2011: Dan Wheldon
Starting Position: 6
Race Time: 2:56:11.7267
100 years after Ray Harroun guided his Marmon Wasp to victory, race fans were treated to a finish for the ages. Rookie J.R. Hildebrand was poised to pull off a shocking upset, but lapped traffic forced him out of the groove in turn four on the final lap. His car smacked the wall, but he kept going, sliding towards the finish line up against the concrete barrier. A white and orange blur flashed by on the inside just before Hildebrand could limp his wrecked racecar across the yard of bricks.
That blur was the #98 of Dan Wheldon, a driver that had secured a one-race deal for Indianapolis. The affable Brit was able to bring home his second Indy 500 victory, rebooting his struggling career. Five months later he was gone, the result of injuries suffered in a horrific multicar crash in the season finale at Las Vegas. His legacy lives on with the newly designed IndyCar chassis that has increased safety features and bears his name.