FORT WORTH, Texas – California Chrome didn’t fulfill horse racing’s Triple Crown on June 7, so it’s up to Ryan Hunter-Reay to complete Indy car racing’s Triple Crown.
Affirmed was the last Triple Crown winner in 1978 – the same year that Al Unser won the Indianapolis 500 and the 500-mile races at Pocono Raceway and Ontario (Calif.) to become the only driver in the same calendar year to win the three-set race that was part of Indy car racing from 1971-80. After Ontario closed in 1980, it was replaced by Michigan International Speedway and the Triple Crown continued until 1989.
The series was revived for the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, and for 2014 laps were added to the July 6 race at Pocono Raceway to again make all three 500 miles.
Hunter-Reay earned his first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race victory on May 25 in the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport car. The MAVTV 500 on Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., closes the 18-race season. Hunter-Reay clinched his 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at the 2-mile oval.
California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but finished fourth in the 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes.