1920 Indianapolis 500

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8th Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body AAA
Date May 31, 1920
Winner Gaston Chevrolet
Winning Entrant William Small Company
Average speed 88.618 mph (142.617 km/h)
Pole position Ralph DePalma
Pole speed 99.150 mph (159.566 km/h)
Most laps led Joe Boyer (93)
Pre-race
Pace car Marmon 6 (Model 34)
Pace car driver Barney Oldfield
Chronology
Previous Next
1919 1921

The 8th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 31, 1920.

Ralph DePalma held a two lap lead when the car stalled on lap 187. His riding mechanic Pete DePaolo ran to the pits to get a can of gasoline, thinking they were out of fuel. DePalma was able to get the car rolling again, and the two rejoined the race. However, during the delay, the lead went to Gaston Chevrolet. Chevrolet himself ran out of fuel on lap 197, but he was able to coast to the pits and refuel. Chevrolet held on to win, but seven months later, he was fatally injured in a crash at Beverly Hills.

Chevrolet won the race without a single tire change, a remarkable feat at the time. Chevrolet was accompanied by riding mechanic John Bresnahan.

Time trials[edit]

Four-lap (10 mile) qualifying runs were introduced in 1920. Previously one-lap runs were used. Ralph De Palma won the pole position at 99.65 mph. None of his four laps matched the track record (104.78 mph) set the previous year.

Qualifying Results
Date Driver Lap 1
(mph)
Lap 2
(mph)
Lap 3
(mph)
Lap 4
(mph)
Average Speed
(mph)
5/26/1920 Ralph DePalma 98.1 99.4 99.5 99.95 99.65

Box score[edit]

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Status
1 6 4 Switzerland Gaston Chevrolet 91.550 8 200 14 Running
2 18 25 France René Thomas (W) 93.950 5 200 12 Running
3 11 10 United States Tommy Milton 90.200 11 200 0 Running
4 15 12 United States Jimmy Murphy (R) 88.700 13 200 0 Running
5 1 2 Italy Ralph DePalma (W) 99.150 1 200 79 Running
6 9 31 United States Eddie Hearne 88.050 15 200 0 Running
7 4 26 France Jean Chassagne 95.450 4 200 1 Running
8 19 28 United States Joe Thomas (R) 92.800 6 200 0 Running
9 23 33 United States Ralph Mulford 200 0 Running
10 17 15 Canada Pete Henderson 81.150 21 200 0 Running
11 14 32 United States John Boling (R) 81.850 20 199 0 Flagged
12 2 6 United States Joe Boyer 96.900 2 192 93 Crash T3
13 10 9 United States Ray Howard 84.600 18 150 0 Camshaft
14 12 29 United States Eddie O'Donnell 88.200 14 149 0 Oil line
15 21 16 France Jules Goux (W) 84.300 19 148 0 Engine trouble
16 13 34 United States Willie Haupt 85.480 16 146 0 Rod
17 8 7 United States Bennett Hill (R) 90.550 10 115 0 Crash T4
18 3 3 Switzerland Louis Chevrolet 96.300 3 94 0 Steering
19 20 18 United States Howdy Wilcox (W) 88.820 12 65 0 Engine trouble
20 7 5 United States Roscoe Sarles 90.750 9 58 0 Crash T4
21 5 8 United States Art Klein 92.700 7 40 1 Crash
22 22 19 Italy Jean Porporato 79.980 22 23 0 Ruled off
23 16 17 France André Boillot 85.400 17 16 0 Engine trouble
[1]

Race details[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1920". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics. 
  3. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004


1919 Indianapolis 500
Howdy Wilcox
1920 Indianapolis 500
Gaston Chevrolet
1921 Indianapolis 500
Tommy Milton