The pageantry, tradition and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 continue to resonate with fans, as readers of America’s most widely circulated newspaper have chosen the event as the greatest auto race in the world.
The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge was named the Best Motorsports Race in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest conducted this summer at 10Best.com.
This year’s race, on May 30, was one of the most emotional and historic in the century-plus history of the event. It was the largest single-day sporting event in the world since the global COVID-19 pandemic began, as 135,000 fans – the maximum allowed under health-and-safety measures – celebrated the return of spectators on site after the race took place in August 2020 with no fans in the massive grandstands.
Excitement reached a crescendo when Helio Castroneves made a daring outside pass of Alex Palou in Turn 1 with less than two laps to go to become just the fourth driver to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” four times. Castroneves climbed the catch fence next to the front straightaway to celebrate his win at age 46, with the fans chanting “Hel-io, Hel-io, Hel-io” in a moment that will live forever in the rich lore of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“Thanks to all of the readers of USA TODAY and 10Best.com who named the Indianapolis 500 as the greatest race in the world – we couldn’t agree more!” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “This year’s race served as a milestone in the reopening of America after such a tough time for everyone, and we remain so grateful fans could return to see Helio make history. We will continue to work every day to ensure fans enjoy a fun, memorable experience every May at IMS.”
The Indianapolis 500 earned this honor by topping an impressive list of races, including the Daytona 500, 12 Hours of Sebring and United States Grand Prix Formula One race, nominated as finalists by an expert panel of racing and travel journalists. The public voted online from mid-June until mid-July.