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The 37th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30, 1953. The event was part of the 1953 AAA National Championship Trail, and was race 2 of 9 in the 1953 World Championship of Drivers.

1953 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1953 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1953 Indianapolis 500
Race details
Date 30 May 1953 (1953-05-30)
Official name 37th 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 Extremely hot
Attendance 190,000[1]
Pole position
Driver Howard B. Keck
Time 4:20.13 (4 laps)
Podium
First Howard B. Keck
Second Bessie Lee Paoli
Third Ed Walsh

Bill Vukovich, after falling short a year before, earned the first of two consecutive Indy 500 victories. With the temperature in the high 90s (°F), and the track temperature exceeding 130 °F (54 °C), this race is often known as the "Hottest 500." Driver Carl Scarborough dropped out the race, and later died at the infield hospital due to heat prostration.[2]

Due to the extreme heat conditions, several drivers in the field required relief drivers, and some relief drivers even required additional relief. Vukovich, however, as well as second-place finisher Art Cross, both ran the full 500 miles solo.

Race detailsEdit

PracticeEdit

Sixteen year race veteran Chet Miller died in an accident in practice on May 15.[3]

QualifyingEdit

Time trials were scheduled for four days.

  • Saturday May 16 – Pole Day time trials (rained out)
  • Sunday May 17 – Second day time trials
  • Saturday May 23 – Third day time trials
  • Sunday May 24 – Fourth day time trials

Vukovich qualified on pole, with a speed of 138.392 mph (222.720 km/h).

RaceEdit

Polesitter Bill Vukovich dominated the race, leading 195 laps and also recording fastest lap.

Carl Scarborough retired from the race due to heat exhaustion, and died later at the infield hospital.[2]

ClassificationEdit

Pos Grid No Driver Constructor Qual Rank Laps Led Time/retired Points
1 1 14   Bill Vukovich Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 138.39 1 200 195 3:53:01.69 91
2 12 16   Art Cross Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.31 8 200 0 +3:30.87 6
3 9 3   Sam Hanks
(relieved by Duane Carter)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.53 5 200 3 +4:11.50 2
2
4 2 59   Fred Agabashian
(relieved by Paul Russo)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.54 4 200 1 +4:39.24 1.5
1.5
5 3 5   Jack McGrath Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 136.6 13 200 0 +7:49.64 2
6 21 48   Jimmy Daywalt (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.74 23 200 0 +8:10.21
7 25 2   Jim Rathmann
(relieved by Eddie Johnson)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.66 27 200 1 +8:46.02
8 20 12   Ernie McCoy (R) Stevens-Offenhauser 135.92 22 200 0 +10:04.55
9 6 98   Tony Bettenhausen
(relieved by Chuck Stevenson)
(relieved by Gene Hartley)
Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.02 20 196 0 Accident
10 32 53   Jimmy Davies Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.26 31 193 0 +7 laps
11 26 9   Duke Nalon Kurtis Kraft-Novi 135.46 30 191 0 Accident
12 19 73   Carl Scarborough
(relieved by Bob Scott)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.93 21 190 0 +10 laps
13 4 88   Manny Ayulo Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.38 15 184 0 Engine
14 31 8   Jimmy Bryan Schroeder-Offenhauser 135.5 29 183 0 +17 laps
15 28 49   Bill Holland (W)
(relieved by Jim Rathmann)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.86 2 177 0 Magneto
16 10 92   Rodger Ward
(relieved by Andy Linden)
(relieved by Duke Dinsmore)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.46 6 177 0 Axle
17 14 23   Walt Faulkner
(relieved by Johnny Mantz)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.11 10 176 0 +24 laps
18 22 22   Marshall Teague (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.72 25 169 0 Oil Leak
19 18 62   Spider Webb
(relieved by Johnny Thomson)
(relieved by Jackie Holmes)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 136.16 17 166 0 Oil Leak
20 29 51   Bob Sweikert Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.87 11 151 0 Suspension
21 23 83   Mike Nazaruk Turner-Offenhauser 135.7 26 146 0 Transmission
22 24 77   Pat Flaherty Kuzma-Offenhauser 135.66 28 115 0 Accident
23 7 55   Jerry Hoyt
(relieved by Chuck Stevenson)
(relieved by Andy Linden)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.73 24 107 0 Overheating
24 27 4   Duane Carter Lesovsky-Offenhauser 135.26 32 94 0 Ignition
25 17 7   Paul Russo Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 136.21 16 89 0 Magneto
26 8 21   Johnnie Parsons (W) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.66 3 86 0 Engine
27 15 38   Don Freeland (R) Watson-Offenhauser 136.86 12 76 0 Accident
28 13 41   Gene Hartley Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 137.26 9 53 0 Accident
29 16 97   Chuck Stevenson Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.56 14 42 0 Fuel Leak
30 30 99   Cal Niday (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 136.09 18 30 0 Magneto
31 11 29   Bob Scott Bromme-Offenhauser 137.43 7 14 0 Oil Leak
32 33 56   Johnny Thomson (R) Del Roy-Offenhauser 135.26 33 6 0 Ignition
33 5 32   Andy Linden Stevens-Offenhauser 136.06 19 3 0 Accident
Notes
  • ^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lead lap

