

Largest margin of victory: 13 minutes, 8.40 seconds – Jules Goux over Spencer Wishart (1913)

Closest margin of victory: .043 of a second – Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear (1992)

Fastest average winning speed: 185.981 mph – Arie Luyendyk (1990)

Slowest average winning speed: 74.602 mph – Ray Harroun (1911)

Pre-race activities are already on-going. At 11:30 a.m. the drivers will be introduced and the formal events will begin.

Miss America Teresa Scalan will sing “America the Beautiful,” Florence Henderson will perform “God Bless America” and David Foster, Seal and Kelly Clarkson will perform the National Anthem.

Just after noon, Jim Nabors will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” and then the command to start engines will be given at 12:08 by Mari Hulman George.