Sunday, May 21, 2017

Canada's Alex Tagliani Takes "Indianapolis 500" Pole - May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011
After acquiring the FAZZT Race Team in 2011, Sam Schmidt Motorsports returned full-time to the IZOD IndyCar Series, and on May 21, 2011, driver Alex Tagliani of Montreal, won the pole position for the 95th Indianapolis 500, the first pole for the team. In the race, Tagliani finished 28th after making slight contact with the wall on lap 148.

The race was won by Dan Wheldon and this was the last win of his racing career.  Four months later, Wheldon was killed in a crash in the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, driving the same car Tagliani had qualified on the pole in.
(Photo; "Schmidt & Tagliani 20110521" by Chuck Carroll - Own work)
Sam Schmidt with 2011 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Alex Tagliani.

The race was the culmination of the three-year-long Centennial era, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the track (1909) and the 100th anniversary of the inaugural race in 1911. Throughout May, the race was advertised as the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and the Centennial Indianapolis 500. Since the race was suspended during World Wars I and II, the 100th running of the 500 would not be held until 2016.

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