1930 Indianapolis 500

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18th Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body AAA
Date May 30, 1930
Winner Billy Arnold
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
Pre-race
Pace car Cord L-29
Pace car driver Wade Morton
Chronology
Previous Next
1929 1931

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[edit]

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.[1]

Time trials[edit]

Four-lap (10 mile) qualifying runs were utilized. Billy Arnold won the pole position.

Qualifying Results
Date Driver Lap 1
(mph)
Lap 2
(mph)
Lap 3
(mph)
Lap 4
(mph)
Average Speed
(mph)
5/24/1930 Billy Arnold 113.208 113.364 113.279 113.222 113.268

Results[edit]

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Status
1 1 4 United States Billy Arnold 113.268 1 200 198 Running
2 3 16 United States Shorty Cantlon (R) 109.810 3 200 0 Running
3 4 23 United States Louis Schneider 106.107 6 200 0 Running
4 2 1 United States Louis Meyer (W) 111.290 2 200 2 Running
5 22 6 United States Bill Cummings (R) 106.173 4 200 0 Running
6 33 24 United States Dave Evans 97.342 24 200 0 Running
7 8 15 United States Phil Shafer 102.279 13 200 0 Running
8 7 22 United States Russ Snowberger 104.577 11 200 0 Running
9 9 25 United States Leslie Allen (R) 101.919 14 200 0 Running
10 17 2 United States L. L. Corum (W) 94.130 29 200 0 Running
11 16 38 United States Claude Burton (R) 95.087 28 196 0 Flagged
12 30 42 Italy Letterio Cucinotta (R) 91.584 34 185 0 Flagged
13 15 41 United States Chet Miller (R) 97.360 23 161 0 Flagged
14 38 46 United States Harry Butcher (R) 87.003 38 127 0 Flagged
15 23 10 United States Mel Kenealy (R) 103.327 12 114 0 Valve
16 34 21 United States Zeke Meyer (R) 95.357 26 115 0 Rod
17 6 17 United States Ernie Triplett 105.618 9 125 0 Piston
18 13 35 United States J. C. McDonald (R) 98.953 21 112 0 Fuel tank leak
19 37 28 United States Roland Free (R) 89.639 37 69 0 Clutch
20 20 9 United States Tony Gulotta 100.033 18 79 0 Valve
21 11 33 United States Frank Farmer 100.615 17 69 0 Crash
22 35 44 United States Bill Denver (R) 90.650 35 41 0 Rod
23 26 34 United States Joe Huff (R) 101.178 15 48 0 Valve
24 25 3 United States Wilbur Shaw 106.135 5 54 0 Wrist pin
25 14 29 United States Joe Caccia (R) 97.606 22 43 0 Crash
26 10 36 United States Cy Marshall (R) 100.846 16 29 0 Crash T3
27 19 32 United States Charles Moran (R) 89.733 36 22 0 Crash T3
28 24 7 United States Jimmy Gleason 93.709 30 22 0 Timing gears
29 12 14 United States Lou Moore 99.867 20 23 0 Crash T3
30 31 12 United States Deacon Litz 105.755 8 22 0 Crash T3
31 32 8 United States Babe Stapp 104.950 10 18 0 Crash T3
32 18 39 United States Johnny Seymour 93.376 31 21 0 Crash T3
33 21 5 United States Peter DePaolo (W) 99.956 19 19 0 Crash T3
34 29 45 United States Marion Trexler (R) 92.978 32 19 0 Crash T3
35 27 19 United States Speed Gardner 95.585 25 14 0 Main bearing
36 28 26 Italy Baconin Borzacchini (R) 95.213 27 7 0 Magneto
37 36 48 United States Rick Decker 92.293 33 8 0 Oil tank
38 5 18 United States Chet Gardner (R) 105.811 7 1 0 Spun T1
[2]

Note: Cars not finishing were awarded positions in the order in which they left the track, regardless of lap count

Race details[edit]

  • First alternate: none[3]
  • For 1930, riding mechanics were required.[4] 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.[5] 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.

Chet Miller[edit]

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.[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The History of the 500 - WFNI/WIBC: Episode 10, 2013
  2. ^ "Indianapolis 500 1930". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  4. ^ Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics. 
  5. ^ "The Talk of Gasoline Alley" - 1070 WIBC: May 6, 2002
  6. ^ Davidson, Donald (2006). Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500. Autocourse. p. 70. 
  7. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 6, 2007


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