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The 2011 Indianapolis 500. Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place this Sunday (2:30pm ET, NBC). It's normally held on Memorial Day weekend, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Known as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indy 500 is joined by the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans to comprise the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

  • Quick take: IndyCar is one of the three major racing series, along with NASCAR and Formula One. Indy and F1 use open-wheel cars with uncovered cockpits, while NASCAR uses the more "normal" stock cars.

The state of play: The famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed in 1909, endearingly called "the Brickyard" due to being paved with brick and mortar.

  • One yard of original bricks still remain at the start-finish line of the massive stadium, which can hold 300,000 fans, though none will be there this year.
  • The 500-mile race includes a relatively paltry 200 laps thanks to the enormous two-and-a-half mile circuit.
  • At 253 acres, the infield is so ridiculously gigantic that several other sports venues and international landmarks could fit inside (see below).
Courtesy: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Race history:

  • Ray Harroun won the inaugural race in 1911 and invented the rear-view mirror in the process.
  • Three drivers have won a record four times (A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears) while Hélio Castroneves leads active racers with three victories.
  • 1936 champion Louis Meyer cooled off after the race with some buttermilk. A photo of his victory chug made the papers, and a milk executive in attendance successfully pushed to make it a tradition.

The intrigue: Hall of Famer Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 in 1969, but the race has since become a family curse, with five Andrettis across three generations combining to go 1-73.

  • His grandson, Marco, won pole position this year, putting him in a prime spot to break the curse.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.