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The 35th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 30, 1951. The event was part of the 1951 AAA National Championship Trail, and was also race 2 of 8 in the 1951 World Championship of Drivers. For the second year in a row, no European Formula One-based teams entered the race.

1951 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1951 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1951 Indianapolis 500
Race details
Date 30 May 1951 (1951-05-30)
Official name 35th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.023 km (2.5 mi)
Distance 200 laps, 804.672 km (500 mi)
Weather Warm and sunny
Attendance 150,000[1]
Pole position
Driver Jean Marcenac
Time 4:23.74 (4 laps)
Podium
First Murrell Belanger
Second Jim Robbins
Third Kurtis Kraft

Duke Nalon, who had suffered serious burns in a crash in 1949, and who missed the 1950 race, made a comeback at Indy by winning the pole position in a Novi.

Heavy attrition saw only eight cars running at the finish. Winner Lee Wallard's car lost its brakes, suffered a damaged exhaust pipe, and broke a shock absorber mounting.[2][3] In addition to the unbearably uncomfortable ride, Wallard had worn a fire retardant outfit, created by dipping his uniform in a mixture of borax crystals and water. Due to not wearing an undershirt, Wallard suffered serious chafing, and required treatment at the infield hospital after the victory lane celebration.[3] It was estimated he lost 15 pounds during the race.[3]

Wallard's winning car had the smallest displacement in the field. About a week after winning the race, Wallard suffered severe burns in a crash at Reading, which effectively ended his professional racing career.

Three-time winner Mauri Rose, in his 15th Indy start, crashed and flipped on lap 126. It was his final 500, as he retired from driving after the crash.

Contents

Time trialsEdit

Time trials were scheduled for six days. Rain, however, pushed qualifying into a seventh day.

  • Saturday May 12 – Pole Day time trials
  • Sunday May 13 – Second day time trials
  • Saturday May 19 – Third day time trials
  • Sunday May 20 – Fourth day time trials
  • Saturday May 26 – Fifth day time trials
  • Sunday May 27 – Sixth day time trials (rained out)
  • Monday May 28 – Seventh day time trials (rain makeup day)

ClassificationEdit

Pos Grid No Driver Constructor Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired Points
1 2 99   Lee Wallard Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.03 5 200 159 3:57:38.05 91
2 7 83   Mike Nazaruk (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.18 26 200 0 + 1:47.24 6
3 3 9   Jack McGrath(Laps 1–100)
  Manny Ayulo(Laps 101–200)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 134.3 8 200 11 + 2:51.39 2
2
4 31 57   Andy Linden (R) Sherman-Offenhauser 132.22 25 200 0 + 4:40.12 3
5 29 52   Bobby Ball (R) Schroeder-Offenhauser 134.09 9 200 0 + 4:52.23 2
6 17 1   Henry Banks Moore-Offenhauser 133.89 12 200 0 + 5:40.02  
7 24 68   Carl Forberg (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.89 22 193 0 + 7 Laps  
8 4 27   Duane Carter Deidt-Offenhauser 133.74 15 180 0 + 20 Laps  
9 9 5   Tony Bettenhausen Deidt-Offenhauser 131.95 29 178 0 Spun Off  
10 1 18   Duke Nalon Kurtis Kraft-Novi 136.49 2 151 0 Retirement  
11 22 69   Gene Force (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 133.1 20 142 0 Engine  
12 12 25   Sam Hanks Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.99 21 135 0 Engine  
13 16 10   Bill Schindler Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 134.03 11 129 0 Engine  
14 5 16   Mauri Rose (W) Deidt-Offenhauser 133.42 18 126 0 Accident  
15 14 2   Walt Faulkner Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.87 1 123 0 Engine  
16 27 76   Jimmy Davies Pawl-Offenhauser 133.51 17 110 25 Axle  
17 11 59   Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.02 6 109 0 Clutch  
18 15 73   Carl Scarborough (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.61 4 93 0 Fire  
19 33 71   Bill Mackey (R) Hall-Offenhauser 131.47 32 97 0 Clutch  
20 19 8   Chuck Stevenson (R) Marchese-Offenhauser 133.76 14 93 0 Fire  
21 8 3   Johnnie Parsons (W) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.15 27 87 0 Magneto  
22 10 4   Cecil Green Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 131.89 31 80 5 Engine  
23 6 98   Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.31 24 78 0 Engine  
24 32 6   Duke Dinsmore Schroeder-Offenhauser 131.97 28 73 0 Overheating  
25 28 32   Chet Miller Kurtis Kraft-Novi 135.79 3 56 0 Ignition  
26 13 44   Walt Brown Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 131.9 30 55 0 Magneto  
27 25 48   Rodger Ward (R) Bromme-Offenhauser 134.86 7 34 0 Oil Pipe  
28 18 23   Cliff Griffith (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 133.83 13 30 0 Axle  
29 20 81   Bill Vukovich (R) Trevis-Offenhauser 133.72 16 29 0 Oil leak  
30 21 22   George Connor Lesovsky-Offenhauser 133.35 19 29 0 Transmission  
31 23 19   Mack Hellings Deidt-Offenhauser 123.92 33 18 0 Engine  
32 26 12   Johnny McDowell Maserati-Offenhauser 132.47 23 15 0 Fuel leak  
33 30 26   Joe James (R) Watson-Offenhauser 134.09 10 8 0 Transmission  
Source:[4]
Notes
  • ^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lead lap

