Before winning the 1998 Indy 500 in a car he both owned and drove, Cheever was a rising star in Formula 1, one of the few Americans in the world’s top series since Hall of Famers Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti and others made their marks in the 1960s and ‘70s. Raised in Rome, Cheever got noticed at 15 when he won the Italian and European karting championships. He started 132 F1 races from 1978 through 1989, more than any other American. His best finishes were seconds at the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix and 1983 Canadian Grand Prix. Cheever found greater success in endurance racing, where he won multiple races for the factory Lancia and Jaguar teams. He relocated to the US in 1990 to drive for Hall of Famer Chip Ganassi. After driving for Ganassi, Team Menard and A.J. Foyt in CART and IRL, Cheever started his own team, which scored five wins in all, including Indy. As of 2019, he still owns the Speedway’s fastest race lap, 236.103 mph (1996).