1921 Indianapolis 500

The 9th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 30, 1921.

9th Indianapolis 500
Tommy Milton 1921.jpg
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning bodyAAA
DateMay 30, 1921
WinnerTommy Milton
Winning EntrantLouis Chevrolet
Average speed89.621 mph (144.231 km/h)
Pole positionRalph DePalma
Pole speed100.750 mph (162.141 km/h)
Most laps ledRalph DePalma (108)
Pre-race
Pace carH.C.S. 6
Pace car driverHarry C. Stutz
StarterThomas J. Hay[1]
Honorary refereeDavid Beecroft[1]
Estimated attendance135,000-150,000[2] ("last year was 125k")
Chronology
Previous Next
1920 1922

Ralph DePalma dominated another early running of the 500, but again failed to win. He led 109 laps, and had a two-lap lead at the halfway point. A connecting rod broke, and he dropped out on lap 112. DePalma retired with one win, and 612 laps led in the "500." His laps led record would not be matched for 67 years until Al Unser, Sr. broke it in 1993.

Tommy Milton won the first of two 500 victories. He was accompanied by riding mechanic Harry Franck. The only European car to finish was a 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeam driven by Ora Haibe who was placed fifth.

Time trialsEdit

Time trials was scheduled for five days, May 25-29. Four-lap (10 mile) qualifying runs were utilized. A short field of only 26 cars submitted entries, but only 23 cars arrived and prepared to qualify. Mervin Headley's entry was disallowed because only half the entry fee was paid.[3][4] Two other entries were no-shows.

Ralph De Palma completed his qualifying run on Wednesday May 25, at an average speed of 100.75 mph. He won the pole position as the only driver over the 100 mph mark. None of his four laps matched the track record (104.78 mph) set in 1919.

This would be the first 500 that featured the familiar starting grid of rows of cars three-abreast.

Qualifying Results
Date Driver Lap 1
(mph)
Lap 2
(mph)
Lap 3
(mph)
Lap 4
(mph)
Average Speed
(mph)
5/26/1921 Ralph DePalma 100.89 100.53 100.56 101.00 100.75

ResultsEdit

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired
1 20 2   Tommy Milton 93.050 11 200 90 5:34:44.65
2 2 6   Roscoe Sarles 98.350 2 200 1 5:38:34.03
3 8 23   Percy Ford  R  87.000 19 200 0 5:52:15.30
4 9 5   Eddie Miller  R  83.850 20 200 0 5:54:24.98
5 13 16   Ora Haibe 93.500 10 200 0 5:57:45.83
6 14 9   Albert Guyot 87.800 16 200 0 6:01:17.07
7 10 3   Ira Vail 82.350 22 200 0 6:14:17.47
8 15 21   Bennett Hill 87.780 17 200 0 6:19:06.74
9 21 8   Ralph Mulford 91.700 12 177 0 Flagged
10 17 15   René Thomas  W  83.750 21 144 0 Water hose
11 18 27   Tom Alley 80.500 23 133 0 Rod
12 1 4   Ralph DePalma  W  100.750 1 112 108 Rod
13 4 1   Eddie Hearne 96.180 6 111 0 Oil line
14 19 24   Jimmy Murphy 93.600 9 107 0 Crash T4
15 16 17   Riley Brett  R  87.750 18 91 0 Hit wall
16 23 28   C. W. Van Ranst  R  88.350 14 87 0 Water hose
17 3 7   Joe Boyer 96.650 4 74 1 Rear axle
18 6 19   Jean Chassagne 91.000 13 65 0 Lost hood
19 5 22   Jules Ellingboe  R  95.400 8 49 0 Steering
20 11 14   André Boillot 97.600 3 41 0 Rod bearing
21 7 18   Louis Fontaine  R  88.300 15 33 0 Crash FS
22 22 25   Joe Thomas 96.250 5 25 0 Crash T3
23 12 10   Howdy Wilcox  W  96.000 7 22 0 Rod
[5][6]

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. ^ "Race Throngs Upset Records". The Indianapolis Star. May 31, 1921. p. 1. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  3. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 5, 2004
  4. ^ Local Indy 500 links from long ago
  5. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1921". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  6. ^ Ikert, B. M. (1921-06-02). Motor Age: American Cars Dominate 500-Mile Race. Class Journal Company. p. 1.
  7. ^ Blazier, John E.; Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
  8. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004


1920 Indianapolis 500
Gaston Chevrolet
1921 Indianapolis 500
Tommy Milton
1922 Indianapolis 500
Jimmy Murphy