Indy 500 is termed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that is organized every year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana, USA.
The race is held on the last Sunday before memorial day, and that is in May each year. However, the more fun it’s, the more fatal it can become because of the zealous show with deadly accidents that make an intrinsic part of the race.
Here, we are going to look at some of the ten worst Indianapolis 500 Crashes.
- 1955, Bill Vukovich
Bill Vukovich was a two-time race winner who was destined for greatness after he won from the pole in 1953, 1954, and in 1955, he was leading by a half-mile when the worst happened. Rodger ward’s car experienced some issues because of a broken axle on Lap 57 that made him lose control of his car. As a result, there was a massive crash that killed Vukovich instantly.
- 1964, Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald
Indy 500 in 1964 is regarded as one of the darkest days in the history of the race. A rookie by the name of Dave MacDonald was coming out of the final turn during the second lap when his car spun, causing an explosion. Eddie Sachs, who was a two-time winner, slammed into the burning vehicle. Sachs and MacDonald died.
- 1975, Tom Sneva
In the second turn, Tom Sneva and rookie Eldon Rasmussen touched wheels. Sneva’s car went airborne as the result of the contact, and it caught fire as it fell into the catch fence. The vehicle rolled and stopped in a back straight. Sneva was able to climb out of the car without being seriously injured.
- 1982, Gordon Smiley
Smiley was a Nebraska native who met his death while attempting to qualify for the race. During the third turn, Smiley’s car wiggled, and as he tried the overcorrection, the car turned hard into the outside wall at speed close to 200mph. His vehicle caught fire, and the fuel tank exploded, killing him instantly.
- 1984, Patrick Bedard
Bedard was a former writer for a magazine known as “Car and Driver.” He had always wanted to race at the Indy. And when the opportunity came, he took it. After the third turn, Bedard’s car plowed into the wall and split into pieces and stopped in the grassy infield. He survived the crash, but he was later diagnosed with a broken jaw and a concussion.
- 1991, Mark Dismore
Dismore was driving at a speed of more than 215 mph when his car went into the inside wall bursting into flames. Luckily, crew members got in time to pull him out of the car, and he was only diagnosed with injuries to his arms, feet, and legs, and a fractured neck.
- 1996, Scott Brayton
Scott Brayton was the future of IndyCar series when he proved his competitive nature after winning his second Indy pole in 1996. In the second turn during practice, Brayton’s tire burst, making his car roll to a stop. He was later pronounced dead after thirty minutes.
- 2010, Mike Conway
Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay were fighting for position when Hunter-Reay’s car run out of fuel. Conway was coming fast and touched the slowing down Hunter-Reay’s car, forcing his car to go airborne before landing. Conway suffered a compression fracture in his back and his legs.
- 2011, J.R. Hildebrand
Hildebrand was in a perfect position to win the race when a rookie Charlie Kimball’s mistake proved costly. As Hildebrand tried to pass the slower car of the rookie, he plunged into rubber marbles, causing his car to spin before landing back to the track. He came second place, and Dan Wheldon won the race, and it’s considered one of the biggest mistakes in Indy History.
- 2017, Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon was speeding at the back of Jay Howard. Howard’s car lost control through Turn 1, hitting the exterior wall before bouncing back to the inside of the track. Dixon’s car came slamming Howard’s car, and his car was thrown airborne. The car was left in wrecks and shredded into pieces. Both drivers came off one of the latest insane crash at the Indy 500 unhurt and with only minor injuries.
Indianapolis 500 is a high-speed race that involves risky maneuvers as well as crowding fans, and such a combination makes the occasion very dangerous.