Open main menu

The 31st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1947. The 1946 winner, George Robson, had been killed in the meantime.

31st Indianapolis 500
Indy500WinningCar19471948.JPG
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning bodyAAA
DateMay 30, 1947
WinnerMauri Rose
Winning EntrantLou Moore
Average speed116.338 mph (187.228 km/h)
Pole positionTed Horn
Pole speed126.564 mph (203.685 km/h)
Most laps ledBill Holland (143)
Pre-race
Pace carNash Ambassador
Pace car driverGeorge W. Mason
StarterSeth Klein[1]
Honorary refereeRalph F. Gates[1]
Estimated attendance165,000[2]
Chronology
Previous Next
1946 1948

Late in the race, Lou Moore teammates Bill Holland and Mauri Rose were running 1st and 2nd. The pit crew displayed a confusing chalkboard sign with the letters "EZY" to Holland, presumably meaning for him to take the final laps at a reduced pace to safely make it to the finish. Mauri Rose ignored the board, and charged to catch up to Holland. Holland believed he held a lap lead over Rose, and allowed him to catch up. The two drivers waved as Rose passed Holland, with Holland believing it was not more than a congratulatory gesture.

In reality, the pass Rose made was for the lead, and he led the final 8 laps to take the controversial victory. The race was marred by a 41st lap crash that claimed the life of Shorty Cantlon.

Contents

Time trials & ASPAR boycottEdit

Time trials was scheduled for five days. The minimum speed to qualify was set at 115 mph. In the months leading up to the race, several top drivers that were members of a union, the American Society of Professional Auto Racing (ASPAR), threatened to boycott the race over the purse size.[3] The AAA Contest Board refused to heed their demands, and when the entry list was closed on May 8, many of the top drivers, particularly several popular west coast drivers, were not on the list. A total of 35 cars were entered, but at least nine had no driver listed, and 13 of the entries were inexperienced novice drivers. After the practice began for the month, officials decreed that the boycotting drivers would not be allowed late entry. After several weeks of dispute, an agreement was made for the ASPAR drivers to participate midway through the month.[4]

  • Saturday May 17 - Pole Day
    • Rain, and the holdout of several ASPAR drivers, meant only seven cars completed qualifying runs. Ted Horn claimed the pole position with a speed of 126.564 mph.
  • Sunday May 18
    • Three cars qualified, bringing the field to 10 cars.[5]
  • Saturday May 24
  • Sunday May 25
  • Wednesday May 28
    • The final day of qualifying closed with 28 cars in the field.

When qualifying closed at 6 p.m. on Wednesday May 28, the field had only been filled to 28 cars.[6] Duke Dinsmore was the final qualifier, completing his run amidst some scoring confusion by the officials, just as the time had run out.[7] Race officials initially stressed that Wednesday would be the final day available to qualify. However, a day later, they re-opened qualifying for one hour late on Thursday May 29 in an effort to fill the field. Mel Hansen and Emil Andres were the only two cars to complete attempts, and after approval by the other entries, were added to the grid to bring the field to 30 cars.[8]

The heartbreak story of the day belonged to driver Billy Devore. After failing to make the field on Wednesday, the Bill Schoof crew worked diligently to make repairs to their car, hoping that officials would re-open qualifying. When word was announced that additional time trials would be held Thursday, the crew scrambled to get the car prepared. Late in the evening, with about 20 minutes left until closing, the crew drove the race car from their garage about six miles away to the track with a police escort. When they arrived at the gate at 6:58 p.m., however, officials closed time trials, and DeVore was not permitted to qualify. [9]

ResultsEdit

Rose's distance finish time of 4:17:52.17 was the second fastest finish of the Indianapolis 500 ever, at the time. Only the 1938 Indianapolis 500 had been completed in a faster total time as of 1947.[10] After Rose completed the 500 mile distance, approximately 40 minutes was given for additional drivers to finish, before any remaining drivers who had not completed the distance by then were flagged off the track.[11] The 1947 race was also the coldest on record, with an average temperature of 50 degrees and morning low of 37.[12]

