Then there were eight, which rhymes with great. Quite appropriate since they are eight of the greatest names in Indianapolis 500 Mile Race annals.
Quarterfinal matchups in the "Champions of the 500" bracket challenge are set, following completion of first-round voting over the weekend. Sixteen legendary Indianapolis 500 winners were selected to square off in the digital voting platform running through May 23, leading to the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29.
With four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rick Mears and 1969 race winner Mario Andretti winning their respective first-round votes that ended April 30, the eight advancers are set. Quarterfinal voting in two matchups begins at noon ET today and ends at noon ET May 5. Those quarterfinals pit four-time winner A.J. Foyt against two-time winner Bill Vukovich and see three-time winners Helio Castroneves and Bobby Unser squaring off.
The quarterfinal pairings beginning May 5 will feature four-time winner Al Unser against three-time winner Johnny Rutherford and Mears versus Andretti. Mears (73 percent of the vote) defeated two-time winner Dan Wheldon (27 percent) in a first-round battle, while Andretti (58 percent) outlasted three-time winner Dario Franchitti (42 percent).
Fans can vote for their #Champsofthe500 once an hour while each pairing is open by visiting ims.com/champsofthe500. Fans also are encouraged to tout their votes by using the hashtag #Champsofthe500 in Facebook and Twitter posts. The voting contest runs in conjunction with Legends Day Honoring Champions of the 500 presented by Firestone at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28.
The four quarterfinal winners by popular vote advance to the semifinals, with the championship round to follow. Show your Indianapolis 500 pride and vote for your #Champsofthe500.
#Champsofthe500 Quarterfinal Pairings:
May 2-5: A.J. Foyt vs. Bill Vukovich; Helio Castroneves vs. Bobby Unser
May 5-8: Al Unser vs. Johnny Rutherford; Rick Mears vs. Mario Andretti
Note: Voting begins and ends at noon ET on the designated days; drivers receiving the most votes in each pairing advance to the semifinal round to follow. Vote at ims.com/champsofthe500.