1947 Indianapolis 500

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31st Indianapolis 500
Indy500WinningCar19471948.JPG
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body AAA
Date May 30, 1947
Winner Mauri Rose
Winning Entrant Lou Moore
Average speed 116.338 mph (187.228 km/h)
Pole position Ted Horn
Pole speed 126.564 mph (203.685 km/h)
Most laps led Bill Holland (143)
Pre-race
Pace car Nash Ambassador
Pace car driver George W. Mason
Chronology
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1946 1948

The 1947 International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was the 31st running of the Indianapolis 500. It was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1947. The 1946 winner, George Robson, had been killed in the meantime.

Late in the race, Lou Moore teammates Bill Holland and Mauri Rose were running 1st and 2nd. The pit crew displayed a confusing chalkboard sign with the letters "EZY" to Holland, presumably meaning for him to take the final laps at a reduced pace to safely make it to the finish. Mauri Rose ignored the board, and charged to catch up to Holland. Holland believed he held a lap lead over Rose, and allowed him to catch up. The two drivers waved as Rose passed Holland, with Holland believing it was not more than a congratulatory gesture.

In reality, the pass Rose made was for the lead, and he led the final 8 laps to take the controversial victory. The race was marred by a 41st lap crash that claimed the life of Shorty Cantlon.

Time trials & ASPAR boycott[edit]

Time trials was scheduled for five days. The minimum speed to qualify was set at 115 mph. In the months leading up to the race, several top drivers that were members of a union, the American Society of Professional Auto Racing (ASPAR), threatened to boycott the race over the purse size.[1] The AAA Contest Board refused to heed their demands, and when the entry list was closed on May 8, many of the top drivers, particularly several popular west coast drivers, were not on the list. A total of 35 cars were entered, but at least nine had no driver listed, and 13 of the entries were inexperienced novice drivers. After the practice began for the month, officials decreed that the boycotting drivers would not be allowed late entry. After several weeks of dispute, an agreement was made for the ASPAR drivers to participate mid-way through the month.[2]

  • Saturday May 17 - Pole Day
    • Rain, and the holdout of several ASPAR drivers, meant only seven cars completed qualifying runs. Ted Horn claimed the pole position with a speed of 126.564 mph.
  • Sunday May 18
    • Three cars qualified, bringing the field to 10 cars.[3]
  • Saturday May 24
  • Sunday May 25
  • Wednesday May 28
    • The final day of qualifying closed with 28 cars in the field.

When qualifying closed at 6 p.m. on Wednesday May 28, the field had only been filled to 28 cars.[4] Duke Dinsmore was the final qualifier, completing his run amidst some scoring confusion by the officials, just as the time had run out.[5] Race officials initially stressed that Wednesday would be the final day available to qualify. However, a day later, they re-opened qualifying for one hour late on Thursday May 29 in an effort to fill the field. Mel Hansen and Emil Andres were the only two cars to complete attempts, and after approval by the other entries, were added to the grid to bring the field to 30 cars.[6]

The heartbreak story of the day belonged to driver Billy Devore. After failing to make the field on Wednesday, the Bill Schoof crew worked diligently to make repairs to their car, hoping that officials would re-open qualifying. When word was announced that additional time trials would be held Thursday, the crew scrambled to get the car prepared. Late in the evening, with about 20 minutes left until closing, the crew drove the race car from their garage about six miles away to the track with a police escort. When they arrived at the gate at 6:58 p.m., however, officials closed time trials, and DeVore was not permitted to qualify. [7]

Results[edit]

Finish Start No Name Qual Rank Laps Led Status
1 3 27 United States Mauri Rose 120.040 20 200 34 Running
2 8 16 United States Bill Holland (R) 128.755 1 200 143 Running
3 1 1 United States Ted Horn 126.564 3 200 0 Running
4 4 54 United States Herb Ardinger 120.733 19 200 0 Running
5 10 7 United States Jimmy Jackson 122.266 11 200 0 Running
6 20 9 United States Rex Mays 124.412 7 200 0 Running
7 14 33 United States Walt Brown (R) 118.355 25 200 0 Running
8 28 34 United States Cy Marshall 115.644 30 197 0 Flagged
9 23 41 United States Fred Agabashian (R) 121.478 13 191 0 Flagged
10 27 10 United States Duke Dinsmore 119.840 22 167 0 Flagged
11 7 58 United States Les Anderson (R) 118.425 24 131 0 Flagged
12 17 59 United States Pete Romcevich (R) 117.218 28 168 0 Oil line
13 30 3 United States Emil Andres 116.781 29 150 0 Magneto
14 15 31 United States Frank Wearne 117.716 26 128 0 Spun T3
15 9 47 United States Ken Fowler 123.423 9 121 0 Axle
16 18 46 United States Duke Nalon 128.082 2 119 0 Piston
17 12 28 United States Roland Free 119.526 23 87 0 Spun
18 25 29 United States Tony Bettenhausen 120.980 17 79 0 Timing gear
19 6 25 United States Russ Snowberger 121.331 15 74 0 Oil pump
20 16 52 Canada Hal Robson 122.096 12 67 0 Universal joint
21 2 18 United States Cliff Bergere 124.957 4 62 23 Piston
22 22 8 United States Joie Chitwood 123.157 10 51 0 Gears
23 5 24 United States Shorty Cantlon 121.462 14 40 0 Died in crash at T1
24 26 43 United States Henry Banks 120.923 18 36 0 Oil line
25 19 66 United States Al Miller 124.848 6 33 0 Magneto
26 13 14 United States George Connor 124.874 5 32 0 Fuel leak
27 29 38 United States Mel Hansen 117.298 27 32 0 Pushed
28 21 15 United States Paul Russo 123.967 8 24 0 Crash FS
29 24 44 Belgium Charles Van Acker (R) 121.049 16 24 0 Crash FS
30 11 53 United States Milt Fankhouser (R) 119.932 21 2 0 Stalled
[8]

Broadcasting[edit]

Radio[edit]

The race was carried live on the Mutual Broadcasting System, the precursor to the IMS Radio Network. The broadcast was sponsored by Perfect Circle Piston Rings and Bill Slater served as the anchor. The broadcast feature live coverage of the start, the finish, and live updates throughout the race.

Barry Lake served as "roving reporter," stationed on an Army Jeep. Larry Richardson was stationed in the new Press Paddock (constructed underneath the Paddock Penthouse upper deck) on the outside of the mainstretch, relaying scoring and official information.

Mutual Broadcasting System
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pits/roving reporters

Announcer: Bill Slater
Analyst: Gene Kelly
Press Paddock: Larry Richardson

South turns: Mike Dunn
Mainstretch: Gordon Graham
North turns: Jim Shelton

Norman Perry
Barry Lake

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Works cited[edit]

  • 1947 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Mutual: Re-broadcast on "The All-Night Race Party" - WIBC-AM (May 29, 2004)

References[edit]


1946 Indianapolis 500
George Robson
1947 Indianapolis 500
Mauri Rose
1948 Indianapolis 500
Mauri Rose