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Sports Then and Now



Indianapolis 500 Ready for 100th Run 7

Posted on May 27, 2016 by Dean Hybl
A.J. Foyt claimed the 1977 Indianapolis 500 to become the first to claim four Indy 500 victories.

A.J. Foyt claimed the 1977 Indianapolis 500 to become the first to claim four Indy 500 victories.

Even though it is arguable that the hey-day of the Indianapolis 500 occurred a generation ago, with the 100th running of the famed event happening this weekend, attention is back on The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Through the first 99 races, 19 different men have claimed multiple titles.

The first multi-race winning was Tommy Milton, who won the ninth running in 1921 and then claimed his second victory in 1923. The first three-time winner was Louis Meyer as he went to the winner’s circle in 1928, 1933 and 1936.

He was soon joined as a three-time winner by Wilbur Shaw. After succeeding Milton as the winner in 1937, Shaw then became the first back-to-back winner in 1939-40. He remains the only person to claim three Indy 500 victories in a four-year stretch.

However, he is technically not the only man to win three out of four races.

In 1941, Mauri Rose started on the pole. However, spark plug issues took him out of the race after 60 laps. He then took over the car originally driven by Floyd Davis and came back to win the race.

There was no Indy 500 from 1942-45 due to World War II.

After finishing 23rd in 1946, Rose returned to victory lane in both 1947 and 1948 to join Meyer and Shaw as a three-time winner.

It would be nearly two decades before another racer reached three Indy 500 wins.

After winning in 1961 and 1964, A.J. Foyt joined the three win club in 1967. Over the next decade, Foyt finished in the top 10 five times, including third place finishes in 1971 and 1975 and second place in 1976. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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