1996: Buddy Lazier
Starting Position: 5
Race Time: 3:22:45.753
Chassis/engine: 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB
The year of the split marked a sad moment for open wheel racing fans. A dispute between speedway president Tony George and CART series owners led to a schism that saw all of the top teams and drivers racing in Michigan on Memorial Day weekend instead of on the famed yard of bricks. George's own upstart Indy Racing League filled the grid at Indianapolis, making it a venerable who's who of who the hell is that? To make matters worse, polesitter Scott Brayton was killed practicing the team's backup car. Unknown driver Buddy Lazier won the race, leaving fans wondering when they would wake up from a strange dream of an alternate racing universe.