1957 Indianapolis 500

The 41st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 30, 1957. The event was part of the 1957 USAC National Championship Trail and it was race 3 of 8 in the 1957 World Championship of Drivers.

1957 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1957 Indianapolis 500
Winning car of the 1957 Indianapolis 500
Race details
Date 30 May 1957 (1957-05-30)
Official name 41st 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 Slightly overcast, dry track
Attendance 170,000[1]
Pole position
Driver Ansted Rotary
Time 4:10.09 (4 laps)
143.948 mph (231.662 km/h)
Podium
First George Sali
Second Lindsey Hopkins
Third Dean Van Lines

Sam Hanks won the Indianapolis 500 in his thirteenth attempt (the most such by any 500 winner). He retired from competition at Indy in victory lane.[2] Contrary to popular belief, Hanks did not completely retire from racing until the end of the year. He skipped the Race of Two Worlds when his entrant withdrew,[3] but competed in USAC Stock Car events later in the year, winning the event at Trenton,[4] and finished third in points championships for 1957.

Hanks received a record $103,844 purse, the first driver to win a $100,000 single-race payday. The total race purse was also a record, over $300,000 for the first time.

Hanks won the race in George Salih's "Lay-down Offy". The Offenhauser engine was mounted on its side and shifted off-center. This was done in order to lower the center of gravity, reduce frontal area, and counterbalance the body roll in the turns. The car that Hanks drove for the win in 1957 would win back-to-back Indy 500s, with Jimmy Bryan piloting the very same chassis to victory again in 1958.

Track improvementsEdit

For 1957, the Speedway introduced a new state-of-the-art pit lane and brand new Master Control Tower to house broadcasting as well as timing and scoring. For the first time, the pit area was separated from the mainstretch by an inside wall. The pit lane was paved in concrete (the mainstretch remained brick), while a grass strip went the length of the pit road to accommodate pit crew sign board men. Flagging duties would be done from a station on the grass strip at the start/finish line, and eventually a small wooden platform would be constructed for the flagman to stand atop. USAC officials also stationed themselves on the new grass parapet.

For the 1957 race, the field lined up in the pit area single-file, rather than the traditional eleven rows of three on the racing surface. On the pace lap, the field assembled into position, and was aligned for the green flag. By 1957, the field was now being taken around for two warm-up laps (one "parade" lap, and one "pace" lap), an increase over the single lap used previously. This single-file grid practice would eventually lead to confusion, and was utilized for only two years.

Practice and time trialsEdit

Time trials was scheduled for four days, but the second day was rained out. Rain affected practice days as well.[5]

Giuseppe Farina was the only European driver on the entry list for the race, however, he did not attempt to qualify. Farina had difficulty getting his car up to speed, and had experienced handling problems. On May 15, his teammate Keith Andrews stepped into his car for a test run, but crashed. Down the frontstretch, Andrews began to slide, and when he attempted to correct, the car backed into the inside wall separating the pit area. Andrews was crushed to death between the cowl and the fuel tank, but no fire broke out.[6] Farina withdrew after Andrews was killed, with no backup car to use.[7]

Saturday May 18 – Pole Day time trialsEdit

Pat O'Connor qualified for the pole position. Showers delayed qualifying for nearly four hours, and at other points during the afternoon. A total of only nine cars completed runs.[8]

O'Connor's speed of 143.948 mph was not a track record.[9] Troy Ruttman was on the track, and after a lap of over 144 mph, rain forced him to abort the attempt. He was able to get back out to the track, but had to settle for a speed of only 142.772 mph.

The first rookie to make the field was Elmer George, the husband of Mari Hulman George, and son-in-law of Speedway president Tony Hulman.

Sunday May 19 – Second day time trialsEdit

The second day scheduled for qualifying was rained out.

Saturday May 25 – Third day time trialsEdit

Paul Russo (144.817 mph) was the fastest driver of the day, in one of the Novi Specials. Russo was the fastest qualifier in the field, as his speed was faster than the pole position time from the previous weekend.

