1933 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1933|
|Average speed||104.162 mph|
|Pole position||Bill Cummings|
|Pole speed||118.530 mph|
|Most laps led||Louis Meyer (71)|
|Pace car||Chrysler Imperial|
|Pace car driver||Byron Foy|
|Honorary referee||Larry P. Fisher|
The 21st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30, 1933. Louis Meyer defeated Wilbur Shaw by a time of 401.89 seconds (6.69 minutes). The average speed of the race was 104.162 miles per hour (167.632 km/h) while Bill Cummings achieved the pole position with a speed of 118.521 miles per hour (190.741 km/h). The race was part of the 1933 AAA Championship Car season.
Meyer was accompanied by riding mechanic Lawson Harris.
The 1933 month of May at Indianapolis was the deadliest running of the 500. Five participants were fatally injured. During practice, Bill Denver and his riding mechanic Bob Hurst were killed in a crash. On race day, Mark Billman was killed in a crash on lap 79 while Lester Spangler and his riding mechanic G.L. "Monk" Jordan were killed in a crash on lap 132. It was the fifth straight year at least one competitor died in a crash during the month.
Ten-lap (25 mile) qualifying runs were utilized.
|1||6||36||Louis Meyer||Louis Meyer||Miller||Miller||116.977||7||200||71||Running|
|2||23||17||Wilbur Shaw||Leon Duray||Stevens||Miller||115.497||12||200||0||Running|
|3||4||37||Lou Moore||Maley & Scully||Duesenberg||Miller||117.843||4||200||0||Running|
|4||15||21||Chet Gardner||Alden Sampson II||Stevens||Miller||112.319||22||200||0||Running|
|5||10||8||Stubby Stubblefield||Phil Shafer||Rigling||Buick||114.784||13||200||0||Running|
|6||36||38||Dave Evans||Arthur E. Rose||Rigling||Studebaker||109.448||36||200||0||Running|
|7||12||34||Tony Gulotta||The Studebaker Corporation||Rigling||Studebaker||113.578||15||200||0||Running|
|8||17||4||Russ Snowberger||Russell Snowberger||Snowberger||Studebaker||110.769||27||200||0||Running|
|9||16||9||Zeke Meyer||The Studebaker Corporation||Rigling||Studebaker||111.099||25||200||0||Running|
|10||20||46||Luther Johnson||The Studebaker Corporation||Rigling||Studebaker||110.097||31||200||0||Running|
|11||9||6||Cliff Bergere||The Studebaker Corporation||Rigling||Studebaker||115.643||11||200||0||Running|
|12||18||47||L. L. Corum||The Studebaker Corporation||Rigling||Studebaker||110.465||29||200||0||Running|
|13||40||49||Willard Prentiss||J. W. Kleinschmidt||Rigling||Duesenberg||107.776||41||200||0||Running|
|14||27||14||Raúl Riganti||Raúl Riganti||Chrysler||Chrysler||108.081||39||200||0||Running|
|15||28||29||Gene Haustein||Lawrence J. Martz||Hudson||Hudson||107.603||42||197||0||Flagged|
|16||14||26||Deacon Litz||A. B. Litz||Miller||Miller||113.138||17||197||0||Flagged|
|17||31||18||Joe Russo||F. P. Duesenberg||Duesenberg||Duesenberg||112.531||20||192||0||Flagged|
|18||39||51||Doc MacKenzie||Ray T. Brady||Duesenberg||Studebaker||108.073||40||192||0||Rear axle|
|19||25||27||Kelly Petillo||William M. Yahr||Smith||Miller||113.037||18||168||0||Spun & stalled|
|20||32||28||Chet Miller||R. G. "Buddy" Marr||Hudson||Hudson||112.025||23||163||0||Rod|
|21||24||19||Al Miller||R. G. "Buddy" Marr||Hudson||Hudson||109.799||35||161||0||Rod|
|22||19||68||Bennett Hill||S. C. Goldberg||Cooper||Cooper||110.264||30||158||0||Rod|
|23||29||45||Babe Stapp||M. J. Boyle||Miller||Miller||116.626||9||156||60||Out of gas|
|24||26||32||Wesley Crawford||Frank Brisko||Stevens||Miller||109.862||33||147||0||Crash T1|
|25||1||5||Bill Cummings||M. J. Boyle||Miller||Miller||118.521||1||136||32||Radiator|
|26||7||15||Lester Spangler ✝||Harry Hartz||Miller||Miller||116.903||8||132||0||Died in crash at T1|
|27||35||65||Freddy Winnai||James Kemp||Duesenberg||Duesenberg||111.018||26||125||0||Engine trouble|
|28||30||57||Malcolm Fox||William Richards||Studebaker||Studebaker||112.922||19||121||0||Crash T1|
|29||3||12||Fred Frame||Harry Hartz||Wetteroth||Miller||117.864||3||85||37||Valve|
|30||22||64||Mark Billman ✝||James Kemp||Duesenberg||Duesenberg||112.410||21||79||0||Died in crash at T2|
