For the 1972 season, rules makers finally relented, and bolt-on wings were to be allowed. During a tire test at Indianapolis on March 30, Bobby Unser blistered the track with an unofficial lap record of 190.8 mph.
This article concentrates on one-lap and four-lap track records at the Indianapolis 500 since 1972. This represents the time period in which the cars have been permitted bolt-on wings and as a result, have qualified above or near 200 mph. For qualifying records prior to 1972, see the following statistical supplements: 1-Lap Records and 4-Lap Records. As of 2022, the official one-lap and four-lap track records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were set by Arie Luyendyk in 1996. The one-lap track record is 237.498 mph and the four-lap record is 236.986 mph.
With bolt-on wings allowed for the first time, speeds climbed by significant margins in 1972. Practice was scheduled to open on Saturday April 29. Rain, however, washed out the first day. On Sunday April 30, chief steward Harlan Fengler imposed a 170 mph speed limit, so only seven cars took to the track. Jim Malloy allegedly had a hand-timed lap of 179.4 mph. Later in the week Malloy turned a lap of 188.148 mph Tragically, Malloy would die from injuries suffered in a practice crash on May 14. 2b1af7f3a8