Rick Mears

Four-time winner Rick Mears made his Indy debut in 1978 driving for Roger Penske. Though he qualified in the front row, Mears did not command much notice during the race and was out with car trouble midway.

In the 1979 race, Mears outlasted Al and Bobby Unser to get his first win. In 1984, Mears won by a commanding 2-lap margin over second-place Roberto Guerrero. Win three came in 1988 with no one but Emerson Fittipaldi even close. Number four in 1991 was more dramatic with Michael Andretti only three seconds behind.

Mears won a record six poles (1979, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991). He retired in 1992.


Mears after his 1984 win. (Associated Press)