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The Indy 500 has seen plenty of records set since the first race in 1911, but all the big ones are on the line this year.
The stars have aligned to put several drivers in position to set one or more marks.
The record for fastest qualifying speed was already broken this May by Scott Dixon, who won pole position with a four-lap average of 234.046 mph.
Now, it’s off to the races:
Several major records are on the line at the 2022 Indy 500. (Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Helio Castroneves could become the first five-time winner of the Indy 500. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Helio Castroneves is vying for his fifth Indy 500 victory which would move him ahead of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, who he refers to as “the gods of racing.”
Castroneves could also become the first driver to win the Indy 500 in consecutive years on two occasions. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Castroneves is the defending Indy 500 champion, so back-to-back wins are on the table. Only five drivers have ever pulled that off, including Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. If he does it again, he’ll be the first to do it twice.
Castroneves won the 2021 Indy 500 at an average speed over 190 mph. (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Castroneves’ list of Indy 500 records is nearly as long as the race. He posted an average speed of 190.690 mph on the way to victory lane in 2021, breaking Tony Kanan’s 187.433 mph record set in 2013.
MOST LEAD CHANGES
The 2013 Indy 500 had 68 lead changes. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
The 2013 race was one of the most exciting ever, with 68 lead changes and 14 drivers who led at least one lap, both all-time records.
MOST LAPS LED
Scott Dixon is third on the all-time laps led list and is starting the 2022 race from the pole position. (Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Four-time winner Al Unser Sr. led the most career laps at the Indy 500, with 644 over 28 starts, followed by 1915 race winner Ralph DePalma at 612 and 2008 winner Scott Dixon at 570. With 200 laps for the taking this year, Dixon could surpass both of them, although the single race record of 198 set by Wilbur Shaw in 1930 seems out of reach in the modern era.
BONUS: FIRST NASCAR CHAMPION WINNER
Jimmie Johnson is racing in the Indy 500 for the first time this year. (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Indy 500 winners A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue and Juan Pablo Montoya all have NASCAR Cup Series wins on their resumes, but no NASCAR Champion has ever won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson can change that during his rookie outing at the track this year, but he’ll have to beat Montoya and the other 31 drivers in the field to pull it off.