1951 Indianapolis 500

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35th Indianapolis 500
Indy500winningcar1951.JPG
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body AAA / World Championship
Date May 30, 1951
Winner Lee Wallard
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)
Pre-race
Pace car Chrysler New Yorker
Pace car driver David A. Wallace
Chronology
Previous Next
1950 1952

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.[1][2] 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 chafing, and required treatment at the infield hospital after the victory lane celebration.[2] It was estimated he lost 15 pounds during the race.[2]

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[edit]

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)

Classification[edit]

Pos Grid No Driver Constructor Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired Points
1 2 99 United States Lee Wallard Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.03 5 200 159 3:57:38.05 9
2 7 83 United States Mike Nazaruk (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.18 26 200 0 + 1:47.24 6
3 3 9 United States Jack McGrath(Laps 1–100)
United States Manny Ayulo(Laps 101–200)
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 134.3 8 200 11 + 2:51.39 2
2
4 31 57 United States Andy Linden (R) Sherman-Offenhauser 132.22 25 200 0 + 4:40.12 3
5 29 52 United States Bobby Ball (R) Schroeder-Offenhauser 134.09 9 200 0 + 4:52.23 2
6 17 1 United States Henry Banks Moore-Offenhauser 133.89 12 200 0 + 5:40.02  
7 24 68 United States Carl Forberg (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.89 22 193 0 + 7 Laps  
8 4 27 United States Duane Carter Deidt-Offenhauser 133.74 15 180 0 + 20 Laps  
9 9 5 United States Tony Bettenhausen Deidt-Offenhauser 131.95 29 178 0 Spun Off  
10 1 18 United States Duke Nalon Kurtis Kraft-Novi 136.49 2 151 0 Retirement  
11 22 69 United States Gene Force (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 133.1 20 142 0 Engine  
12 12 25 United States Sam Hanks Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.99 21 135 0 Engine  
13 16 10 United States Bill Schindler Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 134.03 11 129 0 Engine  
14 5 16 United States Mauri Rose (W) Deidt-Offenhauser 133.42 18 126 0 Accident  
15 14 2 United States Walt Faulkner Kuzma-Offenhauser 136.87 1 123 0 Engine  
16 27 76 United States Jimmy Davies Pawl-Offenhauser 133.51 17 110 25 Axle  
17 11 59 United States Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.02 6 109 0 Clutch  
18 15 73 United States Carl Scarborough (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135.61 4 93 0 Fire  
19 33 71 United States Bill Mackey (R) Hall-Offenhauser 131.47 32 97 0 Clutch  
20 19 8 United States Chuck Stevenson (R) Marchese-Offenhauser 133.76 14 93 0 Fire  
21 8 3 United States Johnnie Parsons (W) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.15 27 87 0 Magneto  
22 10 4 United States Cecil Green Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 131.89 31 80 5 Engine  
23 6 98 United States Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 132.31 24 78 0 Engine  
24 32 6 United States Duke Dinsmore Schroeder-Offenhauser 131.97 28 73 0 Overheating  
25 28 32 United States Chet Miller Kurtis Kraft-Novi 135.79 3 56 0 Ignition  
26 13 44 United States Walt Brown Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 131.9 30 55 0 Magneto  
27 25 48 United States Rodger Ward (R) Bromme-Offenhauser 134.86 7 34 0 Oil Pipe  
28 18 23 United States Cliff Griffith (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 133.83 13 30 0 Axle  
29 20 81 United States Bill Vukovich (R) Trevis-Offenhauser 133.72 16 29 0 Oil leak  
30 21 22 United States George Connor Lesovsky-Offenhauser 133.35 19 29 0 Transmission  
31 23 19 United States Mack Hellings Deidt-Offenhauser 123.92 33 18 0 Engine  
32 26 12 United States Johnny McDowell Maserati-Offenhauser 132.47 23 15 0 Fuel leak  
33 30 26 United States Joe James (R) Watson-Offenhauser 134.09 10 8 0 Transmission  

Alternates[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • Pole position: Duke Nalon – 4:23.74
  • Fastest Lead Lap: – Lee Wallard 1:07.26 (133.809 mph)[4]
  • 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[edit]

Pos Driver Points
1rightarrow blue.svg 1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 9
1uparrow green.svg 20 2 United States Lee Wallard 9
1downarrow red.svg 1 3 Italy Piero Taruffi 6
1uparrow green.svg 18 4 United States Mike Nazaruk 6
1downarrow red.svg 2 5 Italy Nino Farina 4
  • Note: Only the top five positions are listed. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.

Broadcasting[edit]

Radio[edit]

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.[5] 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.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975
  2. ^ a b c The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC/Network Indiana, May 17, 2007
  3. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  4. ^ Lang, Mike (1981). Grand Prix! Vol 1. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 29. ISBN 0-85429-276-4. 
  5. ^ Davidson, Donald (2012-05-24). "IMS Radio Network celebrates 60th anniversary". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

Works cited[edit]


Previous race:
1951 Swiss Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1951 season
Next race:
1951 Belgian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1950 Indianapolis 500
Johnnie Parsons
1951 Indianapolis 500
Lee Wallard
Next race:
1952 Indianapolis 500
Troy Ruttman
Preceded by
124.002 mph
(1950 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the Indianapolis 500 fastest average speed
126.244
mph
Succeeded by
128.922 mph
(1952 Indianapolis 500)