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DATE News (chronologically)
05/15/11
irl
Indy announces 33 greatest Indy 500 drivers
The three four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500 - A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser - are starting from the front row of "The Greatest 33" after earning the most votes from Indianapolis 500 fans worldwide.

Racing fans selected their dream lineup of the 33 greatest drivers in Indianapolis 500 history from March 18-May 14 at thegreatest33.com. The top 33 drivers in the balloting were revealed Sunday, May 15 during practice for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

"It's only fitting that the three greatest legends of the Indianapolis 500, A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser, are leading 'The Greatest 33' to the green flag," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief operating officer. "We hope the fans have really enjoyed picking their perfect starting lineup and sharing their memories about the drivers who have created 100 years of history at the world's greatest race."

Foyt, the first four-time winner, earned the highest score of any driver, followed by Mears and Unser.

Occupying the second row are three-time winners Bobby Unser, Helio Castroneves and Johnny Rutherford. 1969 winner Mario Andretti, three-time winner Wilbur Shaw and two-time winner Bill Vukovich are in the third row.

Three current Indianapolis 500 competitors are among The Greatest 33, Helio Castroneves (fifth), Dario Franchitti (19th) and Scott Dixon (33rd).

The Greatest 33 program and its interactive website are key components of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 29 at IMS.

Fans chose their Greatest 33 from a list of 100 drivers pre-selected by an esteemed panel of international motorsports media and historians. Statistics, audio from IMS Historian Donald Davidson and images from the vast IMS photo archive were available for each of the 100 candidates, providing hours of entertaining content. A section of the site allowed fans to compare the statistics of up to five drivers simultaneously, helping make those tough final picks.

A wide variety of daily, weekly and grand prizes also are being awarded to fans at the site. Although voting has ended, fans can continue to enter the sweepstakes at thegreatest33.com for chances to win prizes through 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Race Day, Sunday, May 29.

The Greatest 33 site also forms a unique Indianapolis 500 social community. Fans can share memories of all 100 candidates, with comments visible to all visitors. Linking to popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter also is available.


"THE GREATEST 33"

(Starting lineup order determined by number of vote scores received in fan balloting)

Row 1

1. A.J. Foyt
2. Rick Mears
3. Al Unser

Row 2

4. Bobby Unser
5. Helio Castroneves
6. Johnny Rutherford

Row 3

7. Mario Andretti
8. Wilbur Shaw
9. Bill Vukovich

Row 4

10. Emerson Fittipaldi
11. Al Unser Jr.
12. Louis Meyer

Row 5

13. Mauri Rose
14. Parnelli Jones
15. Gordon Johncock

Row 6

16. Arie Luyendyk
17. Rodger Ward
18. Jim Clark

Row 7

19. Dario Franchitti
20. Tom Sneva
21. Bobby Rahal

Row 8

22. Mark Donohue
23. Michael Andretti
24. Ralph DePalma

Row 9

25. Ray Harroun
26. Tommy Milton
27. Danny Sullivan

Row 10

28. Graham Hill
29. Dan Gurney
30. Jim Rathmann

Row 11

31. Juan Pablo Montoya
32. Tony Bettenhausen
33. Scott Dixon

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