Sunday May 26 – Fourth day time trialsEdit

Rain and winds plagued the final day of time trials. Twenty three cars entered the day looking to fill the final 11 positions. A total of 43 attempts were made, with 9 cars bumped.

Tony Bettenhausen (142.439 mph) was the fastest driver of the day, driving one of the 500 hp Novi Specials. Bill Cheesbourg needed two cars to make the field. His first attempt was too slow. But late in the day, he got in Cliff Griffith's car, and at a speed of 141.565 mph, bumped Johnnie Parsons from the lineup.[10]

Qualifying resultsEdit

GridEdit

Row Inside Middle Outside
1 12   Pat O'Connor
Sumar Special
Chapman Root
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
143.948 mph (231.662 km/h)
88   Eddie Sachs  R 
Peter Schmidt Special
Peter Schmidt
Kuzma, Offenhauser
143.872 mph (231.540 km/h)
52   Troy Ruttman  W 
John Zink Special
John Zink
Watson, Offenhauser
142.772 mph (229.769 km/h)
2 14   Fred Agabashian
Bowes Seal Fast Special
George Bignotti
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
142.557 mph (229.423 km/h)
6   Johnny Boyd
Bowes Seal Fast Special
George Bignotti
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
142.102 mph (228.691 km/h)
5   Jimmy Reece
Hoyt Machine Special
Fred Sommer
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
142.006 mph (228.537 km/h)
3 83   Ed Elisian
McNamara Special
Lee Elkins
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
141.777 mph (228.168 km/h)
16   Al Keller
Bardahl/Clancy Special
Pat Clancy
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
141.398 mph (227.558 km/h)
23   Elmer George  R 
Travelon Trailer Special
Ernest Ruiz
Kurtis 500B, Offenhauser
140.729 mph (226.481 km/h)
4 54   Paul Russo
Novi Auto Air Conditioner Special
Novi Racing Corp
Kurtis 500F, Novi SC
144.817 mph (233.060 km/h)
10   Johnny Thomson
D-A Lubricant Special
Racing Associates
Kuzma, Offenhauser
143.529 mph (230.988 km/h)
73   Andy Linden
McNamara/Veedol Special
Lee Elkins
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
143.244 mph (230.529 km/h)
5 9   Sam Hanks
Belond Exhaust Special
George Salih
Salih, Offenhauser
142.812 mph (229.834 km/h)
22   Gene Hartley
Massaglia Hotels Special
Hart Fullerton
Lesovsky, Offenhauser
141.271 mph (227.354 km/h)
1   Jimmy Bryan
Dean Van Lines Special
Al Dean
Kuzma R, Offenhauser
141.188 mph (227.220 km/h)
6 7   Bob Veith
Bob Estes Special
Bob Estes
Phillips, Offenhauser
141.016 mph (226.943 km/h)
18   Johnnie Parsons  W 
Sumar Special
Chapman Root
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
140.784 mph (226.570 km/h)
77   Mike Magill  R 
Dayton Steel Foundry Special
George Walther
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
140.411 mph (225.970 km/h)
7 19   Jack Turner
Bardahl Special
Pat Clancy
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
140.367 mph (225.899 km/h)
43   Eddie Johnson
Chapman Special
Harry Allen Chapman
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
140.171 mph (225.583 km/h)
3   Don Freeland
Ansted Rotary
Ansted-Thompson Racing
Kurtis 500D, Offenhauser
139.649 mph (224.743 km/h)
8 27   Tony Bettenhausen
Novi Auto Air Conditioner Special
Novi Racing Corp.
Kurtis 500F, Novi SC
142.439 mph (229.233 km/h)
31   Bill Cheesbourg  R 
Schildmeier Seal Line Special
J.S. Donaldson
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
141.565 mph (227.827 km/h)
8   Rodger Ward
Wolcott Fuel Injection Special
Roger Wolcott
Lesovsky, Offenhauser SC
141.321 mph (227.434 km/h)
9 82   Chuck Weyant
Central Excavating Special
Pete Salemi
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
141.105 mph (227.086 km/h)
55   Eddie Russo
Sclavi & Amos Special
Fred Sclavi
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
140.862 mph (226.695 km/h)
92   Don Edmunds  R 
McKay Special
Roy McKay
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
140.449 mph (226.031 km/h)
10 48   Marshall Teague
Sumar Special
Chapman Root
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
140.329 mph (225.838 km/h)
57   Jimmy Daywalt
Helse Special
H.H. Johnson
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
140.203 mph (225.635 km/h)
89   Al Herman
Dunn Engineering Special
Harry Dunn
Dunn, Offenhauser
140.007 mph (225.319 km/h)
11 28   Johnnie Tolan
Greenman-Casale Special
Lysle Greenman
Kuzma, Offenhauser
139.884 mph (225.121 km/h)
26   Jim Rathmann
Chiropractic Special
Lindsey Hopkins
Epperly, Offenhauser
139.806 mph (224.996 km/h)
95   Bob Christie
Jones & Maley Special
Jones & Maley
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
139.779 mph (224.952 km/h)
Sources:[11][12][13]

