1920 Indianapolis 500

The 8th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 31, 1920.

8th Indianapolis 500
Indy500winningcar1920.jpg
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning bodyAAA
DateMay 31, 1920
WinnerGaston Chevrolet
Winning EntrantWilliam Small Company
Average speed88.618 mph (142.617 km/h)
Pole positionRalph DePalma
Pole speed99.150 mph (159.566 km/h)
Most laps ledJoe Boyer (93)
Pre-race
Pace carMarmon 6 (Model 34)
Pace car driverBarney Oldfield
StarterE. C. Patterson[1]
Honorary refereeClifford Ireland[1]
Estimated attendance120,000[2] (up 10k from previous year)
Chronology
Previous Next
1919 1921

Ralph DePalma held a two lap lead when the car stalled on lap 187. His riding mechanic Pete DePaolo ran to the pits to get a can of gasoline, thinking they were out of fuel. DePalma was able to get the car rolling again, and the two rejoined the race. However, during the delay, the lead went to Gaston Chevrolet. Chevrolet himself ran out of fuel on lap 197, but he was able to coast to the pits and refuel. Chevrolet held on to win. Seven months later, he was fatally injured in a crash at Beverly Hills.

Chevrolet won the race without a single tire change, a remarkable feat at the time. Chevrolet was accompanied by riding mechanic John Bresnahan.

Time trialsEdit

Four-lap (10 mile) qualifying runs were introduced in 1920. Previously one-lap runs were used. Ralph De Palma won the pole position at 99.65 mph. None of his four laps matched the track record (104.78 mph) set the previous year.

Qualifying Results
Date Driver Lap 1
(mph)
Lap 2
(mph)
Lap 3
(mph)
Lap 4
(mph)
Average Speed
(mph)
5/26/1920 Ralph DePalma 98.1 99.4 99.5 99.95 99.65

Box scoreEdit

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Status
1 6 4   Gaston Chevrolet 91.550 8 200 14 Running
2 18 25   René Thomas  W  93.950 5 200 12 Running
3 11 10   Tommy Milton 90.200 11 200 0 Running
4 15 12   Jimmy Murphy  R  88.700 13 200 0 Running
5 1 2   Ralph DePalma  W  99.150 1 200 79 Running
6 9 31   Eddie Hearne 88.050 15 200 0 Running
7 4 26   Jean Chassagne 95.450 4 200 1 Running
8 19 28   Joe Thomas  R  92.800 6 200 0 Running
9 23 33   Ralph Mulford 200 0 Running
10 17 15   Pete Henderson 81.150 21 200 0 Running
11 14 32   John Boling  R  81.850 20 199 0 Flagged
12 2 6   Joe Boyer 96.900 2 192 93 Crash T3
13 10 9   Ray Howard 84.600 18 150 0 Camshaft
14 12 29   Eddie O'Donnell 88.200 14 149 0 Oil line
15 21 16   Jules Goux  W  84.300 19 148 0 Engine trouble
16 13 34   Willie Haupt 85.480 16 146 0 Rod
17 8 7   Bennett Hill  R  90.550 10 115 0 Crash T4
18 3 3   Louis Chevrolet 96.300 3 94 0 Steering
19 20 18   Howdy Wilcox  W  88.820 12 65 0 Engine trouble
20 7 5   Roscoe Sarles 90.750 9 58 0 Crash T4
21 5 8   Art Klein 92.700 7 40 1 Crash
22 22 19   Jean Porporato 79.980 22 23 0 Ruled off
23 16 17   André Boillot 85.400 17 16 0 Engine trouble
[3]

Race detailsEdit

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. ^ "Crowd Put at 120,000, New Record Mark". The Indianapolis Star. June 1, 1920. p. 1. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  3. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1920". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  4. ^ Blazier, John E.; Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
  5. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004


1919 Indianapolis 500
Howdy Wilcox
1920 Indianapolis 500
Gaston Chevrolet
1921 Indianapolis 500
Tommy Milton