1947 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1947|
|Winning Entrant||Lou Moore|
|Average speed||116.338 mph (187.228 km/h)|
|Pole position||Ted Horn|
|Pole speed||126.564 mph (203.685 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Bill Holland (143)|
|Pace car||Nash Ambassador|
|Pace car driver||George W. Mason|
|Honorary referee||Ralph F. Gates|
The 31st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1947. It was the opening round of the 11 races that comprised the 1947 AAA Championship Car season. The 1946 winner, George Robson, had been killed on September 2, 1946 in a racing incident. Driver Shorty Cantlon would be killed in a racing incident during the race.
Beginning in 1947 the Speedway issued "Bronze" and "Silver" badges. Bronze badges allowed gate and garage access during the month and silver badges did the same but also allowed pit access. On race day, one needed a Back Up Card Early bronze badges were indeed bronze, but silver badges were only a silver colored pot metal. Bronze badges began being made of a bronze colored pot metal sometime in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
Time trials & ASPAR boycott
Time trials was scheduled for five days. The minimum speed to qualify was set at 115 mph. In the months leading up to the race, several top drivers that were members of a union, the American Society of Professional Auto Racing (ASPAR), threatened to boycott the race over the purse size. The AAA Contest Board refused to heed their demands, and when the entry list was closed on May 8, many of the top drivers, particularly several popular west coast drivers, were not on the list. A total of 35 cars were entered, but at least nine had no driver listed, and 13 of the entries were inexperienced novice drivers. After the practice began for the month, officials decreed that the boycotting drivers would not be allowed late entry. After several weeks of dispute, an agreement was made for the ASPAR drivers to participate midway through the month.
- Saturday May 17 - Pole Day
- Rain, and the holdout of several ASPAR drivers, meant only seven cars completed qualifying runs. Ted Horn claimed the pole position with a speed of 126.564 mph.
- Sunday May 18
- Three cars qualified, bringing the field to 10 cars.
- Saturday May 24
- Sunday May 25
- Wednesday May 28
- The final day of qualifying closed with 28 cars in the field.
When qualifying closed at 6 p.m. on Wednesday May 28, the field had only been filled to 28 cars. Duke Dinsmore was the final qualifier, completing his run amidst some scoring confusion by the officials, just as the time had run out. Race officials initially stressed that Wednesday would be the final day available to qualify. However, a day later, they re-opened qualifying for one hour late on Thursday May 29 in an effort to fill the field. Mel Hansen and Emil Andres were the only two cars to complete attempts, and after approval by the other entries, were added to the grid to bring the field to 30 cars.
The heartbreak story of the day belonged to driver Billy Devore. After failing to make the field on Wednesday, the Bill Schoof crew worked diligently to make repairs to their car, hoping that officials would re-open qualifying. When word was announced that additional time trials would be held Thursday, the crew scrambled to get the car prepared. Late in the evening, with about 20 minutes left until closing, the crew drove the race car from their garage about six miles away to the track with a police escort. When they arrived at the gate at 6:58 p.m., however, officials closed time trials, and DeVore was not permitted to qualify. 
|1|| Ted Horn
126.564 mph (203.685 km/h)
| Cliff Bergere
124.957 mph (201.099 km/h)
| Mauri Rose |
124.040 mph (199.623 km/h)
|2|| Herb Ardinger*
120.733 mph (194.301 km/h)
| Shorty Cantlon ✝
121.462 mph (195.474 km/h)
| Russ Snowberger|
121.331 mph (195.263 km/h)
|3|| Les Anderson
118.425 mph (190.587 km/h)
| Bill Holland
128.755 mph (207.211 km/h)
| Ken Fowler|
123.423 mph (198.630 km/h)
|4|| Jimmy Jackson
122.266 mph (196.768 km/h)
| Milt Fankhouser
119.932 mph (193.012 km/h)
| Roland Free|
119.526 mph (192.358 km/h)
|5|| George Connor
124.874 mph (200.965 km/h)
| Walt Brown
118.355 mph (190.474 km/h)
| Frank Wearne|
117.716 mph (189.446 km/h)
|6|| Hal Robson
122.096 mph (196.494 km/h)
| Pete Romcevich
117.218 mph (188.644 km/h)
| Duke Nalon|
128.082 mph (206.128 km/h)
|7|| Al Miller
124.848 mph (200.923 km/h)
| Rex Mays
124.412 mph (200.222 km/h)
| Paul Russo|
123.967 mph (199.506 km/h)
|8|| Joie Chitwood
123.157 mph (198.202 km/h)
| Fred Agabashian
121.478 mph (195.500 km/h)
| Charles Van Acker |
121.049 mph (194.809 km/h)
|9|| Tony Bettenhausen
120.980 mph (194.698 km/h)
| Henry Banks
120.923 mph (194.607 km/h)
| Duke Dinsmore|
119.840 mph (192.864 km/h)
|10|| Cy Marshall
115.644 mph (186.111 km/h)
| Mel Hansen
117.298 mph (188.773 km/h)
| Emil Andres|
116.781 mph (187.941 km/h)
Failed to Qualify
- Walt Ader (#6)
- Zora Arkus-Duntov (#49)
- Bud Bardowski
- Tommy Boggs (#23)
- Frank Brisko
- Leslie Brooke (#35)
- Jim Brubaker (#86)
- Red Byron (#22)
- Duane Carter (#32)
- Hal Cole - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Charles Crawford (#67)
- Billy Devore (#17)
- Louis Durant (#23)
- Sam Grecco (#51)
- Sam Hanks (#54)
- Tommy Hinnershitz (#5) - Did not arrive
- Norm Houser (#69)
- Danny Kladis - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Johnny Mauro (#64)
- Harry McQuinn
- George Metzler (#55)
- Chet Miller - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Wally Mitchell - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Overton Phillips - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Buddy Rusch
- Art Scovell
- Bill Sheffler - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Hal Stetson - Did not appear
- Joel Thorne - Withdrew due to ASPAR dispute
- Louis Tomei (#44, #57)
- Steve Truchan (#28)
- George Weaver (#44)
- Doc Williams (#54)
Late in the race, Lou Moore teammates Bill Holland and Mauri Rose were running 1st and 2nd. The pit crew displayed a confusing chalkboard sign with the letters "EZY" to Holland, presumably meaning for him to take the final laps at a reduced pace to safely make it to the finish. Mauri Rose ignored the board, and charged to catch up to Holland. Holland believed he held a lap lead over Rose, and allowed him to catch up. The two drivers waved as Rose passed Holland, with Holland believing it was not more than a congratulatory gesture.