First alternateEdit

#33 - Billy Garrett
Federal Engineering Special
Kurtis 500E, Offenhauser[14]

Failed to QualifyEdit

#4 - George Amick  R 
Federal Engineering Special
Snowberger, Offenhauser
Too slow
#62 - Keith Andrews
Farina Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Fatal accident
#82 - Johnny Baldwin  R 
Central Excavating Special
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#45 - Bill Cheesbourg
Las Vegas Club Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Too slow, Qualified #31
#15 - Tony Bonadies  R 
Ray Brady Special
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
Practice accident
#81 - Tony Bonadies  R 
Central Excavating Special
Kuzma D, Offenhauser
Too slow
#59 - Bud Clemons  R 
Chiropractic Special
Shilala Offenhauser
Too slow
#49 - Ray Crawford
Meguiar Mirror Glaze Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Too slow
#32 - Jimmy Davies
Anderson Special
Kurtis 500D, Offenhauser
Too slow
#62 - Giuseppe Farina  R 
Farina Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Crashed by K. Andrews
#71 - Johnny Fedricks  R 
Gdula Special
Kurtis 500C, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#64 - Gene Force
Shannon Brothers Special
Watts, Offenhauser
Too slow
#58 Andy Furci  R 
Ray Brady Special
Schroder D, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#31 Cliff Griffith
Seal Line Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#72 - Danny Kladis
Morgan Engineering Special
Maserati, Maserati SC
Too slow
#84 - Danny Kladis
Safety Auto Glass Special
Mercedes, Jaguar
Too slow
#25 - Jud Larson  R 
John Zink SPecial
Watson, Offenhauser
Too slow
#34 - Jim McWithey  R 
Federal Engineering Special
Kurtis 500D, Offenhauser
Qualifying accident
#32 - Cal Niday
Trio Brass Foundry Special
Kurtis 500D, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#98 - Johnnie Parsons  W 
Agajanian Special
Kuzma, Offenhauser
Too slow
#92 - Leroy Warriner  R 
McKay Special
Kurtis 500G, Offenhauser
Did not qualify
#42 - Dempsey Wilson  R 
Martin Special
Curtis, Offenhauser
Too slow[15][16]

 R  = Indianapolis 500 rookie
 W  = Former Indianapolis 500 winner

Race summaryEdit

First halfEdit

On the backstretch during the pace lap, Elmer George hit the back of Eddie Russo's car, putting both cars out of the race before the start. Only 31 cars took the green flag.

Polesitter Pat O'Connor took the lead at the start and led the first four laps. Troy Ruttman led laps 5–6. O'Connor re-took the lead for laps 7–9, but Ruttman led laps 10–11, until blowing the engine. Paul Russo took the lead on lap 12, and in the first twelve laps there had already been four lead changes between three drivers.

Second halfEdit

Sam Hanks took the lead for the final time on lap 135.

