History/Heroes of the 500

The Centennial Celebration (2011)

Narrated by Kevin Lee, Scott Johnston, Matt Hicks, R.J. Crace, Mark Montieth

  • Episode 1 – Introduction, Carl Fisher, construction of the track, 1909-1910 races, the 1911 race
  • Episode 2 – 1912-1941 races, Early owners, Eddie Rickenbacker, Borg-Warner Trophy
  • Episode 3 – Post WWII (1946-1949) and the 1950s, stars of the 50s, cars of the 50s
  • Episode 4 – The 1960s, Donald Davidson, British Invasion/car changes, Mario Andretti
  • Episode 5 – The 1970s, celebrities at Indy, pre-race ceremonies, A.J. Foyt
  • Episode 6 – The 1980s, Johnny Rutherford, Paul Page, Unser family
  • Episode 7 – The 1990s, IRL and the “Split”, Bob Jenkins, Rick Mears
  • Episode 8 – The 2000s, current drivers, Mike King, female drivers
  • Episode 9 – Tom Carnegie, ABC-TV at Indy, Sid Collins
  • Episode 10 – Closest finishes, Car owners, Town of Speedway, Fans

 

The original series was titled “The Centennial Celebration,” and aired over ten weeks during the spring of 2011. It was produced to coincide with the 2011 race, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first 500 (1911). Each episode was originally aired on 93.1-FM WIBC on Sunday mornings. The entire series was rerun on WIBC and 1070 The Fan (WFNI) during the month of May.

 


 

The History of the 500 (2012)

Narrated by Steve Simpson & Kevin Lee

  • Episode 1: Introduction, Carl Fisher, construction of the track, 1909-1910 races, the 1911 race
  • Episode 2: 1912-1941 races, changes/establishments in the early years, Early owners, Eddie Rickenbacker, Indy traditions
  • Episode 3: Post WWII (1946-1949) and the 1950s, Tony Hulman, stars of the 50s, Tom Carnegie
  • Episode 4: The 1960s, Donald Davidson, British Invasion/car changes, Mario Andretti
  • Episode 5: The 1970s, female drivers, Sid Collins, celebrities at Indy
  • Episode 6: The 1980s, ABC-TV at Indy, Paul Page, Johnny Rutherford
  • Episode 7: The 1990s, the Split, Bob Jenkins, F1 drivers at Indy
  • Episode 8: The 2000s, Dan Wheldon, Mike King, current drivers
  • Episode 9: The 1982 and 1992 races
  • Episode 10: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears, Roger Penske

 

For 2012, “The Centennial Celebration” series from 2011 was repackaged for re-air. It seems that Episodes 1 through 8 as well as Episode 10 are pretty much the same content from the 2011 episodes, with the opening monologues re-recorded to remove references to “centennial.” They also shifted around several the ‘bonus’ segments to different episodes, and a few of the ‘bonus’ segments were replaced. In addition, some of the segments were re-recorded with different hosts. Episode 9 is brand new.

 


The History of the 500 (2013)

Narrated by Steve Simpson

  • Episode 1: Introduction, Carl Fisher, construction of the track & 1909-1910 races, the 1911 race
  • Episode 2: The races from 1912 to 1941
  • Episode 3: Post-WWII years (1946-1949) and the 1950s
  • Episode 4: The 1960s, Donald Davidson, British Invasion/car changes, Mario Andretti
  • Episode 5: The 1970s, the 1973 race, Johnny Rutherford, celebrities at Indy
  • Episode 6: The 1980s, ABC-TV at Indy, Car owners, Unser family
  • Episode 7: The 1990s, the CART/IRL Split, Rick Mears, Formula One drivers at Indy
  • Episode 8: The 2000s, Dan Wheldon, female drivers, Tom Carnegie
  • Episode 9: The “Voices of the 500” – Sid Collins, Paul Page, Bob Jenkins, and Mike King
  • Episode 10: “Mythbusters” – Dispelling urban legends of Indy 500 history
  • Episode 11: Bob Sweikert, Troy Ruttman, Jimmy Bryan, Bill Vukovich
  • Episode 12: The Indianapolis 500 career of Parnelli Jones
  • Episode 13: The Indianapolis 500 career of A.J. Foyt
  • Episode 14: The original 1953 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcast is recovered “from the vault,” celebrating sixty years since its original airing.
  • Episode 15: The Indianapolis 500 career of Bobby Unser

 

Episodes 1 through 9 are mostly the same from previous years. Episodes 10 through 15 are brand new for 2013.

 


Heroes of the 500 (2014)

Narrated by Steve Simpson

Episode 1: “Family Ties”
Family participation at the Indy 500. Including the Andretti family, Unser family, father and sons, the Vukovich family, the Bettenhausen family, brothers, Dick and Jim Rathmann, other selected family participation.

Episode 2: “A Conversation with Paul Page”
Celebrating Paul Page’s return to radio as the “Voice of the 500”

Episode 3: “Four Time Winners”
The Indianapolis 500 careers of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears.

Episode 4: The 1954 Radio Broadcast
The original 1954 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcast is recovered “from the vault,” celebrating sixty years since its original airing.

Episode 5: The 1964 race
Highlights from the 1964 race, honoring the fiftieth anniversary.

 

For 2014, five brand new episodes were produced. Each episodes focuses on one particular theme, namely people and personalities.

