IndyCar: The Five Greatest Drivers Who Never Won At Indy

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gary Bettenhausen

Gary Bettenhausen is known as a prolific racer and a perennial fan favorite. He is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Bettenhausen competed in several disciplines including IndyCar and NASCAR while also becoming a multi-time champion in United States Auto Club midgets, sprints, and silver crown cars. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 21 times between 1968 and 1993 and led 138 laps in that time. However, he never found victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

His most heart-wrenching defeat came in 1972. It was his most dominant performance in the Indy 500 and the only ‘500’ he ever led. With 27 laps to go, Bettenhausen had a bad restart and later lost a massive amount of power in the north end of the speedway. He was able to limp around the track for a handful laps but ultimately had to drop out. One positive note from 1972: it was the year a ‘500’ legend was born. Tony Hulman asked Jim Nabors to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” and he sang it for 36 years.

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