1935 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1935|
|Winning Entrant||Kelly Petillo|
|Average speed||106.240 mph (170.977 km/h)|
|Pole position||Rex Mays|
|Pole speed||120.736 mph (194.306 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Kelly Petillo (102)|
|Pace car||Ford V8|
|Pace car driver||Harry Mack|
The 23rd International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 30, 1935. Despite attempts to improve participant safety by requiring crash helmets and installing green and yellow lights around the track, the event that year would prove to be one of the worst in terms of fatalities.
Kelly Petillo won the race, accompanied by riding mechanic Jimmy Dunham.
Pre-race and qualifying
Ten-lap (25 mile) qualifying runs were utilized.
On May 21, nine days before the race, three prospective participants lost their lives. Rookie Johnny Hannon, on just his first lap at racing speed, had his car go over the outside retaining wall and was killed from a fractured skull. Later that day, driver Hartford "Stubby" Stubblefield also had his car go over the outside wall, and both he and his riding mechanic Leo Whittaker died from injuries they received being thrown from the vehicle. Kelly Petillo, the eventual winner, had his own difficulties getting into the field. His initial qualifying run (a record-breaking 121.687 miles per hour (195.836 km/h) was voided when his car was ruled to have exceeded the fuel limit. Returning to the track, he had an engine blow, before finally having a qualifying run of 115.095 that placed him 22nd in the field.
|Sat 5/18/1935||Rex Mays||121.310||121.425||121.819||120.773||121.212||121.359||120.208||119.936||119.506||119.856||120.736|
Driver Clay Weatherly would beg Leon Duray, the owner of Hannon's crashed car, to allow him to drive it in the race. The car would prove no luckier for Weatherly, who would be killed when the car hit the outer wall on lap nine. Rex Mays would lead most of the first 300 miles (480 km) before being forced out with mechanical failure. Petillo had climbed to second, and after Mays' departure led most of the remainder other than briefly following a pit stop. Petillo easily broke the record for the fastest average speed (106.240 mph) despite being slowed somewhat by rain near the end of the race. Petillo received approximately $33,000 in winnings for the race.
The driver deaths in 1935 caused the Speedway to develop a program to test rookie drivers which was instituted in 1936. Adjustments were also made to the configuration of the turns. Petillo would race in five more 500s, never again finishing higher than 18th. Six of the thirty-three drivers who started the race would end up having their lives ended in accidents at the Indy Speedway.
|13||16||15||Cliff Bergere||114.162||23||196||0||Out of gas|
|17||1||33||Rex Mays||120.736||1||123||89||Spring shackle|
|23||24||41||Frank Brisko||113.307||26||79||0||Universal joint|
|24||27||42||Johnny Seymour||112.696||28||71||0||Grease leak|
|27||11||3||Russ Snowberger||114.209||21||59||0||Exhaust pipe|
|30||2||6||Al Gordon||119.481||2||17||0||Crash T4|
|32||25||45||Clay Weatherly ✝||115.902||10||9||0||Died in crash at T4|
- Fatalities – May 1935, indymotorspeedway.com
- Three Auto Racers Killed, One Injured, In Memorial Day Trials at Indianapolis Associated Press, May 22, 1935, as seen on page 1 of the New York Times
- Reed, Terry Indy. The Race and Ritual of the Indianapolis 500. Potomac Books 2005. ISBN 1-57488-907-9.
- 155,000 See Petillo Capture Indianapolis Auto Race; One Driver Is Killed. Associated Press, May 31, 1935, as seen on sports page 19 of the New York Times
- "Indianapolis 500 1935". 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.
|1934 Indianapolis 500
|1935 Indianapolis 500
|1936 Indianapolis 500