1933 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1933|
|Average speed||104.162 mph (167.632 km/h)|
|Pole position||Bill Cummings|
|Pole speed||118.530 mph (190.756 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Louis Meyer (71)|
|Pace car||Chrysler Imperial|
|Pace car driver||Byron Foy|
The 21st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30, 1933. Louis Meyer defeated Wilbur Shaw by a time of 401.89 seconds (6.69 minutes). The average speed of the race was 104.162 miles per hour (167.632 km/h) while Bill Cummings achieved the pole position with a speed of 118.521 miles per hour (190.741 km/h).
Meyer was accompanied by riding mechanic Lawson Harris.
Time trials 
Ten-lap (25 mile) qualifying runs were utilized.
|12||18||47||L. L. Corum||110.465||29||200||0||Running|
|18||39||51||Doc MacKenzie||108.073||40||192||0||Rear axle|
|19||25||27||Kelly Petillo||113.037||18||168||0||Spun & stalled|
|23||29||45||Babe Stapp||116.626||9||156||60||Out of gas|
|24||26||32||Wesley Crawford||109.862||33||147||0||Crash T1|
|26||7||15||Lester Spangler ✝||116.903||8||132||0||Died in crash at T1|
|27||35||65||Freddy Winnai||111.018||26||125||0||Engine trouble|
|28||30||57||Malcolm Fox||112.922||19||121||0||Crash T1|
|30||22||64||Mark Billman ✝||112.410||21||0||0||Died in crash at T2|
|32||11||2||Peter Kreis||114.370||14||63||0||Universal joint|
|35||42||3||Mauri Rose||117.649||6||48||0||Timing gears|
|36||2||58||Frank Brisko||118.388||2||47||0||Oil too hot|
|38||41||23||Ralph Hepburn||110.001||32||33||0||Rod bearing|
|39||37||59||Ray Campbell||108.650||37||24||0||Oil leak|
|40||33||24||Paul Bost||111.330||24||13||0||Oil line|
- First alternate: Sam Palmer
- Howdy Wilcox II had qualified for the race, but officials disqualified him from the field when the learned that he had diabetes. On race day, he was replaced in the car by Mauri Rose.
Race details 
"Will Overhead" 
In 1933, one of the more famous bits of Indy 500 nostalgia occurred. Telegraph was still being used to transmit race information to newspapers and other outlets across the United States. George Zanaon, a typesetter for the World Independent newspaper in the town of Walsenburg, Colorado was preparing a story for that day's Indianapolis 500. Since Memorial Day was a holiday, the young reporter was alone monitoring the Associated Press wire for race updates. The race took several hours to complete, and the AP wire was shut down prior to the finish. The reporter had nearly the entire story ready for print, minus the winner of the race. A helpful AP editor in Denver advised him that he would send the name of the winner via Western Union telegraph.
The telegraph Zanaon received, in typical newspaper shorthand lingo was: "WILL OVERHEAD WINNER OF INDIANAPOLIS 500," meaning that he would send the information by telegraph when the information was available. The young reporter misunderstood the message, and reported that a driver named Will Overhead was the winner. The headline read "Will Overhead won the Indianapolis Memorial Day race today. At the two hundred fifty mile post Babe Stapp was leading the string of racing cars, but gave way to Overhead on then last half of the 500 mile grind." The true winner was Louis Meyer. The gaffe put the town of Walsenburg, and the World Independent newspaper, on the map in racing circles.
- "Indianapolis 500 1933". 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
- "Wheeling, dealing for final spot in Indy 500 is under way". St. Joseph Gazette. 1984-05-24. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
|1932 Indianapolis 500
|1933 Indianapolis 500
|1934 Indianapolis 500