As a packed house assembled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last Sunday morning, the hours leading up to the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing were occupied with the traditional honoring of the past. A parade of Camaro Pace Cars graced with “500” winners preceded a stream of historic Indycars, mostly from the IMS Museum, with many driven by the men who steered them to “500” glory, including Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Arie Luyendyk, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jr. and Dario Franchitti — among others
On both Friday and Saturday, early morning crowds had been treated to lapping sessions for the largest gathering of historic Indycars ever assembled anywhere, as some 125 privately owned machines congregated in “Historic Gasoline Alley,” a tented paddock area near the Museum, before circulating the big oval. Those on display and in action ranged from 1913 through the 1980s running in three separate, diverse groups representing the Pre-War, Roadster, and Rear Engine eras. A handful of exceptional period-correct transporters were also in evidence to give fans a first-hand look at the way the sport once was.
Both events were organized by the IMS Museum and proved an entirely fitting tribute to the history generated by the 99 previous runnings of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.