As is tradition, the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The open wheel car race, often referred to as the ‘greatest spectacle in racing,’ is among the most well known motorsports events in the world. With a rich history of traditions and a prominent place in the nation’s sports psyche, the Indianapolis 500 has inspired several films.

Our Sports Movie of the Week, ‘Winning,’ makes the Indianapolis 500 a focal point that causes drama for its characters. In the 1969 film, racecar driver Frank Capua (Paul Newman) removes himself from the racing circuit long enough to wed single mom Elora (Joanne Woodward). After a brief ‘honeymoon’ period, when Elora’s young son Charley (Richard Thomas) becomes accustomed to having a family again, Frank is drawn back into racing and the pursuit of the Indianapolis 500. It’s soon obvious that while Frank is married to Elora, racing is his true love. Can he maintain a passion for both?

Five Reasons to Watch ‘Winning’

1. The late Paul Newman became a huge racing fan while training at the Watkins Glen Racing School for the filming of ‘Winning.’ Newman went on to win national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, and he founded a racing team that won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing.

2. Considering the movie was shot more than 40 years ago, director James Goldstone’s racing footage is well ahead of its time .

3. Robert Wagner’s performance as Luther Erding, Frank Capua’s rival, is well done for such a likable actor.

4. A real-life crash from the 1966 Indianapolis 500 is used at the beginning of the film’s Indianapolis 500.

5. Actual 1968 Indianapolis 500 champ Bobby Unser makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film.

Click the play button to watch the a trailer for the film below: