June 12, 2021

Indy 500 program cover features art by Johnny Rutherford

Rutherford, winner of the 1974, ’76 and ’80 Indy 500s for the works McLaren team (twice), then Chaparral, used pencil to draw the only three drivers ahead of him in the roster of Indy winners – four-time winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Rutherford drew the Bowes Seal Fast Trevis-Offy roadster that Foyt drove to his first Indy 500 victory 60 years ago, Unser’s Johnny Lightning Special Colt in which he earned his second Indy win 50 years ago, and the Marlboro Penske PC20 which Mears drove to his final Indy win – and penultimate Indy car victory – 30 years ago.

“It’s an honor to be able to be a part of this project and to do this program cover,” Rutherford said. “I just hope the fans like it and everybody enjoys the fact that it was me, a three-time winner here, that drew that. Add this to what I’ve accomplished at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in my career, and it’s special.”

The program cover was an artistic collaboration between Rutherford and IMS graphic designer Amiah Mims. After Rutherford provided the drawings of the cars, Mims reimagined the 1980 Indy car champion’s artwork in a digital format and integrated it onto a digitally created background that highlights the cars Rutherford drew, as well as the world-famous Yard of Bricks.

Mims is also a freelance artist who has been involved in Indianapolis-area works such as Welcome Race Fans 2019, the Black Lives Matter Boarded Window Mural project, the Black Lives Matter Street Mural project and the Indianapolis Recorder building mural, among other projects.

“Designing, illustrating and painting has always been my passion, and I’m proud to be able to use my love for art to help tell the history of the Indianapolis 500,” Mims said. “It’s an honor to be one of many artists to have had a part in the Indianapolis 500 and to work alongside a legend like Johnny Rutherford.”

The 208-page souvenir program is available now for $15 at shop.ims.com and at Official Trackside Gift Shops at IMS and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

It contains features on the results of the Race for Equality & Change after just 10 months, retired IMS historian Donald Davidson, Marco Andretti’s pole-winning run last August, the 2020 Indy 500 and the impact of its lack of fans by IMS president Doug Boles, 2020 (and 2017) winner Takuma Sato, 2020 Rookie of the Year Pato O’Ward, Rinus VeeKay and Alex Palou, the future of the IMS Museum, and a celebration of Indy 500 anniversaries in 2021, including the 100-year anniversary of Tommy Milton’s first win.

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