In reality, the pass Rose made was for the lead, and he led the final 8 laps to take the controversial victory. The race was marred by a 41st lap crash that claimed the life of Shorty Cantlon.
Rose's distance finish time of 4:17:52.17 was the second fastest finish of the Indianapolis 500 ever, at the time. Only the 1938 Indianapolis 500 had been completed in a faster total time as of 1947. After Rose completed the 500 mile distance, approximately 40 minutes was given for additional drivers to finish, before any remaining drivers who had not completed the distance by then were flagged off the track. The 1947 race was also the coldest on record, with an average temperature of 50 degrees and morning low of 37.
|2||8||16||Bill Holland||200||143||-32.12 seconds|
|3||1||1||Ted Horn||200||0||-3 minutes, 00.38 seconds|
|4||4||54||Herb Ardinger*||200||0||-6 minutes, 40.35 seconds|
|5||10||7||Jimmy Jackson||200||0||-8 minutes, 00.48 seconds|
|6||20||9||Rex Mays||200||0||-12 minutes, 16.33 seconds|
|7||14||33||Walt Brown||200||0||-36 minutes, 59.30 seconds|
|8||28||34||Cy Marshall||197||0||-3 laps|
|9||23||41||Fred Agabashian||191||0||-9 laps|
|10||27||10||Duke Dinsmore||167||0||-33 laps|
|11||7||58||Les Anderson||131||0||-69 laps|
|12||17||57||Pete Romcevich||168||0||Oil line|
|14||15||31||Frank Wearne||128||0||Spun T3|
|18||25||29||Tony Bettenhausen||79||0||Timing gear|
|19||6||25||Russ Snowberger||74||0||Oil pump|
|20||16||52||Hal Robson||67||0||Universal joint|
|23||5||24||Shorty Cantlon ✝||40||0||Fatal crash T1|
|24||26||43||Henry Banks||36||0||Oil line|
|26||13||14||George Connor||32||0||Fuel leak|
|27||29||38||Mel Hansen||32||0||Disqualified, Pushed|
|28||21||15||Paul Russo||24||0||Crash FS|
|29||24||44||Charles Van Acker||24||0||Crash FS|
* Cliff Bergere relieved Herb Ardinger after his own car retired from the race, and completed the race distance in the #54 car.
The race was carried live on the Mutual Broadcasting System, the precursor to the IMS Radio Network. The broadcast was sponsored by Perfect Circle Piston Rings and Bill Slater served as the anchor. The broadcast feature live coverage of the start, the finish, and live updates throughout the race.
Barry Lake served as "roving reporter," stationed on an Army Jeep. Larry Richardson was stationed in the new Press Paddock (constructed underneath the Paddock Penthouse upper deck) on the outside of the mainstretch, relaying scoring and official information.
|Mutual Broadcasting System|
|Booth Announcers||Turn Reporters||Pits/roving reporters|
South turns: Mike Dunn
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1947 Indianapolis 500.|
- 1947 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Mutual: Re-broadcast on "The All-Night Race Party" - WIBC-AM (May 29, 2004)
- 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.
- Brooks, Ralph L. (May 31, 1947). "165,000 See Race Classic". The Indianapolis Star. p. 11. Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Indianapolis 500 Centenary Countdown: Not 33 (times 3)". Racer magazine. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
- Way Is Cleared for Auto Racers - May 20, 1947
- Owners Wave In Aspar Drivers
- Speedway Race Has Its Smallest Field - May 29, 1947
- Milwaukee Car Last to Qualify for 500 - May 29, 1947
- Racing Classic at Indianapolis - May 30, 1947
- Schoof Car Misses Race Dead Line After frantic Dash to Speedway - May 30, 1947
- ""1947 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes"". ChampCarStats.com.
- Wire Dispatches (May 31, 1947). "Rose Wins 2d 500 Miler; Cantlon Killed In Spill". The Courier-Journal. p. 10. Retrieved 2017-07-22 – via Newspapers.com.
- Sainsbury, Ed (May 31, 1947). "Rose Wins '500', Holland 2d; Auto Race Crash Kills Cantlon". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 12. Retrieved 2017-07-22 – via Newspapers.com.
- http://www.weather.gov/media/ind/indy500.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "Indianapolis 500 1947". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.