A Brief History
On May 28, 2017, Japanese race car driver, Takuma Sato, won the Indianapolis 500 motor race, making history as the first Asian, and the first Japanese driver to take the big prize. Proving his Indy prowess was not a fluke, Sato won the Indy 500 again in 2020, becoming the 20th driver to claim two victories at Indianapolis.
Sato, born in Tokyo in 1977, has also won titles in other racing formats, including the Macau Grand Prix, the Masters of Formula 3, and the British Formula Three. In 2004, he placed 8th for the season in the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, the highest placing for a Japanese driver to date. He had won his first IndyCar race at the 2013 Grand Prix of Long Beach, the first Japanese driver to take the checkered flag in an IndyCar event.
The Indianapolis 500 has been run 106 times, with 52 American drivers claiming First Place 74 times. Winning drivers have hailed from a dozen different countries.
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For more information, please see…
Batson, Matthew and Mike Thompson. Takuma Sato: The Early Years Photobook. Independently published, 2021.
Reinhardt, J. Craig. The Indianapolis 500: Inside the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Red Lightning Books, 2019.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Joe Ross from Lansing, Michigan of the Honda race car that won the 2017 Indianapolis 500, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.