Racing is the oldest sport. First by foot, then by horse and now by car, there has always been a need to compete, a need for speed. Racing is faster, louder and more thrilling today than ever before. There's nothing like the roar of engines as cars speed past you at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And with the Indy celebrating the 100th running of the 500, Wilsonville's own World of Speed is honoring some of the sport's legendary cars while also highlighting the Pacific Northwest's contribution to IndyCar racing with its special 'Heroes and History' exhibit, opening June 10.
On display will be cars from such legendary drivers as Mario Andretti, Al Unser and his son, Al Unser Jr. Al Sr. is a four-time winner of the 500, and Al Jr. won the race twice. Andretti's STP car finished second at the 500 in 1981, after a controversial finish and series of appeals eventually reinstated Bobby Unser, Al Sr.'s older brother, as the winner. The legendary Unser racing family is well-represented at the exhibit with Al Sr.'s 1967 car that finished second at the 500, and Al's Jr.'s 1984 car, which finished 21st after a water-pump failure.
Tributes to two-time top-five 500 finisher Len Sutton, broadcaster Parker Johnstone, legendary engineer Rolla Vollstedt and Art Pollard, who died from injuries sustained in a practice crash at Indy in 1973, add a touch of local flavor. After the 500 in 1967, Car and Driver declared driver Jimmy Clark's car with the 67-B chassis designed Vollstedt's Portland-based shop to have raced "faster than was thought capable by a mortal man."
After watching IndyCar rookie Alexander Rossi take the checkered flag at the 100th running of the 500, World of Speed is offering you a chance to learn about the 99 races that came before. Learn about the winners, the near-winners, the technical innovations and everything in between. Oh, and you'll also see some pretty cool cars. It's all just a few miles south on I-5 in Wilsonville at the World of Speed Motorsports Museum.