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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

6 of the Best Indy 500 Moments That Will Drive Your Excitement Into High Gear

{Image Credit: Instagram / @IndianapolisMotorSpeedway}

The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is finally here! This weekend, Indiana is revving up the fun for millions of watchers around the world for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Considered one of the three most important motor-sports events in the world that garners an audience of more than 250,000 in its Speedway stadium, the Indy 500 is an entertaining spectacle to behold for its genuine thrill and rush that epitomizes the peak of summer.

With festivities and parties well underway in and around the city before the big race, the fun kicks off Friday with a Miller Lite Carb Day Concert featuring the Steve Miller Band with special guest — and Canadian icons — Barenaked Ladies, along with car exhibitions, autograph sessions, awards ceremonies and much more. Saturday sees something similar, featuring Keith Urban and Dustin Lynch for the Firestone Legends Day Concert.

While there is much to experience and love about the Indy 500 with its rich, 101 year history full of twists, turns and drivers we have come to admire like Juan Pablo Montoya, Dan Wheldon, Rick Mears, just to name a few, in anticipation of this Sunday’s beloved event, we take a quick look back at six of the best moments that provide a fascinating glimpse into what makes this the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Peter DePaolo’s Record Run, 1925

In 1925, Peter DePaolo won the 13th Running of the Indy 500 and became the first driver to average more than 100 miles per hour and complete the race in under five hours. The Pennsylvania native recorded an average of 101 mph in his Duesenberg cart, proving that with the right automotive technology blended most infinitely with passion, the Indy 500 would be a wondrous sport for years to come.

George Souder’s Solo Ride, 1927

Indiana native, George Souders won the 15th Running in 1927 and astonishingly enough, all the way from 22nd position. The Lafayette-born driver was the first to win the full-500 mile race solo, without the aid of a relief driver or even riding mechanic. Souders reportedly drove the Duesenberg of DePaolo, a story the 1927 winner had always denied.

Billy Arnold’s Consecutive Lap Victory, 1930

In 1930, then 24-year-old, Billy Arnold won the 18th Running of the Indianapolis 500 after taking the lead in lap three and leading the rest of the event’s 198 consecutive laps, making an Indy 500 record for the ages. Just two years into the sport, Arnold retired at the urging of his wife and went on to compile a distinguished military career. His last known appearance at the IMS came in 1955, just 21 years prior to his death.

Indianapolis 500’s Post-War Revival

Due to World War II, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was shut down as the U.S. focused its efforts abroad. When the war ended in 1945, the IMS owner was in charge of Eastern Airlines and it seemed the Indy 500 had its last run in 1941. However, it was when three-time Indy 500 winner, Wilbur Shaw convinced Indiana businessman, Tony Hulman, to purchase the track for $750,000 that the speedway was finally revived and given a facelift in 1946. The modernized and beautifully restored Indianapolis 500 became the world’s largest single-day sporting event and he turned it into the world’s largest stadium with 300,000 seats.

Mario Andretti’s ‘Tire-less’ Victory, 1969

When Mario Andretti won the 1969 Indy 500, it was a victory of amazement. Andretti met with quite a bit of trouble during his run that day that found him almost hitting a wall, stalling and low transmission. But he dominated the second half and won most comfortably over second place driver, Dan Gurney with just one set of tires. One set. Yep, you read that right.

Indy 500 Rookie Win, 2016

And who can forget last year’s winner? California native, Alexander Rossi, won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. Sure, there have been plenty of rookie wins but Rossi’s was one to definitely be in awe of. Having almost no prior experience in oval racing, the 26-year-old’s passion for the sport turned the game around in the last few laps for a finish that was cheered by all. Can Rossi hold the title again this year? Who is your money on at the Indy 500?

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It’s no secret that there are plenty of moments to love about the Indianapolis 500, so don’t be shy! Tell us what some of your favorite moments are in the comments below.

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