The 2023 Little 500 men’s race marks the 72nd race in its history. Cutters has the most race victories in Little 500 history with 14. Behind Cutters, Delta Chi — which is not in this year’s race, as the fraternity is serving a 2019 suspension from the university — has eight, Phi Kappa Psi has seven, Phi Gamma Delta has six and Phi Delta Theta has four.
The list is in order of qualifications results.
1. Cutters: 14 wins: 39 races qualified, 3.7 average finish
Baseball has the New York Yankees, basketball has the Los Angeles Lakers, hockey has the Montreal Canadiens, and IU’s Little 500 has the Cutters. Since its beginnings in 1984, it has qualified for all 38 races. It has won 14 total races, a winning percentage of just over 36%, both best in the field, by a large margin. It has an average finish of just over third place. Cutters has only finished outside of the top 10 just twice, 5.3% of races. Its longest winning drought came from 2012-2018. It came after they won five consecutive races and ended with them winning back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. Whether looking to jump on the bandwagon or rooting against a powerhouse, Cutters are the team to watch out for.
2. Sigma Phi Epsilon: 3 wins, 60 races qualified, 12.6 average finish
Sigma Phi Epsilon, which finished second in last year’s race, has the second-best starting position in the field. It is currently in its best stretch of races since 1998-2002, a period when it placed seventh, first, eighth, third and fourth. In the last five races, it has placed eighth, fourth, seventh, third and second. Historically, dating back to 1953, Sigma Phi Epsilon has finished 45.67% of the time inside the top 10. With a second-place qualification finish, it is an easy team to find on the podium after the race.
3. Sigma Alpha Epsilon: 1 win, 59 races qualified, 9.9 average finish
First, Sigma Phi Epsilon, now Sigma Alpha Epsilon, placed third in qualifications after placing 20th in last year’s race. Last year was the first time it has finished outside the top 10 since the 2013 race. It is the definition of a team that always comes so close but can’t quite find itself first. It has six second-place finishes in its nearly 70-year history, dating back to the very first Little 500 race in 1951. Its lone win came in 1963, a drought of 60 years since its last victory. If Cutters are the Yankees, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the Chicago Cubs.
4. Alpha Kappa Psi: 0 wins, 2 races qualified, 25.0 average finish
There is not much to say about Alpha Kappa Psi. In its first race last year, it placed 25th, and this year it jumped up to fourth in qualifications.
5. Phi Kappa Psi: 7 wins, 69 races qualified, 10.2 average finish
Phi Kappa Psi is another team that has been around since the race’s beginning in 1951. More than 70 years and a field-best 68 qualified races later, Phi Kappa Psi sits toward the top with seven wins, second to Cutters’ 14. With a win percentage of 10.29%, it finishes in the top five over 30% of the time. The second-most wins could be misleading; after winning seven of its first 27 races, Phi Kappa Psi hasn’t placed first in 45 years.
6. Phi Gamma Delta: 6 wins, 70 races qualified, 7.3 average finish
Despite being second to the field’s best Cutters’ average 3.66 finish, Phi Gamma Delta’s average finish of 7.26 could very well be more impressive as it spreads over 69 races, 30 more than Cutters. Despite the low average, Phi Gamma Delta hasn’t finished better than seventh since 2014.
7. Chi Phi: 0 wins, 42 races qualified, 16.9 average finish
Placing seventh in qualifications, Chi Phi is the first team that was not a participant in last year’s race. Back in the race for the first time since 2008, if Chi Phi can match its qualifications finish, it’ll be the first time it places in the top 10 in a Little 500 race since 2004.
8. Cinzano, 1 win, 22 races qualified, 11.5 average finish
Cinzano is an interesting team, and it’s back in “The World's Greatest College Weekend” for the first time since 2007. It has finished within the top 10 in eight of 21 races, securing one lone win in 1989. Cinzano is made up of all rookie riders, which makes it just as impressive with a top 10 qualifications finish.
9. Human Wheels, 0 wins, 3 races qualified, 25.0 average finish
This will be the Human Wheels’ third race. It last raced in 1995, finishing 27th then and 23rd a year earlier.
10. Alpha Sigma Phi, 0 wins, 27 races qualified, 24.0 average finish
Rounding out the top ten, Alpha Sigma Phi brings some experience under its belt but lacks any prominent showings. In 26 races, it has finished within the top 10 just twice: 8th in 1979 and 1990. This is something very likely to change with its 11th-place finish in last year’s race.
11. Delta Tau Delta, 3 wins, 65 races qualified, 15.0 average finish
After being kicked off campus and switching from Delta Tau Delta to JetBlach in 2017, the team has switched back to its previously less cool name. Another team that has been there from the start in 1951, the team never clinched a top 10 finish until 1975. Its three total victories have come within the last 10 races, with its last one in 2021. Delts team captain Josh Herbst is looking for his second win in three years
12. Phi Kappa Alpha, 0 wins, 43 races qualified, 19.7 average finish
Phi Kappa Alpha is another team that has been around for a while and hasn’t been that good…ever. Since 1951, Phi Kappa Alpha has qualified for 42 races and finished in the top five just once. It has placed 20 times outside of the top 20. It qualifies for the first time since 2019. The easiest comparison for this team is the Detroit Lions of the NFL.
