The Indianapolis 500 was established over a century ago and it has become one of the most popular events in motorsports. The winner of the Indy 500 is awarded the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy. This list is a tribute to the 10 greatest winners on that trophy. This list is a tribute to the 10 greatest winners of the Indianapolis 500.
#10 Ray Harroun
Ray won only once at Indy but he gets a nod for taking the first ever checkered flag there on May 30, 1911. Harroun won the race driving a vehicle made by the Marmon Motor Company. Ray started over 60 races in his career and his win at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 has guaranteed his spot in racing history.
#9 Louis Meyer
Meyer was born in Manhattan in 1904 and he is the first driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 three times. He also won the United States Driving Championship three times in 1928, 1929 and in 1933. Meyer took the Borg-Warner Trophy home in 1928, 1933 and 1936, making him #9 on my countdown. A picture of Meyer and his historic car can be seen below.
#8 Hélio Castroneves
Hélio is the first non-American to make an appearance on the list because of his trio of victories at Indy. Castroneves took the Borg-Warner home in 2001, 2002 and most recently in 2009. Hélio was born in Brazil on May 10, 1975 and he is already considered to be one of the Indianapolis 500 greats. When he won his second Borg-Warner in 2002 he became the second Brazilian born racer to accomplish that feat, joining Emerson Fittipaldi.
#7 Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser is from the most famous family in IndyCar history. The Unsers have been called the Mannings of motorsports and Bobby was able to win the Borg-Warner Trophy in three different decades (1968, 1975, and 1981). Bobby was born in Colorado Springs in 1934.
#6 Johnny Rutherford
Sherman Johnny Rutherford III was born on March 12, 1938. This three time winner of the Indianapolis 500 was also known as Lone Star JR. in the racing circuit. Johnny also made 35 NASCAR starts in his illustrious career. Johnny Rutherford is truly one of the all-time greats.
#5 Wilbur Shaw
Shaw was born in Shelbyville, Indiana on October 31, 1902 and he won a trio of Borg-Warners in 1937, 1939 and 1940. Shaw eventually went on to become the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway until he passed away in 1954 in Decatur, Indiana.
#4 Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti is a Scottish born racer who may very well lead this list one day. He took home the Borg-Warner trophy in 2007, 2010 and 2012. He has been named man of the year twice by Top Gear magazine.
#3 Rick Mears
Rick Ravon Mears is from Wichita, Kansas and he won the Indianapolis 500 an amazing four times in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991. Mears is the most recent driver to accomplish this amazing feat.
#2 Al Unser Sr.
Another of the famous Unsers graces the list at the #2 spot. He is the younger brother of Bobby Unser who made the list at #5 and he is also the father of two-time Indy winner Al Unser Jr. Al won the Indy 500 in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987.
#1 A.J. Foyt
It was tough not to give the top spot to Al Unser Sr. but A.J. gets the edge because it took him 17 seasons to win four Borg-Warners and it took Unser 18 years. A.J. Foyt may be the greatest racer of all times as he has also won the Daytona 500, the 24 hours of Daytona race and the Firecracker 400. Foyt took home the Borg-Warner Trophy in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977. A.J the day after winning the 1964 Indy 500 is shown below.
Author Bio: Bradley Taylor is a freelance writer from Derby, England born in 1984 who writes about all aspects of the automotive industry. You can connect with Bradley on Google+ and follow him on Twitter.