AlternatesEdit

Failed to QualifyEdit

Race notesEdit

  • Pole position: Bill Vukovich – 4:20.13 (4 laps)
  • Fastest lead lap: Bill Vukovich – 1:06.240
  • The purse for first place was $89,496[7] (US$838,079 in 2018 dollars[8]).
  • One of the prizes awarded to the winner was a pet dog and a year's supply of dog food.[9]

BroadcastingEdit

RadioEdit

The race was carried live flag-to-flag on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Instead of being produced by 1070 WIBC-AM, the network pooled together talent and technical staff from all five of the major radio stations in Indianapolis. The broadcast was anchored by Sid Collins, and featured on-air talent from WIBC, WFBM, WISH, WIRE, and WXLW.[10]

The broadcast signed on at 10:45 a.m. local time, and carried live through the conclusion, until 3:45 p.m. local time. The broadcast was carried on 135 stations in at least 35 states across the country, and on Armed Forced Network to Europe and Asia.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pit/garage reporters

Chief Announcer: Sid Collins
Color: Charlie Brockman
Analyst: Chuck Breece

South Turns: Bill Frosch
North Turns: Jim Shelton
Trackside location: Dick Pittenger
Trackside location: Robin Bright

Luke Walton (north pits)
Al Vare (south pits)
Sid Collins (victory lane)

Championship standings after the raceEdit

World Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
  1   Alberto Ascari 9
  16 2   Bill Vukovich 9
  1 3   Luigi Villoresi 6
  14 4   Art Cross 6
  2 5   José Froilán González 4
Source:[11]
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lamm, Corky (May 31, 1953). "Californian Leads Al But Two Laps; 5 Cars Crack Up". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  2. ^ a b Yates, Brock (2005). Against Death and Time: One Fatal Season in Racing's Glory Years. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-1-56025-770-7. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  3. ^ a b Yates, Brock (1961). The Indianapolis 500: The Story of the Motor Speedway. Harper. p. 67.
  4. ^ Davidson, Donald (2011-02-03). "Pit Lane before the 1953 Indianapolis 500". Blog.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  5. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  6. ^ "1953 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  7. ^ Yates, Brock (1961). The Indianapolis 500: The Story of the Motor Speedway. Harper. p. 68.
  8. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  9. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 13, 2004
  10. ^ "5 Stations To Handle 500-Mile". The Indianapolis Star. May 24, 1953. p. 63. Retrieved March 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. 
  11. ^ "Indianapolis 1953 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External linksEdit


Previous race:
1953 Argentine Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1953 season
Next race:
1953 Dutch Grand Prix
Previous race:
1952 Indianapolis 500
Troy Ruttman
1953 Indianapolis 500
Bill Vukovich
Next race:
1954 Indianapolis 500
Bill Vukovich