|31||34||53||Johnny Sawyer||Lencki & Unger||Miller||Miller||110.590||28||77||0||Clutch|
|32||11||2||Peter Kreis||Fred Frame||Summers||Miller||114.370||14||63||0||Universal joint|
|33||5||16||Ernie Triplett||William S. White||Weil||Miller||117.685||5||61||0||Piston|
|34||13||25||Shorty Cantlon||William Cantlon||Stevens||Miller||113.384||16||50||0||Rod|
|35||42||3||Mauri Rose||Joe Marks||Stevens||Miller||117.649||6||48||0||Timing gears|
|36||2||58||Frank Brisko||F.W.D. Auto Company||Miller||Miller||118.388||2||47||0||Oil too hot|
|37||8||10||Ira Hall||Denny Duesenberg||Stevens||Duesenberg||115.739||10||37||0||Piston|
|38||41||23||Ralph Hepburn||S. C. Goldberg||Cooper||Cooper||110.001||32||33||0||Rod bearing|
|39||37||59||Ray Campbell||Tulio Gulotta||Hudson||Hudson||108.650||37||24||0||Oil leak|
|40||33||24||Paul Bost||Fred Frame||Duesenberg||Miller||111.330||24||13||0||Oil line|
|41||38||61||Rick Decker||Bessie Decker||Miller||Miller||108.280||38||13||0||Manifold|
|42||21||22||Louis Schneider||W. R. Blackburn||Stevens||Miller||109.850||34||1||0||Stalled|
- First alternate: Sam Palmer 
- Howdy Wilcox II had qualified for the race, but officials disqualified him from the field when they learned that he had diabetes. On race day, he was replaced in the car by Mauri Rose.
Failed to Qualify
In 1933, one of the more famous bits of Indy 500 nostalgia occurred. Telegraph was still being used to transmit race information to newspapers and other outlets across the United States. George Zanaon, a typesetter for The World-Independent newspaper in the town of Walsenburg, Colorado was preparing a story for that day's Indianapolis 500. Since Memorial Day was a holiday, his young editor John B. Kirkpatrick was alone monitoring the Associated Press wire for race updates. The race took several hours to complete, and the AP wire was shut down prior to the finish. Fitzpatrick had nearly the entire story ready for print, minus the winner of the race. A helpful AP editor in Denver advised him that he would send the name of the winner via Western Union telegraph.
The telegraph Kirkpatrick received, in typical newspaper shorthand lingo was: "WILL OVERHEAD WINNER OF INDIANAPOLIS 500," meaning that he would send the information by telegraph when the information was available. The young editor misunderstood the jargon in the message, and interpreted it as saying a driver named Will Overhead was the winner. The headline read "Will Overhead won the Indianapolis Memorial Day race today. At the two hundred fifty mile post Babe Stapp was leading the string of racing cars, but gave way to Overhead on then last half of the 500 mile grind." The true winner was Louis Meyer. The gaffe put the town of Walsenburg, and The World-Independent newspaper (now known as the Huerfano World Journal), on the map in racing circles.
- Fox, Jack C. (1994). The Illustrated History of the Indianapolis 500 1911-1994 (4th ed.). Carl Hungness Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 0-915088-05-3.
- "Race Gets Late Start First Time In History; Drivers Threaten "Strike"". The Indianapolis Star. May 31, 1933. p. 9. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Indianapolis 500 1933". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- Popely, Rick; Riggs, L. Spencer (1998). The Indianapolis 500 Chronicle. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International, Ltd. ISBN 0-7853-2798-3.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
- "Wheeling, dealing for final spot in Indy 500 is under way". St. Joseph Gazette. 1984-05-24. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "1933 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Blazier, John E.; Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
- "Will Overhead, a real no-name, once 'won' Indy 500 race". Wilington Morning Star. May 23, 1983. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley. May 5, 2003. 1070 WIBC-AM.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley. May 12, 2008. WFNI.