1915 Indianapolis 500

The 5th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 31, 1915. The traditional race date of May 30 fell on a Sunday, but race organizers declined to schedule the race for Sunday. The race was set for Saturday May 29, but heavy rains in the days leading up to the race flooded the grounds and made some roads leading to the track impassible. Officials decided to postpone the race until Monday May 31 in order to allow the grounds to dry out. Speedway management would maintain their policy to not race on Sundays until 1974.

5th Indianapolis 500
Indy500winningcar1915.jpg
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning bodyAAA
DateMay 31, 1915
WinnerRalph DePalma
Winning EntrantE.C. Patterson
Average speed89.840 mph (144.583 km/h)
Pole positionHowdy Wilcox
Pole speed98.90 mph (159.16 km/h)
Most laps ledRalph DePalma (132)
Pre-race
Pace carPackard 6 (Model 5-48)
Pace car driverCarl G. Fisher
StarterThomas J. Hay[1]
Honorary refereeA.R. Pardington[1]
Estimated attendance60,000[2]
Chronology
Previous Next
1914 1916
Ralph DePalma at the 1915 Indianapolis 500

After a loss in 1912, Ralph DePalma succeeded in victory for 1915. DePalma was accompanied by riding mechanic Louis Fontaine.

ResultsEdit

 
Composite image showing the front row at the start of the 1915 Indianapolis 500.
Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Status
1 2 2   Ralph DePalma [3] 98.580 2 200 132 Running
2 3 3   Dario Resta  R  98.470 3 200 37 Running
3 5 5   Gil Andersen 95.140 5 200 26 Running
4 4 4   Earl Cooper 96.770 4 200 0 Running
5 11 15   Eddie O'Donnell  R  88.93 11 200 0 Running
6 7 8   Bob Burman 92.400 7 200 0 Running
7 1 1   Howdy Wilcox 98.900 1 200 5 Running
8 9 10   Tom Alley  R  90.000 9 200 0 Running
9 16 19   Billy Carlson 84.110 16 200 0 Running
10 14 7   Noel Van Raalte  R  86.870 14 200 0 Running
11 24 28   Willie Haupt 80.360 24 200 0 Running
12 10 14   Harry Grant 89.29 10 184 0 Loose mud apron
13 17 21   Tom Orr  R  83.550 17 168 0 Axle bearing
14 6 6   Jean Porporato  R  94.740 6 164 0 Piston
15 15 18   Joe Cooper  R  85.550 15 154 0 Crash SC
16 18 22   Ralph Mulford 82.720 18 124 0 Rod
17 12 12   George C. Babcock  R  89.46 12 117 0 Cylinder
18 8 9   Art Klein 90.450 8 0 0 Smoking
19 20 23   Eddie Rickenbacker 81.970 20 103 0 Rod
20 23 27   Louis Chevrolet  R  81.010 23 76 0 Valve
21 13 17   John DePalma  R  87.040 13 41 0 Loose flywheel
22 19 24   John A. Mais  R  81.970 19 23 0 Left course
23 22 26   George Hill  R  81.520 22 20 0 Water pump gear
24 21 25   C. C. Cox  R  81.520 21 12 0 Timing gears
[4]

Race detailsEdit

  • For 1915, riding mechanics were required.[5]
  • When about 2,000 unsuspecting fans showed up on May 29 for the race (which had already been rescheduled to May 31), Ralph DePalma entertained the fans with a tire changing exhibition.[6]
  • (Note 1) Louis Chevrolet is usually shown as American but his application for a US passport (available at [1]) reveals that he did not become a US citizen until June 1915.
  • (Note 2) Ralph DePalma is usually shown as American but his application for a US passport (available at [2]) reveals that he did not become a US citizen until 1920.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Fox, Jack C. (1994). The Illustrated History of the Indianapolis 500 1911-1994 (4th ed.). Carl Hungness Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 0-915088-05-3.
  2. ^ Rankin, William H. (June 1, 1915). "Race Best Ever Says W.H. Rankin". The Indianapolis Star. p. 5. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (April 1, 1956). "Ralph De Palma, Noted Racer, Dies. Driver Triumphed in 1915 at Indianapolis. Elected to Sport's Hall of Fame". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-02. Ralph De Palma, pioneer auto racer who probably won more races than any other driver in history, died today of cancer. His age was 72. ... De Palma, winner of the Indianapolis classic in 1915 and twice national champion in the era of Barney Oldfield and Eddie Rickenbacker, had been ailing for ...
  4. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1914". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  5. ^ Blazier, John E.; Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
  6. ^ Nussbaum, Lowell (June 1, 1967). "No Confusion In '15 Race Daly". The Indianapolis Star. p. 33. Retrieved June 19, 2019 – via Newspapers.com. 


1914 Indianapolis 500
Rene Thomas
1915 Indianapolis 500
Ralph DePalma
1916 Indianapolis 500
Dario Resta
Preceded by
82.474 mph
(1914 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the fastest average speed
89.840 mph
Succeeded by
94.484 mph
(1922 Indianapolis 500)