1930 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1930|
|Winning Entrant||Harry Hartz|
|Average speed||100.448 mph (161.655 km/h)|
|Pole position||Billy Arnold|
|Pole speed||113.268 mph (182.287 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Arnold (198*)
*All time race record
|Pace car||Cord L-29|
|Pace car driver||Wade Morton|
The 18th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1930.
Pole position winner Billy Arnold took the lead on lap 3, and led the entire rest of the race. He led a total of 198 laps (all consecutive), which stands as an all-time Indianapolis 500 race record. Arnold was accompanied by riding mechanic Spider Matlock.
Arnold was the first driver to complete the entire 500 miles in under five hours (over 100 mph average speed) without relief help. Pete DePaolo finished the 1925 race in under five hours, but used a relief driver for 21 laps. Arnold would eventually be named the first member of the prestigious 100 mph Club.
The race was marred by the death of Paul Marshall. He was acting as riding mechanic for his brother Cy when their car hit and flipped over the wall. His brother survived with serious injuries.
Rules changes and the "Junk" formula
The 1930 race ushered in a series of substantially new engine rules and specifications. The allotted displacement was increased from 91.5 cu in (1.5 L) to 366 cu in (6.0 L). Superchargers were banned with the exception of two-cycle engines, and riding mechanics were made mandatory once again. In addition, the traditional mandate of a maximum 33-car field was lifted.
Contrary to popular belief, the rules changes were not made in response to the stock market crash of 1929. The rules package is sometimes referred to disparagingly as the "Junk Formula" or the "Junkyard," and a common misconception is that it was implemented in order to "dumb down" the cars and maintain full fields during the Great Depression.
Speedway president Eddie Rickenbacker had decided to make the changes in order to lure back the passenger car manufacturers, and make the cars on the track resemble more those sold to the motoring public. Rickenbacker's desire was to move away from the supercharged, specialized racing machines that had taken over the Speedway through the 1920s. The rule changes were in fact being laid out as early as 1928, and were approved by the AAA Contest Board in early January 1929.
Four-lap (10 mile) qualifying runs were utilized. Billy Arnold won the pole position.
|2||3||16||Shorty Cantlon (R)||109.810||3||200||0||Running|
|4||2||1||Louis Meyer (W)||111.290||2||200||2||Running|
|5||22||6||Bill Cummings (R)||106.173||4||200||0||Running|
|9||9||25||Leslie Allen (R)||101.919||14||200||0||Running|
|10||17||2||L. L. Corum (W)||94.130||29||200||0||Running|
|11||16||38||Claude Burton (R)||95.087||28||196||0||Flagged|
|12||30||42||Letterio Cucinotta (R)||91.584||34||185||0||Flagged|
|13||15||41||Chet Miller (R)||97.360||23||161||0||Flagged|
|14||38||46||Harry Butcher (R)||87.003||38||127||0||Flagged|
|15||23||10||Mel Kenealy (R)||103.327||12||114||0||Valve|
|16||34||21||Zeke Meyer (R)||95.357||26||115||0||Rod|
|18||13||35||J. C. McDonald (R)||98.953||21||112||0||Fuel tank leak|
|19||37||28||Roland Free (R)||89.639||37||69||0||Clutch|
|22||35||44||Bill Denver (R)||90.650||35||41||0||Rod|
|23||26||34||Joe Huff (R)||101.178||15||48||0||Valve|
|24||25||3||Wilbur Shaw||106.135||5||54||0||Wrist pin|
|25||14||29||Joe Caccia (R)||97.606||22||43||0||Crash|
|26||10||36||Cy Marshall (R)||100.846||16||29||0||Crash T3|
|27||19||32||Charles Moran (R)||89.733||36||22||0||Crash T3|
|28||24||7||Jimmy Gleason||93.709||30||22||0||Timing gears|
|29||12||14||Lou Moore||99.867||20||23||0||Crash T3|
|30||31||12||Deacon Litz||105.755||8||22||0||Crash T3|
|31||32||8||Babe Stapp||104.950||10||18||0||Crash T3|
|32||18||39||Johnny Seymour||93.376||31||21||0||Crash T3|
|33||21||5||Peter DePaolo (W)||99.956||19||19||0||Crash T3|
|34||29||45||Marion Trexler (R)||92.978||32||19||0||Crash T3|
|35||27||19||Speed Gardner||95.585||25||14||0||Main bearing|
|36||28||26||Baconin Borzacchini (R)||95.213||27||7||0||Magneto|
|37||36||48||Rick Decker||92.293||33||8||0||Oil tank|
|38||5||18||Chet Gardner (R)||105.811||7||1||0||Spun T1|
Note: Cars not finishing were awarded positions in the order in which they left the track, regardless of lap count
- First alternate: none
- For 1930, riding mechanics were required. It was the first time since 1922 that riding mechanics were mandatory.
- This was the first Indy 500 to utilize the green flag to signify the start of the race. Previous years had used the red flag, before the development of standard uniform traffic guidelines and protocol as defined by the MUTCD and AASHTO.
- This was the first 500 after the stock market crash of 1929, and the first to be held under the Great Depression.
One of the most famous nostalgic stories of Indianapolis 500 lore occurred with driver Chet Miller during the 1930 race. Just short of the mid-way point, Miller was in for a pit stop in his Fronty-Ford. The car, which was made up mostly of Model T parts, was discovered to have a broken right front spring. Race officials would not let Miller return to the track until repairs were made, so the crew began a search for suitable replacement parts.
Within a short time, the crew spotted an unattended Model T, that ostensibly belonged to a spectator, parked nearby in the infield. With the owner nowhere in sight, the crew proceeded to remove the spring they needed, and subsequently installed it on Miller's race car sitting in the pit area. After a stop of over 41 minutes, Miller was back out on the track with the borrowed spring, and drove to a 13th place finish.
Following the race, with the vehicle's owner still not located, the crew went back to the infield and re-installed the spring on the unknown spectator's Model T. It is believed that the owner of the car was never aware of the entire situation.
- The History of the 500 - WFNI/WIBC: Episode 10, 2013
- "Indianapolis 500 1930". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
- Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
- "The Talk of Gasoline Alley" - 1070 WIBC: May 6, 2002
- Davidson, Donald (2006). Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500. Autocourse. p. 70.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 6, 2007
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1931 Indianapolis 500