Race resultsEdit

Box scoreEdit

Pos Grid No Driver Chassis Engine Laps Led Time/Status F1
Points
USAC
Points
1 13 9   Sam Hanks Salih Offenhauser 200 136 3:41:14.25 8 1000
2 32 26   Jim Rathmann Epperly Offenhauser 200 24 +21.46 71 800
3 15 1   Jimmy Bryan Kuzma R Offenhauser 200 0 +2:13.97 4 700
4 10 54   Paul Russo Kurtis 500F Novi SC 200 24 +2:56.86 3 600
5 12 73   Andy Linden Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 200 0 +3:14.27 2 500
6 5 6   Johnny Boyd Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 200 0 +4:35.27 400
7 28 48   Marshall Teague Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 200 0 +4:45.58 300
8 1 12   Pat O'Connor Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 200 7 +5:33.15 250
9 16 7   Bob Veith Phillips Offenhauser 200 0 +6:17.11 200
10 14 22   Gene Hartley Lesovsky Offenhauser 200 0 +7:10.12 150
11 19 19   Jack Turner Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 200 0 +7:56.07 100
12 11 10   Johnny Thomson Kuzma Offenhauser 199 5 +1 Lap 50
13 33 95   Bob Christie Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 197 0 +3 Laps
14 25 82   Chuck Weyant Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 196 0 +4 Laps
15 22 27   Tony Bettenhausen Kurtis 500F Novi SC 195 0 +5 Laps
16 17 18   Johnnie Parsons  W  Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 195 0 +5 Laps
17 21 3   Don Freeland Kurtis 500D Offenhauser 192 0 +8 Laps
18 6 5   Jimmy Reece Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 182 0 Throttle
19 27 92   Don Edmunds  R  Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 170 0 Spun Off
20 31 28   Johnnie Tolan Kuzma Offenhauser 138 0 Clutch
21 30 89   Al Herman Dunn Offenhauser 111 0 Accident
22 4 14   Fred Agabashian Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 107 0 Fuel Leak
23 2 88   Eddie Sachs  R  Kuzma Offenhauser 105 0 Fuel Leak
24 18 77   Mike Magill  R  Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 101 0 Accident
25 20 43   Eddie Johnson Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 93 0 Wheel Bearing
26 23 31   Bill Cheesbourg  R  Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 81 0 Fuel Leak
27 8 16   Al Keller Kurtis 500G Offenhauser 75 0 Accident
28 29 57   Jimmy Daywalt Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 53 0 Accident
29 7 83   Ed Elisian Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 51 0 Timing gear
30 24 8   Rodger Ward Lesovsky Offenhauser SC 27 0 Supercharger
31 3 52   Troy Ruttman  W  Watson Offenhauser 13 4 Oil leak
32 26 55   Eddie Russo Kurtis 500C Offenhauser 0 0 Accident
33 9 23   Elmer George  R  Kurtis 500B Offenhauser 0 0 Accident
Sources:[17][18]
Notes
  • ^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lead lap.
  •  R  = Indianapolis 500 rookie
  •  W  = Former Indianapolis 500 winner

Race notesEdit

  • Fastest Lead Lap: Jim Rathmann – 1:02.75
  • Sam Hanks was the only driver in the field using the British made Lodge Spark Plugs. The other 32 drivers all had the American Champion brand installed.[19]
  • Dick Rathmann qualified, but was mugged the night before the race. He was replaced in the car by Johnnie Parsons.[20]
  • First Indianapolis 500 starts for Eddie Sachs, Mike Magill, Bill Cheesbourg, and Elmer George.
  • Only Indianapolis 500 start for Don Edmunds.
  • Last Indianapolis 500 starts for Sam Hanks, Andy Linden, Marshall Teague, and Fred Agabashian.

