2001 Indianapolis 500

The 85th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27, 2001. Race rookie Hélio Castroneves, a three-year veteran of the CART series, led the final 52 laps and won his first Indy 500. Penske Racing swept 1st-2nd with Gil de Ferran the runner-up.

Winning car owner Roger Penske scored his 11th victory at Indianapolis, and his first-ever 1-2 finish, a redemption from the team's previous attempt at Indy (1995) in which both of his cars failed to qualify.

See also:

Roger S. Penske Jr.

In May 2008, Junior formed RP Automotive, Inc. and purchased Penske Ontario from his dad, renaming it Penske Honda of Ontario. To date, he has opened the following dealerships: Penske Honda of Ontario Penske Toyota Scion of Rancho Santa Margarita Penske Toyota of Downey Penske Mercedes-Benz of West Covina Penske Audi West Covina Penske GMC Buick of Cerritos Penske Chevrolet of Cerritos Penske Chevrolet of Buena Park Penske Cadillac Buick GMC South Bay

The race was sanctioned by the Indy Racing League, and was part of the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Lights Series season. The 2001 race was notable in that several top CART teams returned to Indy for the first time since 1995, despite the ongoing open wheel "split." IRL-based teams excelled in time trials, taking the front row, and the top four starting positions overall. However, the CART-based teams swept the top six finishing positions on race day.

The race experienced two rain delays, one lengthy yellow flag around the midway point, and one brief red flag period later in the day. The race, however, was run to its full 500-mile distance.

In the seventh year of the IRL/CART split, Team Penske and Team Green broke ranks and returned to race at Indianapolis. Ganassi, who had returned in 2000, entered as well. After one year of retirement, two-time winner Arie Luyendyk returned to the cockpit. CART did not schedule any races the weekend of Indy 500 pole qualifying, nor the race itself, to allow teams the opportunity to participate without interference.

See also:

Roger S. Penske Jr.

In May 2008, Junior formed RP Automotive, Inc. and purchased Penske Ontario from his dad, renaming it Penske Honda of Ontario. To date, he has opened the following dealerships: Penske Honda of Ontario Penske Toyota Scion of Rancho Santa Margarita Penske Toyota of Downey Penske Mercedes-Benz of West Covina Penske Audi West Covina Penske GMC Buick of Cerritos Penske Chevrolet of Cerritos Penske Chevrolet of Buena Park Penske Cadillac Buick GMC South Bay

Because of his move to Formula One for the 2001 season, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya did not return to defend his title.

After an experimental two-week schedule was used for the Indy 500 from 1998–2000, the Speedway reverted to the more traditional three-week schedule for practice, time trials, and the race. Rookie orientation was held April 13–14. Time trials were set at three days.

See also:

1998 Indianapolis 500

For 1998, the schedule for the month of May was trimmed down, in an effort to reduce costs. An experimental "two-week" schedule was proposed, consisting of one full week of practice, and two days of time trials. An open test was scheduled in April which also included rookie orientation.

(Source: Wikipedia)