1913 Indianapolis 500

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The race

The 1913 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, or International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race, the third such race in history, was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1913.

Race Summary[edit]

After the entries in the first two years of the Indianapolis 500 had been almost exclusively American, 1913 saw six drivers travel to the United States from Europe to enter, likely attracted by the $20,000 first prize. 27 cars would meet the 75 mile per hour qualifying speed, led by Jack Tower at 88.230 mph.[1] The starting grid was determined by a random draw of names, and Caleb Bragg would be given the pole.

Tower's car turned over on the southwest turn on lap 51, causing him to sustain a broken leg and his riding mechanic, Lee Dunning, to break three ribs.[2] Bob Burman started the race as the favorite, and led 41 laps early, before his car caught fire on lap 55. Burman was able to repair his car and continue, however continuing problems led to several more stops and a replacement driver, who brought the car home in eleventh (unfortunately only the top ten finishers received prize money).[3]

French-born Jules Goux, driving a car owned and manufactured by Peugot where his father was the factory Supervisor, would lead the race on four occasions. Bob Evans dueled with Goux, leading laps 125-135,[4] but would be forced out of the race on lap 158 due to a mechanical problem. Goux would dominate the remainder of the race, leading 138 laps en route to a victory of a more than 13 minute margin, making him the first non-American winner of the 500. The car contained a four-cylinder dual overhead camshaft engine, which would serve as a model for many future entries.[5] Urban legends claim that Goux consumed "six bottles of champagne" en route to victory. However, that claim is believed to be exaggerated. Instead, during Goux's six pit stops, only four bottles (each 4/5 pint) were shared between himself and his riding mechanic Emil Begin, with each taking some sips, but likely not enough to become intoxicated. Other swigs were spit out using the champagne as a mouthwash.[6] Goux would state after the race that his manager forced him stay below the car's top speed, feeling the lead was safe.[2] Spencer Wishart was the top finishing American in second, while two of the other European cars would finish fourth and fifth.

Rules at the time required the top ten drivers to finish the full 500 miles to receive prize money. This led to an interesting site for spectators who remained after Goux's finish. Charlie Merz, in contention for second place, would have his car catch fire towards the end of lap 199. Merz, not wishing to surrender the prize money, drove the final lap on fire, while Harry Martin, his riding mechanic, crawled out on top of the hood of the still moving car to beat at the flames and release the straps the held the engine cover to allow the fire to be extinguished faster. Merz finished third. Martin would unfortunately be killed while helping test a car on the speedway less than two months later.[7]

Official results[edit]

Qualification results[edit]

Entries required to complete one lap in excess of 75 mph (120.7 km/h) to qualify, but starting grid determined by blind draw from a hat the night preceding the race.
Driver Far Inside Inside Center Outside Center Far Outside
Time (mph) (km/h)
Row 1 United States Caleb Bragg France Albert Guyot (R) United States Billy Liesaw United States Robert Evans (R)
0:01:43.05 87.34 140.56 0:01:51.46 80.75 129.95 0:01:55.36 78.02 125.56 0:01:49.74 82.01 131.98
Row 2 United States Don Herr (R) United States Harry Grant France Jules Goux (R) United States Teddy Tetzlaff
0:01:48.64 82.84 133.32 0:01:58.48 75.96 122.25 0:01:44.62 86.03 138.45 0:01:52.14 80.26 129.17
Row 3 United States Bill Endicott United States Harry Endicott United States Billy Knipper ItalyRalph DePalma
0:01:45.02 85.70 137.92 0:01:57.88 76.35 122.87 0:01:52.14 80.26 129.17 0:01:57.96 76.30 122.79
Row 4 Belgium Theodore Pilette (R) Norway Gil Andersen United States Willie Haupt (R) United States Charlie Merz
0:01:59.17 75.52 121.54 0:01:48.92 82.63 132.98 0:01:51.49 80.72 129.91 0:01:46.56 84.46 135.93
Row 5 United States Johnny Jenkins Italy Vincenzo Trucco (R) United States Spencer Wishart United States Howdy Wilcox
0:01:48.643 82.84 133.32 0:01:49.84 81.94 131.87 0:01:49.77 81.99 131.95 0:01:50.48 81.46 131.10
Row 6 United States Bob Burman United States Ralph Mulford United States Louis Disbrow United States Joe Nikrent (R)
0:01:46.93 84.17 135.46 0:01:51.40 80.79 130.02 0:01:48.75 82.76 133.19 0:01:54.08 78.89 126.96
Row 7 United States Jack Tower Italy Paul Zuccarelli (R) United States George Clark (R)  
0:01:41.93 88.23 141.99 0:01:44.86 85.83 138.13 0:01:58.56 75.91 122.17

