2022 Writers’ Roundtable, Vol. 47: Memorable Underdogs?

Today’s question: With the recent announcement of Stefan Wilson with Don Cusick and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing coming together for an Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge entry, the group is starting early and looking to be the small team to make waves in May. Twenty-five years takes us back through the 1997 race, but I don’t think you have to go back that far. But while that feat was mighty, it was only in qualifying and not the race, which is infinitely more important. So, I’ll go with Bryan Herta Autosport’s effort in winning the 2011 race with Dan Wheldon. The Schmidt cars were fast in qualifying, with all three cars earning starting spots in the first two rows and Alex Tagliani winning the pole, but they weren’t flashy in the race. Rahal backed it up the following year with one win and four podiums to finish fifth in the title race and was the only driver not with the aforementioned “Big Three” to finish in the top 13 in the overall standings.

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