1951 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Sanctioning body||AAA / World Championship|
|Date||May 30, 1951|
|Winning Entrant||Murrell Belanger|
|Average speed||126.244 mph (203.170 km/h)|
|Pole position||Duke Nalon|
|Pole speed||136.498 mph (219.672 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Lee Wallard (159)|
|Pace car||Chrysler New Yorker|
|Pace car driver||David A. Wallace|
The 35th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 30, 1951. The event was part of the 1951 AAA National Championship Trail, and was included in the 1951 World Drivers Championship.
For the second year in a row, again no European Formula One-based teams enter the race.
Duke Nalon, who had suffered serious burns in a crash in 1949, and who missed the 1950 race, made a comeback at Indy by winning the pole position in a Novi.
Heavy attrition saw only eight cars running finish. Winner Lee Wallard's car lost its brakes, suffered a damaged exhaust pipe, and broke a shock absorber mounting. In addition to the unbearably uncomfortable ride, Wallard had worn a fire retardant outfit, created by dipping his uniform in a mixture of borax crystals and water. Due to not wearing an undershirt, Wallard suffered serious chaffing, and required treatment at the infield hospital after the victory lane celebration. It was estimated he lost 15 pounds during the race.
Wallard's winning car had the smallest displacement in the field. About a week after winning the race, Wallard suffered severe burns in a crash at Reading, which effectively ended his professional racing career.
Three-time winner Mauri Rose, in his 15th Indy start, crashed and flipped on lap 126. It was his final 500, as he retired from driving after the crash.
Time trials was scheduled for six days. Rain, however, pushed qualifying into a seventh day.
- Saturday May 12 – Pole Day time trials
- Sunday May 13 – Second day time trials
- Saturday May 19 – Third day time trials
- Sunday May 20 – Fourth day time trials
- Saturday May 26 – Fifth day time trials
- Sunday May 27 – Sixth day time trials (rained out)
- Monday May 28 – Seventh day time trials (rain makeup day)
|1||2||99||Lee Wallard||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.03||5||200||159||3:57:38.05||9|
|2||7||83||Mike Nazaruk||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||132.18||26||200||0||+ 1:47.24||6|
|3||3||9|| Jack McGrath (Laps 1-100)
Manny Ayulo (Laps 101-200)
|Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.3||8||200||11||+ 2:51.39||2
|4||31||57||Andy Linden||Sherman-Offenhauser||132.22||25||200||0||+ 4:40.12||3|
|5||29||52||Bobby Ball||Schroeder-Offenhauser||134.09||9||200||0||+ 4:52.23||2|
|6||17||1||Henry Banks||Moore-Offenhauser||133.89||12||200||0||+ 5:40.02|
|7||24||68||Carl Forberg||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||132.89||22||193||0||+ 7 Laps|
|8||4||27||Duane Carter||Deidt-Offenhauser||133.74||15||180||0||+ 20 Laps|
|9||9||5||Tony Bettenhausen||Deidt-Offenhauser||131.95||29||178||0||Spun Off|
|10||1||18||Duke Nalon||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||136.49||2||151||0||Retirement|
|11||22||69||Gene Force||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.1||20||142||0||Engine|
|12||12||25||Sam Hanks||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||132.99||21||135||0||Engine|
|13||16||10||Bill Schindler||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.03||11||129||0||Engine|
|17||11||59||Fred Agabashian||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.02||6||109||0||Clutch|
|18||15||73||Carl Scarborough||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.61||4||93||0||Fire|
|21||8||3||Johnnie Parsons||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||132.15||27||87||0||Magneto|
|22||10||4||Cecil Green||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||131.89||31||80||5||Engine|
|23||6||98||Troy Ruttman||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||132.31||24||78||0||Engine|
|25||28||32||Chet Miller||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||135.79||3||56||0||Ignition|
|26||13||44||Walt Brown||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||131.9||30||55||0||Magneto|
|27||25||48||Rodger Ward||Bromme-Offenhauser||134.86||7||34||0||Oil Pipe|
|28||18||23||Cliff Griffith||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.83||13||30||0||Axle|
|29||20||81||Bill Vukovich||Trevis-Offenhauser||133.72||16||29||0||Oil leak|
|32||26||12||Johnny McDowell||Maserati-Offenhauser||132.47||23||15||0||Fuel leak|
- Pole position: Duke Nalon – 4:23.74
- Fastest Lead Lap: – Lee Wallard 1:07.26 (133.809 mph)
- Ayulo (100 laps) and McGrath (100) shared the same car. Points for 3rd position were shared between the drivers.
Drivers' Championship standings after the race
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1951 Indianapolis 500.|
|1||Juan Manuel Fangio||9|
- Note: Only the top five positions are listed. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.
The race was carried live on the radio through a network arrangement set up by 1070 WIBC-AM of Indianapolis. Mutual, which had carried the race for several years, had raised its advertising rates for 1951, and lost its primary sponsor for the event, Perfect Circle Piston Rings. As a result, Mutual dropped the coverage altogether. Local station WIBC stepped in to cover the race, and provided its feed to various Mutual affiliates. A total of 26 stations carried the broadcast.
WIBC personality Sid Collins served as booth announcer, and the remainder of the crew consisted mostly of WIBC talent. Jim Shelton reported from his familiar turn four location, and Collins interviewed the winner in victory lane. Like the Mutual broadcasts, WIBC featured live coverage of the start (30 minutes), the finish (30 minutes), and 15-minute live updates throughout the race.
- Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 - Fleetwood Sounds, 1975
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC/Network Indiana, May 17, 2007
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
- Lang, Mike (1981). Grand Prix! Vol 1. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 29. ISBN 0-85429-276-4.
- Davidson, Donald (2012-05-24). "IMS Radio Network celebrates 60th anniversary". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats – Official Site
- Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-06-05.
- Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975
- 1951 Indianapolis 500 at RacingReference.info (Relief driver statistics)
1951 Swiss Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1951 Belgian Grand Prix
1950 Indianapolis 500
|1951 Indianapolis 500
1952 Indianapolis 500