AlternatesEdit

Failed to QualifyEdit

NotesEdit

  • Pole position: Duke Nalon – 4:23.74 (136.498 mph)
  • Fastest Lead Lap: Lee Wallard – 1:07.26 (133.809 mph)[8]
  • Ayulo (100 laps) and McGrath (100) shared the same car. Points for 3rd position were shared between the drivers.

Championship standings after the raceEdit

World Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
  1   Juan Manuel Fangio 9
  20 2   Lee Wallard 9
  1 3   Piero Taruffi 6
  18 4   Mike Nazaruk 6
  2 5   Nino Farina 4
Source: [9]
  • Note: Only the top five positions are listed. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.

BroadcastingEdit

RadioEdit

The race was carried live on the radio through a network arrangement set up by 1070 WIBC-AM of Indianapolis. Mutual, which had carried the race for several years, had raised its advertising rates for 1951, and lost its primary sponsor for the event, Perfect Circle Piston Rings. As a result, Mutual dropped the coverage altogether. Local station WIBC stepped in to cover the race, and provided its feed to various Mutual affiliates.[10] A total of 26 stations carried the broadcast.

WIBC personality Sid Collins served as booth announcer, and the remainder of the crew consisted mostly of WIBC talent. Jim Shelton reported from his familiar turn four location, and Collins interviewed the winner in victory lane. Like the Mutual broadcasts, WIBC featured live coverage of the start (30 minutes), the finish (30 minutes), and 15-minute live updates throughout the race.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Stranahan, Bob (May 31, 1951). "Pilot's Hoosier's Car To Victory; Nazaruk Second". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  2. ^ Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975
  3. ^ a b c The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC/Network Indiana, May 17, 2007
  4. ^ "1951 Indianapolis 500". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  5. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  6. ^ "Jean ACHARD". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  7. ^ "1951 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com.
  8. ^ Lang, Mike (1981). Grand Prix! Vol 1. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 29. ISBN 0-85429-276-4.
  9. ^ "Indianapolis 1951 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  10. ^ Davidson, Donald (2012-05-24). "IMS Radio Network celebrates 60th anniversary". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 2012-08-13.

External linksEdit


Previous race:
1951 Swiss Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1951 season
Next race:
1951 Belgian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1950 Indianapolis 500
Johnnie Parsons
1951 Indianapolis 500
Lee Wallard
Next race:
1952 Indianapolis 500
Troy Ruttman
Preceded by
124.002 mph
(1950 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the Indianapolis 500 fastest average speed
126.244
mph
Succeeded by
128.922 mph
(1952 Indianapolis 500)