1957 Indianapolis 500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
41st Indianapolis 500
Indy500winningcar1957-1958.JPG
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body United States Auto Club (USAC) / World Championship
Date May 30, 1957
Winner Sam Hanks
Winning Entrant George Salih
Average speed 135.601 mph (218.229 km/h)
Pole position Pat O'Connor
Pole speed 143.948 mph (231.662 km/h)
Most laps led Sam Hanks (136)
Pre-race
Pace car Mercury Turnpike Cruiser
Pace car driver F. C. Reith
Chronology
Previous Next
1956 1958

The 41st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 30, 1957. The event was part of the 1957 USAC National Championship Trail, and was included in the 1957 World Drivers Championship.

Sam Hanks won the Indianapolis 500 in his thirteenth attempt (the most such by any 500 winner). He famously retired from competition at Indy in victory lane.[1] Contrary to popular belief, Hanks did not completely retire from racing until the end of the year. He skipped the Race of Two Worlds when he his entrant withdrew,[2] but competed in USAC Stock Car events later in the year, winning the event at Trenton,[3] and finished third in points championships for 1957.

Hanks received a record $103,844 purse, the first driver to win a $100,000 single-race payday. The total race purse was also a record, over $300,000 for the first time.

Hanks won the race in George Salih's noteworthy and famous "Lay-down Offy." The Offenhauser engine was mounted on its side and shifted off-center. This was done in order to lower the center of gravity, reduce frontal area, and counterbalance the body roll in the turns. The car that Hanks drive for the win in 1957 would win back-to-back Indy 500s, with Jimmy Bryan piloting the very same chassis to victory again in 1958.

Track improvements[edit]

For 1957, the Speedway introduced a new state-of-the-art pit lane and brand new Master Control Tower to house broadcasting as well as timing and scoring. For the first time, the pit area was separated from the mainstretch by an inside wall. The pit lane was paved in concrete (the mainstretch remained brick), while a grass strip went the length of the pit road to accommodate pit crew sign board men.

For the 1957 race, the field lined up in the pit area single-file, rather than the traditional eleven rows of three on the racing surface. On the pace lap, the field assembled into position, and was aligned for the green flag. By 1957, the field was now being taken around for two warm-up laps (one "parade" lap, and one "pace" lap), an increase over the single lap used previously. This single-file grid practice would eventually lead to confusion, and was utilized for only two years.

Practice and time trials[edit]

Time trials was scheduled for four days, but the second day was rained out. Rain affected practice days as well.[4]

Giuseppe Farina was the only European driver on the entry list for the race, however, he did not attempt to qualify. Farina had difficulty getting his car up to speed, and had experienced handling problems. On May 15, his teammate Keith Andrews stepped into his car for a test run, but crashed. Down the frontstretch, Andrews began to slide, and when he attempted to correct, the car backed into the inside wall separating the pit area. Andrews was crushed to death between the cowl and the fuel tank, but no fire broke out.[5] Farina withdrew after Andrews was killed, with no backup car to use.[6]

Saturday May 18 – Pole Day time trials[edit]

Pat O'Connor qualified for the pole position. Showers delayed qualifying for nearly four hours, and at other points during the afternoon. A total of only nine cars completed runs.[7]

O'Connor's speed of 143.948 mph was not a track record.[8] Troy Ruttman was on the track, and after a lap of over 144 mph, rain forced him to abort the attempt. He was able to get back out to the track, but had to settle for a speed of only 142.772 mph.

The first rookie to make the field was Elmer George, the husband of Mari Hulman George, and son-in-law of Speedway president Tony Hulman.

Sunday May 19 – Second day time trials[edit]

The second day scheduled for qualifying was rained out.

Saturday May 25 – Third day time trials[edit]

Paul Russo (144.817 mph) was the fastest driver of the day, in one of the Novi Specials. Russo was the fastest qualifier in the field, as his speed was faster than the pole position time from the previous weekend.

Sunday May 26 – Fourth day time trials[edit]

Rain and winds plagued the final day of time trials. Twenty three cars entered the day looking to fill the final 11 positions. A total of 43 attempts were made, with 9 cars bumped.

Tony Bettenhausen (142.439 mph) was the fastest driver of the day, driving one of the 500 hp Novi Specials. Bill Cheesbourg needed two cars to make the field. His first attempt was too slow. But late in the day, he got in Cliff Griffith's car, and at a speed of 141.565 mph, bumped Johnnie Parsons from the lineup.[9]

Race summary[edit]

First half[edit]

On the backstretch during the pace lap, Elmer George hit the back of Eddie Russo's car, putting both cars out of the race before the start. Only 31 cars took the green flag.

Polesitter Pat O'Connor took the lead at the start and led the first four laps. Troy Ruttman led laps 5–6. O'Connor re-took the lead for laps 7–9, but Ruttman led laps 10–11, until blowing the engine. Paul Russo took the lead on lap 12, and in the first twelve laps there had already been four lead changes between three drivers.

Second half[edit]

Sam Hanks took the lead for the final time on lap 135.

