The Ruttman record and the driver who could break it

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Records are meant to be broken, yet one set 67 years ago during the Indy 500 still stands. It’s for the youngest driver ever to win the race and for one woman, it is a legacy she’s carried a lifetime. 

“My dad was catching him one to two seconds a lap,” Toddy Ruttman said as she told the story of her father’s 1952 Indy 500 race. 

She lays on the gas when it comes to bragging about her late father Troy Ruttman.  

“My father was my hero, my friend, my dad. And I love talking about my father,” Ruttman said. “He knew if he won the Indy 500 in 1952 that would, like, put him on Broadway type of thing.”

He did win it and he was the youngest to do it at 22 years old and 80 days. 

“I know I have four chances to break it and this will be my first,” Colton Herta said. 

The 19-year-old is vying to win the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and shatter the record and that possibility that has made Ruttman and Herta fast friends. Ruttman attends the Indy 500 every year.

“I live for every May,” Ruttman said. 

She visits for three weeks every year and makes a point to meet any driver who could break her father’s long-lasting record and wish them well. 

“I’ll be more than happy to be there in victory lane to congratulate you sincerely from my heart, because that’s who I am. My dad would do that and I am here to carry-on my father’s legacy,” Ruttman said. 

It’s a blessing that comes from the deep love of a daddy’s girl with racing in her blood. 

“It was almost like I had to ask for a hand in marriage. I had to ask the father and I felt like ‘Oh, it’s ok for me to break the record. Okay, I feel better,” Herta said. 

“Had my father been alive today, he would probably be amazed that that record has held for 67 years. I’m just grateful to be Troy’s daughter. I’m grateful to be here to carry on his legacy. And I can’t think of a nicer, better guy to do it than Colton Herta,” Ruttman said. 

Colton Herta will start Sunday in row two. It’s a solid spot for a rookie who is certainly in the hunt. 

Toddy Ruttman was also behind the wheel this week, she drove in a vintage 70s spring car race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Thursday evening. 

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