A.J. Foyt

As a rookie in 1958, A.J. Foyt Jr. looked up to veteran Pat O'Connor as a mentor, only to see him killed in the first lap of the race. The son of mechanic A.J. Foyt Sr., the younger A.J. had no illusions about the danger of racing.

Three years later, in 1961, Foyt won his first 500 in a duel with Eddie Sachs, and then in 1964 his second victory was muted by the deaths of Sachs and Dave MacDonald. In 1967, Foyt won by avoiding accidents and outlasting Andy Granatelli's feared turbines. In the 1977 Indianapolis 500 -- his 20th -- Foyt would have come in second to Gordon Johncock had not a broken crankcase put Johncock on the side of the track in the final laps as Foyt became the first driver to win four 500s.