13. Alpha Kappa Lambda, 0 wins, 3 races qualified, 27.5 average finish
Qualifying in its third race, Alpha Kappa Lambda placed 28th in 2018 and 29th in 2019.
14. Chi Alpha, 0 wins, 5 races qualified, 14.5 average finish
Chi Alpha, a relatively new team in its fifth race, has had success in recent history. In 2021, it placed 4th, and in last year’s race, it finished seventh.
15. Grey Goat, 0 wins, 15 races qualified, 8.0 average finish
Grey Goat is currently riding a streak of placing top 10 in every race dating back to 2016. Its finish in qualifications this year puts that streak in jeopardy. Since its first race in 2008, it has finished in the top 50th percentile.
16. Ghost Cycling, 3 wins, 68 races qualified, 9.5 average finish
Formerly known as Acacia, now Ghost Cycling has had a good amount of success. Despite finishing outside the top 10 in the last six races, Ghost Cycling has finished top 10 in 43 races out of 67.
17. Phi Sigma Kappa, 0 wins, 24 races qualified, 25.4 average finish
Phi Sigma Kappa qualified in the first-ever Little 500 race in 1951. Since then, it has competed in 23 races and has never finished within the top 10. While first is always the goal, a potential 10th-place finish is monumental. This team could also be classified as the Detroit Lions.
18. Novus, 0 wins, 3 races qualified, 20.5 average finish
Novus placed 22nd in 2021 and 19th in 2022.
19. CSF Cycling, 0 wins, 12 races qualified, 18.3 average finish
Like Gray Goat, CSF Cycling is a relatively new team still, with more than 10 years of experience under its belt. Unlike Gray Goat, CSF Cycling has found itself outside of the top 10 in every race it has competed in.
20. Beta Sigma Psi, 0 wins, 8 races qualified, 21.1 average finish
Beta Sigma Psi first raced in 2015 and finished last, in 33rd place. Every year since then, it has either improved its finish from the previous year or matched it.
21. Sigma Nu, 3 wins, 62 races qualified, 11.7 average finish
Coming into its 62nd Little 500, Sigma Nu has finished in the top 10 in 52.46% of races. Since 1999, it has finished outside the top 10 in 15 of 18 qualified races.
22. 3PH Cycling, 0 wins, 8 races qualified, 9.0 average finish
In seven races dating back to 2015, 3PH Cycling has finished within the top 10 in five of them.
23. Delta Sigma Pi, 0 wins, 26 races qualified, 21.8 average finish
It has just two top-10 finishes in 25 race finishes: eighth in 2007 and 10th in 2008.
24. Lambda Chi Alpha, 0 wins, 58 races qualified, 18.9 average finish
Lambda Chi Alpha has been around since the first race in 1951, with nine all-time top-10 finishes., It has failed to finish within the top -10 since 1998 when it finished 9th.
25. Forest Cycling, 0 wins, 22 races qualified, 17.5 average finish
The first residential hall in the field placed 25th in qualifications after coming in 13th in last year’s race. Forest’s one and only top-five finish came in 2015.
26. Phi Delta Theta, 4 wins, 67 races qualified, 9.8 average finish
The reigning Little 500 champions placed 26th in the qualifications. Racing in its 67th race, clinching a top 10 finish 41 different times, Phi Delta Theta was assumed to vastly improve from its starting qualification position.
27. Evans Scholars, 0 wins, 40 races qualified, 24.8 average finish
Evans Scholars placed 32nd in last year’s race. This year, after qualifying 27th, it’ll look to end a streak of finishing 30th or worse in a fifth consecutive race.
28. Tau Epsilon Phi, 0 wins, 1 race qualified, N/A average finish
Tau Epsilon Phi is the only rookie team in the race with no previous qualifications in the team's history.
29. IUDM Cycling, 0 wins, 2 races qualified, 18.0 average finish
IUDM’s rookie year was in last year’s race where it placed 18th.
30. Bears, 0 wins, 6 races qualified, 7.8 average finish
In five total races, the Bears have never placed outside of 12th. The Bears are the only team in the field represented by three riders instead of four.
31. Wild Aces Cycling, 0 wins, 2 races qualified, 22.0 average finish
Wild Aces Cycling placed 22nd in its first race last year.
32. Army Cycling, 0 wins, 7 races qualified, 25.0 average finish
In its seventh race, Army Cycling will look to crack the top 15 for the first time in team history.
33. Beta Theta Pi, 3 wins, 64 races qualified, 13.7 average finish
With 14 top-five finishes and 25 top-10 finishes, Beta Theta Pi is likely to improve from the last place position from qualifications. In 2002, 2003 and 2019, Beta Theta Pi raced under the team name Gafombi.