Will Power took his No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet to victory lane and managed to add more 12s than just his car number to the long history of the Indianapolis 500.
Except for 2015 when Power ran the No. 1 as the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, the Australian has raced the No. 12 since 2009 when he became a Penske driver. With his win, Power joined an elite group of drivers who’ve taken a No. 12 to the checkered flag after 200 grueling laps at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Over the 102-year history of the race, only one other car with the number has won the race. In 1925, Peter DePaolo brought his No. 12 Duesenberg to the finish as the first race winner to average over 100 mph. As a result of his speed, DePaolo was also the first driver to complete the 500-mile race in under five hours.
Power’s car number shows up in other places, too. He became the 12th Indy 500 winner to start from the third position. And, despite being the 17th winner of the “500” for Team Penske, Power is the 12th different driver to achieve the feat for the team.
One statistic where Power missed out on adding a 12 to his resume is his number of starts before earning his first victory at the Brickyard. Having raced in each consecutive Indy 500 since debuting in 2008 with KV Racing Technology, the 2018 edition marks his 11th race. Only 1957 winner Sam Hanks and 2013 winner Tony Kanaan have needed more starts to capture his first victory — both won for the first time on their 12th start.
Not content to be left out, Graham Rahal also got in on the number 12, leading 12 laps after starting 30th. Rahal became the first driver to take the green flag there and lead laps. With those laps led, all 33 traditional starting positions have produced lap leaders.
Power’s car number multiplied by six results in his place in the Indy car record book as the 72nd different winner of the Indy 500. Power also adds his name to the list of active one-time winners, joining Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato to form a group of six.
Power will make a run at winning his second “500” when the 103rd running arrives on May 26, 2019. Should he come out on top again, he’ll be the first driver to win in back-to-back years since Helio Castroneves did in 2001 and 2002.