Race results[edit]

Race finishing times recorded down to one-twentieth-second intervals.
All entries still running at conclusion scored ahead of non-finishing entries, regardless of race completion percentage.
Position colors reflect the American formula motorsports standard for finishing positions.
Pos No Driver Car Entrant Chassis Engine Cyl Displ
(in³)
(L)
Color Qual
Speed
(mph)
(km/h)
Rank Start
Pos
Laps
Led
Laps
Run
Time Speed
(mph)
(km/h)
Status Prize
Money
($)
1 16 France Jules Goux (R) Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot 4 448
7.34
blue / white 86.03
138.45
3 7 138 200 6:35:05.00 75.933
122.202
finished 21,165
2 22 United States Spencer Wishart Mercer Mercer Automobile Company Mercer Mercer 4 300
4.92
yellow 81.99
131.95
13 19 0 200 6:48:13.40
+0:13:08.40
73.489
118.269
finished 10,165
3 2 United States Charlie Merz Stutz Ideal Motor Car Company Stutz Wisconsin 4 400
6.55
white / red 84.46
135.93
6 16 0 200 6:48:49.25
+0:13:44.25
73.382
118.097
finished 5,165
4 9 France Albert Guyot (R) Sunbeam Sunbeam Motor Car Company Sunbeam Sunbeam 6 368
6.03
gray 80.75
129.95
18 2 0 200 7:02:58.95
+0:27:53.95
70.925
114.143
finished 3,500
5 23 Belgium Theodore Pilette (R) Mercedes-Knight E.C. Patterson Mercedes Knight 4 251
4.11
gray / white 75.52
129.66
27 13 0 200 7:20:13.00
+0:45:08.00
68.148
109.674
finished 3,000
6 12 United States Howdy Wilcox Gray Fox Frank Fox Pope-Hartford Pope-Hartford 4 390
6.39
gray 81.46
131.10
15 20 0 200 7:23:26.55
+0:48:21.55
67.653
108.877
finished 2,200
7 29 United States Ralph Mulford Mercedes E. J. Schroeder Mercedes Mercedes 4 449
7.36
gray 80.79
130.02
17 22 0 200 7:28:05.50
+0:53:00.50
66.951
107.747
finished 1,800
8 31 United States Louis Disbrow Case J. I. Case T. M. Company Case Case 4 449
7.36
gray / red 82.76
133.19
10 23 0 200 7:29:09.00
+0:54:04.00
66.793
107.493
finished 1,600
9 35 United States Willie Haupt (R) Mason Mason Motor Company Duesenberg Duesenberg 4 350
5.74
dark tan 80.72
129.91
19 15 0 200 7:52:35.10
+1:17:30.10
63.481
102.163
finished 1,500
10 25 United States George Clark (R) Tulsa Tulsa Auto Manufacturing Company Tulsa Wisconsin 4 340
5.57
red / black 75.91
122.17
26 27 0 200 7:56:14.25
+1:21:09.25
62.994
101.299
finished 1,400
11 4 United States Bob Burman Keeton Keeton Motor Company Keeton Wisconsin 4 449
7.36
green / white 84.17
135.46
7 21 41 flagged flagged flagged,
still running
0
12 3 Norway Gil Andersen Stutz Ideal Motor Car Company Stutz Wisconsin 4 400
6.55
white / red 82.63
132.98
11 14 18 187 did not finish camshaft gears 0
13 5 United States Robert Evans (R) Mason Mason Motor Company Duesenberg Duesenberg 4 350
5.74
dark tan 82.01
131.98
12 4 2 158 did not finish clutch 0
14 17 United States Billy Liesaw Anel Will Tompson Buick Buick 4 318
5.21
orange / black 78.02
125.56
22 3 0 148 did not finish loose rods 0
15 19 United States Caleb Bragg Mercer Mercer Automobile Company Mercer Mercer 4 424
6.95
yellow 87.34
140.56
2 1 1 128 did not finish pump shaft 0
16 10 United States Billy Knipper Henderson Henderson Motor Car Company Knipper Duesenberg 4 350
5.74
azure blue 80.26
129.17
20 11 0 125 did not finish clutch 0
17 27 United States Teddy Tetzlaff Isotta Isotta Isotta Isotta 4 444