Box score[edit]

Pos Grid No Driver Constructor Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired Points
1 13 9 United States Sam Hanks Epperly-Offenhauser 142.81 6 200 136 3:41:14.25 8
2 32 26 United States Jim Rathmann Epperly-Offenhauser 139.8 31 200 24 +21.46 7
3 15 1 United States Jimmy Bryan Kuzma-Offenhauser 141.18 17 200 0 +2:13.97 4
4 10 54 United States Paul Russo Kurtis Kraft-Novi 144.81 1 200 24 +2:56.86 3
5 12 73 United States Andy Linden Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 143.24 5 200 0 +3:14.27 2
6 5 6 United States Johnny Boyd Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.1 10 200 0 +4:35.27
7 28 48 United States Marshall Teague Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.32 26 200 0 +4:45.58
8 1 12 United States Pat O'Connor Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 143.94 2 200 7 +5:33.15
9 16 7 United States Bob Veith Phillips-Offenhauser 141.01 19 200 0 +6:17.11
10 14 22 United States Gene Hartley Lesovsky-Offenhauser 141.27 16 200 0 +7:10.12
11 19 19 United States Jack Turner Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.36 25 200 0 +7:56.07
12 11 10 United States Johnny Thomson Kuzma-Offenhauser 143.52 4 199 5 +1 Lap
13 33 95 United States Bob Christie Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 139.77 32 197 0 +3 Laps
14 25 82 United States Chuck Weyant Kuzma-Offenhauser 141.1 18 196 0 +4 Laps
15 22 27 United States Tony Bettenhausen Kurtis Kraft-Novi 142.43 9 195 0 +5 Laps
16 17 18 United States Johnnie Parsons (W) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.78 21 195 0 +5 Laps
17 21 3 United States Don Freeland Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 139.64 33 192 0 +8 Laps
18 6 5 United States Jimmy Reece Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142 11 182 0 Throttle
19 27 92 United States Don Edmunds (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.44 23 170 0 Spun Off
20 31 28 United States Johnnie Tolan Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 139.84 30 138 0 Clutch
21 30 89 United States Al Herman Dunn-Offenhauser 140 29 111 0 Accident
22 4 14 United States Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.55 8 107 0 Fuel Leak
23 2 88 United States Eddie Sachs (R) Kuzma-Offenhauser 143.87 3 105 0 Fuel Leak
24 18 77 United States Mike Magill (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.41 24 101 0 Accident
25 20 43 United States Eddie Johnson Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.17 28 93 0 Wheel Bearing
26 23 31 United States Bill Cheesbourg (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.56 13 81 0 Fuel Leak
27 8 16 United States Al Keller Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.39 14 75 0 Accident
28 29 57 United States Jimmy Daywalt Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.2 27 53 0 Accident
29 7 83 United States Ed Elisian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.77 12 51 0 Retirement
30 24 8 United States Rodger Ward Lesovsky-Offenhauser 141.32 15 27 0 Compressor
31 3 52 United States Troy Ruttman (W) Watson-Offenhauser 142.77 7 13 4 Engine
32 26 55 United States Eddie Russo Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.86 20 0 0 Accident
33 9 23 United States Elmer George (R) Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.72 22 0 0 Accident

Alternates[edit]

Race notes[edit]

Broadcasting[edit]

Radio[edit]

The race was carried live on the IMS Radio Network. Sid Collins served as chief announcer. The broadcast was carried by over 300 affiliates, including Latin America.

Charlie Brockman conducted the winner's interview in victory lane.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pit/garage reporters

Chief Announcer: Sid Collins
Analyst:
Driver Expert:
Statistician: Charlie Brockman

Turn 1: Bill Frosch
Turn 2: Bob Rhodes
Backstretch: Bernie Herman
Turn 3: Bob Minton
Turn 4: Jim Shelton

Charlie Brockman(victory lane)

Drivers' Championship standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points
1rightarrow blue.svg 1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 17
1uparrow green.svg 28 2 United States Sam Hanks 8
1uparrow green.svg 27 3 United States Jim Rathmann 7
1downarrow red.svg 2 4 France Jean Behra 6
1downarrow red.svg 2 5 United Kingdom Tony Brooks 6
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No More '500' Races for Hanks". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1957-06-01. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Sam Hanks Puts $103,844 Prime Money in Bank". Times Daily. 1957-06-02. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  3. ^ "USAC Stock Car Results". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
  11. ^ Champion's Champions at 100 Miles an Hour
  12. ^ "Wheeling, dealing for final spot in Indy 500 is under way". St. Joseph Gazette. 1984-05-24. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 

Works cited[edit]


Previous race:
1957 Monaco Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1957 season
Next race:
1957 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
1956 Indianapolis 500
Pat Flaherty
1957 Indianapolis 500
Sam Hanks
Next race:
1958 Indianapolis 500
Jimmy Bryan
Preceded by
130.840 mph
(1954 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the Indianapolis 500 fastest average speed
135.601
mph
Succeeded by
135.875 mph
(1959 Indianapolis 500)