Indycar before the split (from the beginning to 1995)
- Nigel Mansell winning the 1993 Championship, he did this despite a back injury he sustained at Phoenix which troubled him throughout the season. He won on his debut in Australia (a country he usually struggled at in F1). He'd never raced on an oval before; and won 4 of them! he was going up against series veterans like Andretti, Fitipaldi, Tracey, Al Unser Jr, etc. He'd never even sat in an Indycar prior to 1993 and still came out on top. He remains the only man to hold the Formula 1 and Indycar titles at the same time.
Indycar after the split (1996-2008)
Cart/Champcar after the split (1996-2008)
Indycar after merging with Cart (2008 and onwards)
- Will Power shedding his "can't do well on an oval" and "can't finish off the season" images with an impressive victory at the 2013 500 mile season finale in Fontana, holding off the previous two 500 mile race winners (Ed Carpenter at Fontana in 2012 and Kanaan at Indy in 2013). While Power was well out of championship contention by this point, winning three of the last five races including Fontana helped salvage enough to get him back to 4th overall in the season.
- And the next year, he finally won the series championship...by 62 points over second-place Hélio Castroneves.
- In 2016, a year after James Hinchcliffe was nearly impaled to death by his own suspension at Indianapolis, he returns to the Speedway and puts on a thrilling run in the Indy GP, finishing third for Schmidt Peterson's first podium of the season. And then he wins the pole for the 500 itself, which is also Honda's first pole position in the series since 2014!
- On a broken right hand and with many questioning if he'd take time off, Josef Newgarden starts dead last at Road America in 2016 and grits his way through the field to finish eighth. Two weeks later at Iowa he thoroughly dominates all day for his first oval victory, at one point putting the entire field except Simon Pagenaud a lap down.
- In the 1912 Indy 500, Ralph DePalma pushing his car around the track after the engine died. Didn't win him the race, but he certainly showed a lot of heart. (He'd get his win in 1915.)
- The final laps of 1989 Indy 500, especially in the Brazilian coverage. The main commenter, Luciano do Valle, got ecstatic (and hammy) in the moment when Emerson Fittipaldi put inside of Al Unser jr to pass him in the final laps (if you prefer, you can see it in this video)
Luciano do Valle: Look he closing, he is near of Al Unser, take a look, EMERSON GO INSIDE, GO! GO! GO! YOU CAN PASS HIM! NOW ITíS BRAZIL! ITíS BRAZIL! GO! GO! JUST A LITTLE MORE EMERSON! Take a lookÖ AL UNSER CRASHED! AL UNSER CRASHED! AL UNSER CRASHED! EMERSON GONNA WIN! EMERSON GONNA WIN! BRAZIL WON! BRAZIL WON! THATíS BECAUSE THE YELLOW FLAG COME AND EMERSON IS THE LEADER! BRAZIL WINS! BRAZIL WINS! (starts to play a victory fanfarre). A-ma-zing, Awesome! This victory is going to be in the history of all of us! Amazing! Brave Emerson put his car inside and didnít allow him to pass!
- Tony Kanaan finally winning the Indy 500 in 2013, after countless, fruitless attempts.
- The box score says Ryan Hunter-Reay led the last three laps of the 2014 Indianapolis 500, but that doesn't mean he didn't work for it. Here's the run to the checkers.
- Early on in the 2015 Indy 500, Simona de Silvestro accidentally bumped Juan Pablo Montoya's car, breaking a piece of bodywork off. Montoya's car still ran, but he had to go into the pits to get the rear end replaced. Doing so dropped him down to 30th place. Despite this, he managed to work his way up to first where he was when the checkered flag dropped.
- In 2016, in the 100th Indy 500, Alex Rossi, former F1 driver and a Indycar rookie, racing for a modest team (Bryan Herta with some help from Andretti team), wins the race with a risk strategy of saving fuel. First time which a rookie wins in Indy since Helio Castroneves in 2001.
- Winning on a fuel mileage gamble doesn't begin to tell the tale. Rossi's crew botched two stops early in the race, falling to 20th and 25th after those two stops. Herta and Rossi agreed the only way to even come close to winning was to start conserving fuel with ninety laps to go—almost half the distance and about three full runs. Their final stop, forced by a caution, was with 36 laps to go, when most drivers could only stretch a tank to 32 laps at best. It took a remarkable combination of drafting on teammates and non-teammates, engaging the clutch (putting the engine in neutral to save gas by coasting), and running a fuel mixture at race speed normally reserved for driving under caution merely to have a chance. Rossi still ran out coming off of turn four to the checkers with just under five seconds to spare, the margin of victory over Carlos Munoz.
- And even Castroneves, and Montoya before him in his 2000 victory, were only rookies by definition of making their first appearance at Indianapolis and being required to pass orientation. They already had plenty of seasons racing ovals in CART. The 2016 Indy 500 was Rossi's second oval race in his entire professional career, after racing at Phoenix in April. The next previous rookie to win the 500 was Formula One champion Graham Hill, fifty years prior.