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Ed Carpenter and his family after he qualified for the 2023 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Al Steinberg photo)

INSIDER: Indiana’s Beloved Hoosier Heroes

Racing in Indiana is as important to the Hoosier State as basketball. It’s been that way for more than a century as “Indiana’s Game” in the winter is played on the hardwood and its greatest sporting event of the year began on bricks.

It’s the Indianapolis 500, run every Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend since 1911 except for the COVID year of 2020 when the famed race had to be moved to Aug. 23.

Indiana and California have each produced seven Indianapolis 500 winners as drivers from 21 states have topped The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Indiana’s seven race winners have combined for nine 500 victories, while that number is matched by three winners from the state of Kansas.

But no driver from Indiana has won the Indianapolis 500 since Wilbur Shaw of Shelbyville, Ind., drove to his third and final win in the Memorial Day Classic in 1940.

Most recently, Indiana has been represented by three-time Indy 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter and veteran driver Conor Daly.

Although Carpenter was born in Marshall, Ill., he moved to Indiana when he was 8 years old when his mother, Laura, married then Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George.


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