1936 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1936|
|Winning Entrant||Louis Meyer|
|Average speed||109.069 mph|
|Pole position||Rex Mays|
|Pole speed||119.644 mph|
|Most laps led||Louis Meyer (96)|
|Pace car||Packard 120|
|Pace car driver||Tommy Milton|
|Honorary referee||Ralph DePalma|
The 24th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30, 1936. The race was part of the 1936 AAA Championship Car season. The race is remembered for three noteworthy Indy traditions getting their start.
Louis Meyer became the first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. He notably celebrated in victory lane with a bottle of buttermilk, which later started the famous tradition of serving milk in victory lane at Indianapolis.
The Borg-Warner Trophy debuted for the winner in 1936. Also, pace car driver Tommy Milton suggested that the race winner should be awarded the official pace car as part of his complement of prizes. Louis Meyer was given the keys to the Packard after the race, and it has been a tradition ever since (with only a handful of exceptions).
Ten-lap (25 mile) qualifying runs were utilized. Rex Mays won the pole position for the second consecutive year.
|Sat 5/16/1936||Rex Mays||119.745||119.348||118.743||119.968||121.065||119.984||120.289||119.697||119.253||118.985||119.644|
|13||27||28||Harry McQuinn||114.118||19||196||0||Out of gas|
|14||10||7||Shorty Cantlon||116.912||6||194||0||Out of gas|
|15||1||33||Rex Mays||119.644||1||192||12||Out of gas|
|16||23||54||Doc Williams||112.837||26||192||0||Out of gas|
|17||29||32||Lou Moore||113.996||20||185||0||Out of gas|
|19||15||4||Floyd Roberts||112.403||29||183||0||Out of gas|
|20||20||14||Frank Brisko||114.213||17||180||0||Out of gas|
|21||17||12||Al Miller||116.138||11||119||0||Crash FS|
|22||7||42||Cliff Bergere||113.377||22||116||0||Engine support|
|27||8||27||Louis Tomei||111.078||33||44||0||Engine support|
|30||16||43||Jimmy Snyder||111.291||32||21||0||Oil leak|
Failed to Qualify
To slow the cars, a fuel limit of 37.5 gallons of gasoline was implemented for the race distance. Engine tuners struggled to make their engines more efficient.
At the start, polesitter Rex Mays led but soon dropped out with a faulty throttle. Wilbur Shaw then took the lead, but lost time with a 17-minute pit stop to re-fasten loose rivets on his engine hood.
Louis Meyer steadily moved up through the field and took the lead by halfway. He pitted for fuel at 350 miles, allowing Ted Horn to take the point. But Meyer caught him, pulled away and became the first 3-time "500" winner. He wasn't sure his fuel would last until the end. He said, "That last lap, I held my breath."
- For 1936, riding mechanics were required.
- After numerous fatalities in the 1935 race, additional safety measures were introduced for 1936. All new drivers were required to pass a rookie test prior to qualifying. In addition, the inside wall was removed in several locations, the outside walls were angled inward to keep cars from going over them, and several portions of the track were paved over in asphalt. In a sharp contrast to previous years, the 1936 race saw zero fatalities amongst the competitors and/or spectators. It marked the only year from the span of 1929-1940 (the Depression Era) in which no fatalities occurred at the Speedway.
- Bill Cummings car failed to pull away from the grid due to clutch and transmission failure. He became the first driver in Indy history to line up for the grid, but fail to pull away and start the race.
- 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.
- Campbell, Russell E. (May 31, 1936). "Meyer Spins Home As 170,000 Sunburn". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Indianapolis 500 1936". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- The Talk of Gasoline Alley - 1070-AM WIBC, May 14, 2004
- "1936 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Book "The Indianapolis 500: A Complete Pictorial History by John and Barbara Devaney p. 111-112
- Blazier, John E.; Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.