7.28
red / green 81.30
130.84
16 8 0 118 did not finish drive train 0
18 32 United States Joe Nikrent (R) Case J. I. Case T. M. Company Case Case 4 449
7.36
gray / red 78.89
126.96
21 24 0 67 did not finish burned bearing 0
19 6 United States Jack Tower Mason Mason Motor Company Duesenberg Duesenberg 4 350
5.74
dark tan 88.23
141.99
1 25 0 51 did not finish accident,
first turn
0
20 28 Italy Vincenzo Trucco (R) Isotta Isotta Isotta Isotta 4 444
4.28
red / green 81.94
131.87
14 18 0 39 did not finish loose gas tank 0
21 1 United States Harry Endicott Nyberg Nyberg Auto Company Nyberg Nyberg 6 377
6.18
red 76.35
122.87
23 10 0 23 did not finish transmission 0
22 45* Italy Paul Zuccarelli (R) Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot 4 448
7.34
blue / white 85.83
138.13
4 26 0 18 did not finish main bearing 0
23 21 ItalyRalph DePalma Mercer Mercer Automobile Company Mercer Mercer 4 340
5.57
yellow 76.30
122.79
24 12 0 15 did not finish burned bearing 0
24 26 United States Harry Grant Isotta Isotta Isotta Isotta 4 444
4.28
red / green 75.96
122.25
25 6 0 14 did not finish gas tank 0
25 18 United States Johnny Jenkins Schacht Schacht Motor Car Company Schacht Schacht 4 299
4.90
red / white 82.84
133.32
9 17 0 13 did not finish crankshaft 0
26 8 United States Don Herr (R) Stutz Ideal Motor Car Company Stutz Wisconsin 4 400
6.55
white / red 82.84
133.32
8 5 0 7 did not finish clutch shaft 0
27 33 United States Bill Endicott Case J. I. Case T. M. Co. Case Case 6 448
7.34
gray / red 85.70
137.92
5 9 0 1 did not finish drive shaft 0
* Several sources claim Zuccarelli's entry to have carried the numerical designation #15. Photographs taken of entries qualified for the 1913 race, however, exhibit #45 prominently displayed on the Peugeot's front-facing engine grill.
De Palma is usually shown as American, but his application for a US passport (available at [1]) reveals that he did not become a US citizen until 1920

Race details[edit]

For 1913, riding mechanics were required.[8]

Notes[edit]

Works cited[edit]

  • Indianapolis 500 Chronicle, 1999, Rick Pope
  • 2006 Indianapolis 500 Official Program

References[edit]

  1. ^ Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid - 1913 Official site of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  2. ^ a b PEUGEOT CAR WINS $50,000 AUTO RACE; France Defeats America on Indianapolis Speedway - Mercer Finishes Second New York Times, May 30th, 1913
  3. ^ Jules Goux, A Frenchman, wins big Automobile race The Lewiston Daily Sun, May 31st 1913.
  4. ^ Official Box Score 3rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,Friday, May 30, 1913 Official siteof the Indianapolis Motoer Sppedway
  5. ^ Ralph Kramer (4 November 2010). The Indianapolis 500: A Century of Excitement. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-1-4402-1758-6. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  6. ^ The History of the 500 - WFNI/WIBC: Episode 10, 2013
  7. ^ DEATH COST OF FAILURE TO OBEY Indianapolis Star, July 27th, 1913. Provided by firstsuperspeedway.com
  8. ^ Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics. 


1912 Indianapolis 500
Joe Dawson
1913 Indianapolis 500
Jules Goux
1914 Indianapolis 500
René Thomas