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired
1 3 27   Mauri Rose 120.040 20 200 34 4:17:52.17
2 8 16   Bill Holland (R) 128.755 1 200 143 +32.12
3 1 1   Ted Horn 126.564 3 200 0 +3:00.38
4 4 54   Herb Ardinger* 120.733 19 200 0 +6:40.35
5 10 7   Jimmy Jackson 122.266 11 200 0 +8:00.48
6 20 9   Rex Mays 124.412 7 200 0 +12:16.33
7 14 33   Walt Brown (R) 118.355 25 200 0 +36:59.30
8 28 34   Cy Marshall 115.644 30 197 0 Flagged, +3 laps
9 23 41   Fred Agabashian (R) 121.478 13 191 0 Flagged, +9 laps
10 27 10   Duke Dinsmore 119.840 22 167 0 Flagged, +33 laps
11 7 58   Les Anderson (R) 118.425 24 131 0 Flagged, +69 laps
12 17 59   Pete Romcevich (R) 117.218 28 168 0 Oil line
13 30 3   Emil Andres 116.781 29 150 0 Magneto
14 15 31   Frank Wearne 117.716 26 128 0 Spun T3
15 9 47   Ken Fowler 123.423 9 121 0 Axle
16 18 46   Duke Nalon 128.082 2 119 0 Piston
17 12 28   Roland Free 119.526 23 87 0 Spun
18 25 29   Tony Bettenhausen 120.980 17 79 0 Timing gear
19 6 25   Russ Snowberger 121.331 15 74 0 Oil pump
20 16 52   Hal Robson 122.096 12 67 0 Universal joint
21 2 18   Cliff Bergere 124.957 4 62 23 Piston
22 22 8   Joie Chitwood 123.157 10 51 0 Gears
23 5 24   Shorty Cantlon 121.462 14 40 0 Fatal crash T1
24 26 43   Henry Banks 120.923 18 36 0 Oil line
25 19 66   Al Miller 124.848 6 33 0 Magneto
26 13 14   George Connor 124.874 5 32 0 Fuel leak
27 29 38   Mel Hansen 117.298 27 32 0 Pushed
28 21 15   Paul Russo 123.967 8 24 0 Crash FS
29 24 44   Charles Van Acker (R) 121.049 16 24 0 Crash FS
30 11 53   Milt Fankhouser (R) 119.932 21 15 0 Stalled
[13]

* Cliff Bergere relieved Herb Ardinger after his own car retired from the race, and completed the race distance in the #54 car.

Failed to QualifyEdit

BroadcastingEdit

RadioEdit

The race was carried live on the Mutual Broadcasting System, the precursor to the IMS Radio Network. The broadcast was sponsored by Perfect Circle Piston Rings and Bill Slater served as the anchor. The broadcast feature live coverage of the start, the finish, and live updates throughout the race.

Barry Lake served as "roving reporter," stationed on an Army Jeep. Larry Richardson was stationed in the new Press Paddock (constructed underneath the Paddock Penthouse upper deck) on the outside of the mainstretch, relaying scoring and official information.

Mutual Broadcasting System
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pits/roving reporters

Announcer: Bill Slater
Analyst: Gene Kelly
Press Paddock: Larry Richardson

South turns: Mike Dunn
Mainstretch: Gordon Graham
North turns: Jim Shelton

Norman Perry
Barry Lake

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

Works citedEdit

  • 1947 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Mutual: Re-broadcast on "The All-Night Race Party" - WIBC-AM (May 29, 2004)

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. ^ Brooks, Ralph L. (May 31, 1947). "165,000 See Race Classic". The Indianapolis Star. p. 11. Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  3. ^ "Indianapolis 500 Centenary Countdown: Not 33 (times 3)". Racer magazine. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  4. ^ Way Is Cleared for Auto Racers - May 20, 1947
  5. ^ Owners Wave In Aspar Drivers
  6. ^ Speedway Race Has Its Smallest Field - May 29, 1947
  7. ^ Milwaukee Car Last to Qualify for 500 - May 29, 1947
  8. ^ Racing Classic at Indianapolis - May 30, 1947
  9. ^ Schoof Car Misses Race Dead Line After frantic Dash to Speedway - May 30, 1947
  10. ^ Wire Dispatches (May 31, 1947). "Rose Wins 2d 500 Miler; Cantlon Killed In Spill". The Courier-Journal. p. 10. Retrieved 2017-07-22 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Sainsbury, Ed (May 31, 1947). "Rose Wins '500', Holland 2d; Auto Race Crash Kills Cantlon". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 12. Retrieved 2017-07-22 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ http://www.weather.gov/media/ind/indy500.pdf
  13. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1947". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  14. ^ ""1947 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes"". ChampCarStats.com.


1946 Indianapolis 500
George Robson
1947 Indianapolis 500
Mauri Rose
1948 Indianapolis 500
Mauri Rose