BroadcastingEdit

RadioEdit

The race was carried live on the IMS Radio Network. Sid Collins served as chief announcer. The broadcast was carried by 302 affiliates, including Latin America. It reached 46 states and DC. The broadcast came on-air at 10:45 a.m. local time, fifteen minutes prior to the start of the race.[21] For the fifth years, the network featured announcers from the five major radio stations in Indianapolis (WISH, WIRE, WIBC, WFBM, and WISH). For 1957, the crew was expanded to eleven, with three new remote reporting locations. For the first time, there would be a reporter in each of the four turns, and a third pit reporter was added to help cover the recently lengthened pit lane. In addition, the booth announcers moved into the newly-constructed Master Control Tower along the frontstretch.[22]

Charlie Brockman conducted the winner's interview in victory lane.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pit reporters

Chief Announcer: Sid Collins
Driver Expert/garages: Floyd Davis
Statistician: Charlie Brockman

Turn 1: Bill Frosch
Turn 2: Bob Rhodes
Backstretch: Bernie Herman
Turn 3: Bob Minton
Turn 4: Jim Shelton

Luke Walton
Greg Smith
Gordon Graham
Charlie Brockman (victory lane)

Championship standings after the raceEdit

World Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
  1   Juan Manuel Fangio 17
  28 2   Sam Hanks 8
  27 3   Jim Rathmann 7
  2 4   Jean Behra 6
  2 5   Tony Brooks 6
Source:[23]
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included.

USAC National Championship Trail standingsEdit

Rank Driver Points Difference
1 Sam Hanks 1000 Leader
2 Jim Rathmann 800 -200
3 Jimmy Bryan 700 -300
4 Paul Russo 600 -400
5 Andy Linden 500 -500
6 Johnny Boyd 400 -600
7 Marshall Teague 300 -700
8 Pat O'Connor 250 -750
9 Bob Veith 200 -800
10 Gene Hartley 150 -850
11 Jack Turner 100 -900
12 Johnny Thomson 50 -950
Source:[24]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Campbell, Don G. (May 31, 1957). "170,000 Enjoy 'Near Perfect' 500-Mile Race". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  2. ^ "No More '500' Races for Hanks". The Milwaukee Sentinel. June 1, 1957. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Sam Hanks Puts $103,844 Prime Money in Bank". Times Daily. June 2, 1957. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  4. ^ "USAC Stock Car Results". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "Rain Damps Hopes For Time Trials". Star-News. May 24, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "Keith Andrews Dies In Crash At Indianapolis". St. Petersburg Times. May 16, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  7. ^ "Driver Killed Testing Car for 500-Mile Race". The Milwaukee Sentinel. May 16, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "Weather Threatens Indianapolis Race". The Windsor Daily Star. May 24, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "Pat O'Connor Wins Pole Positions In Time Trial". Park City Daily News. May 19, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Starters decided". The Leader-Post. May 27, 1957. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  11. ^ http://www.champcarstats.com/races/195701.htm
  12. ^ https://www.racing-reference.info/race/1957-01/UO
  13. ^ https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500/history/historical-stats/race-stats/starting-grids/1957
  14. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  15. ^ "1957 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  16. ^ http://www.champcarstats.com/races/195701.htm
  17. ^ https://www.racing-reference.info/race/1957-01/UO
  18. ^ http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1957.htm
  19. ^ Champion's Champions at 100 Miles an Hour Archived June 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Wheeling, dealing for final spot in Indy 500 is under way". St. Joseph Gazette. May 24, 1984. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  21. ^ Daugherty, Julia (May 30, 1957). "Speedway Net Show Will Dominate Fare". The Indianapolis Star. p. 11. Retrieved March 6, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. 
  22. ^ Brockman, Charles (May 30, 1957). "5 Radio Stations Broadcast '500'". The Indianapolis Star. p. 32. Retrieved March 6, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. 
  23. ^ "Indianapolis 1957 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  24. ^ https://www.racing-reference.info/race/1957-01/UO

External linksEdit


Previous race:
1957 Monaco Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1957 season
Next race:
1957 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
1956 Indianapolis 500
Pat Flaherty
1957 Indianapolis 500
Sam Hanks
Next race:
1958 Indianapolis 500
Jimmy Bryan
Preceded by
130.840 mph
(1954 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the Indianapolis 500 fastest average speed
135.601
mph
Succeeded by
135.875 mph
(1959 Indianapolis 500)