 


Heroes of the 500 (2015)

Narrated by Stan Lehr

Episode 1: “Second to One”
The second place finishers of Indy history. Featuring Ralph Mulford, Harry Hartz, Earl DeVore/Norman Batten, Howdy Wilcox II, Ted Horn, Rex Mays, Tony Bettenhausen, George Amick, Eddie Sachs, Dan Gurney, Roberto Guerrero, Kevin Cogan, Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti, Scott Goodyear, J.R. Hildebrand. The book “Second to One.”

Episode 2: “One Moment in May”
Famous moments in Indy history. Featuring Danny Sullivan’s ‘Spin-and-Win’ in 1985, the 1991 duel between Rick Mears and Michael Andretti, Scott Goodyear passes the pace car in 1995, J.R. Hildbrand in 2011.

Episode 3: “Racings’s Rated Rookies”
Great rookies in Indy history. Featuring Ray Harroun, Jules Goux, Rene Thomas, Frank Lockhart, George Souders, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, Nigel Mansell, Tim Richmond, Teo Fabi, Jim Hurtubise, rookies that did not complete a lap, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Sage Karam.

Episode 4: “Beyond the Bricks”
Roundtable conversation about Indy history with Mike Thomsen, Robin Miller, Steve Shunck, and Bob Gates. Topics of discussion include Al Unser Sr., the great second place finishers, Danny Sullivan’s spin and win, the 1991 race, Scott Goodyear passing the pace car in 1995, the Penske team bumped in 1995 (“paging Jack Kevorkian”), the “not so greats,” Bob Harkey in 1973, Dario Franchitti.

Episode 5: “The Al Unser Story”
The Indianapolis 500 career of Al Unser Sr. (2015 Legends Day honoree).

 

Five brand new themed episodes were produced for 2015.

 


Heroes of the 500 (2016)

Narrated by Stan Lehr

Episode 1: “The Fabulous 1950s”
Bob Sweikert, Troy Ruttman, Jimmy Bryan, Bill Vukovich.

Episode 2: “Top 10 Rookies”
Danica Patrick, Nigel Mansell, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, George Souders, Rene Thomas, Jules Goux, Helio Castroneves, Frank Lockhart, Juan Pablo Montoya.

Episode 3: “Top 10 Influential Non-Drivers”
Donald Davidson, Fred Offenhauser, George Bignotti, Tom Carnegie, Sid Collins, A.J. Watson, Harry Miller, Roger Penske, Carl Fisher & Eddie Rickenbacker, Tony Hulman.

Episode 4: “Top 10 Car Owners”
Andy Granatelli, Mike Boyle, Harry Hartz, J.C. Agajanian, Michael Andretti, U.E. “Pat” Patrick, Chip Ganassi, Leader Cards (A. J. Watson & Bob Wilkie), Lou Moore, Roger Penske.

Episode 5: “Top 10 Heartbreaks”
Scott Goodyear (1992), Emerson Fittipaldi (1994), Ralph DePalma (1912), Kevin Cogan (1986), Eddie Sachs (1961), Roberto Guerrero (1987), Roberto Guerrero (1992), Michael Andretti (1992), Marco Andretti (2006), J.R. Hildebrand (2011).

Episode 6: “Top 10 Finishes”
1912, 1967, 1986, 1989, 2012, 2014, 2011, 1982, 1992, 2006.

Episode 7: “One Moment in May”
The 1967 race with Parnelli Jones driving the Turbine and A.J. Foyt winning his third “500”, the 1987 race where Al Unser Sr. entered the month without a ride and won his record-tying fourth “500”, the 1992 race where Al Unser Jr. drove the Galmer chassis to an unexpected victory on a cold, crash-filled day, holding off Scott Goodyear in the closest finish in Indy history.

Episode 8: “Top 10 Women”
Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge, Simona de Silvestro, Maude “M.A.” Yagle, Sarah Fisher, Lyn St. James, Mari Hulman George, Janet Guthrie, Danica Patrick.

 

Eight brand new themed episodes were produced for 2016, celebrating the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Six of the episodes were presented as top ten countdowns.

 


Heroes of the 500 (2019)

Narrated by Stan Lehr

Episode 1: “The Mario Andretti Story”
The life an career of Mario Andretti, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his 1969 Indianapolis 500 victory.

Episode 2: “The Dario Franchitti Story”
The career of three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

 

For 2019, two new episodes were added.

 


Beyond The Bricks podcasts (2012-2013)

  • 12-6-2012: Bob Gates discusses his new book “California Gold: The Legendary Life Of Troy Ruttman”
  • 12-10-2012: John Darlington & Brad Edwards of “First Turn Productions”
  • 2-8-2013: Carl Fisher
  • 2-15-2013: 1912-1941 races
  • 2-22-2013: Greg Littleton and Bob Gates discuss the stars and cars of the Roadster Era
  • 3-1-2013: The 1960s
  • 3-8-2013: A look back at the 1977 race, featuring Janet Guthrie
  • 3-15-2013: A look back at the 1982 race
  • 3-22-2013: A look back at the 1992 race
  • 3-29-2013: Remembering Dan Wheldon
  • 4-5-2013: Humorous Radio Network Moments
  • 4-12-2013: History of the 500 Episode 10 preview, Jules Goux
  • 4-19-2013: Profiles of Sam Hanks and Jim Rathmann
  • 4-26-2013: A look back at Parnelli Jones’ win in the 1963 race.
  • 5-3-2013: A look back at A.J. Foyt’s first win in the 1961 race
  • 5-10-2013: Highlights from the 1947 Mutual race broadcast
  • 5-17-2013: Highlights of the One-On-One interview with Bobby Unser (not available)