1952 Indianapolis 500
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Sanctioning body||AAA / World Championship|
|Date||May 30, 1952|
|Winning Entrant||J. C. Agajanian|
|Average speed||128.922 mph (207.480 km/h)|
|Pole position||Fred Agabashian|
|Pole speed||138.010 mph (222.106 km/h)|
|Most laps led||Bill Vukovich (150)|
|Pace car||Studebaker Commander|
|Pace car driver||P.O. Peterson|
The 36th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1952. The event was part of the 1952 AAA National Championship Trail and was also race 2 of 8 in the 1952 World Championship of Drivers.
Troy Ruttman won the race for car owner J. C. Agajanian. Ruttman, aged 22 years and 80 days, set the record for the youngest 500 winner in history. It was also the last dirt track car to win at Indy. Ruttman's win also saw him become the youngest winner of a World Drivers' Championship race, a record he would hold for 51 years until the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix when Spanish driver Fernando Alonso won at the age of 22 years and 26 days.
Bill Vukovich led 150 laps, but with 9 laps to go, he broke a steering linkage while leading. He nursed his car to a stop against the outside wall, preventing other cars from getting involved in the incident.
In the third year that the 500 was included in the World Championship, Ferrari entered the race with Alberto Ascari. The effort gained considerable attention, but Ascari spun out and finished 31st. It was the only World Championship race in 1952 that Ascari entered and did not win.
Fifth place finisher Art Cross was voted the Rookie of the Year. Though at least one rookie starter was in the field every year dating back to 1911, this was the first time the now-popular award was officially designated.
Time trials was scheduled for four days, but rain pushed qualifying into a fifth day.
- Saturday May 17 – Pole Day time trials
- Sunday May 18 – Second day time trials (rained out)
- Saturday May 24 – Third day time trials
- Sunday May 25 – Fourth day time trials (rained out)
- Monday May 26 – Fifth day time trials (rain make up day)
|2||10||59||Jim Rathmann||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.340||7||200||0||+4:02.33||6|
|3||5||18||Sam Hanks||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.730||14||200||0||+6:11.61||4|
|5||20||33||Art Cross (R)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.280||26||200||0||+8:40.15||2|
|6||21||77||Jimmy Bryan (R)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.140||27||200||0||+9:24.32|
|7||23||37||Jimmy Reece (R)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.990||29||200||0||+10:35.24|
|8||14||54||George Connor||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.600||15||200||0||+12:00.61|
|9||9||22||Cliff Griffith||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.610||6||200||0||+12:23.76|
|10||31||5||Johnnie Parsons (W)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.320||19||200||0||+13:37.78|
|11||3||4||Jack McGrath||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.660||5||200||6||+14:21.72|
|12||26||29||Jim Rigsby (R)||Watson-Offenhauser||133.900||33||200||0||+16:05.10|
|13||16||14||Joe James||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.950||22||200||0||+16:55.65|
|15||13||65||George Fonder||Sherman-Offenhauser||135.940||13||197||0||+3 Laps|
|16||24||81||Eddie Johnson (R)||Trevis-Offenhauser||133.970||30||193||0||+7 Laps|
|17||8||26||Bill Vukovich||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||138.210||2||191||150||Steering||1|
|18||11||16||Chuck Stevenson||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.140||9||187||0||+13 Laps|
|19||12||2||Henry Banks||Lesovsky-Offenhauser||135.960||11||184||0||+16 Laps|
|20||28||8||Manny Ayulo||Lesovsky-Offenhauser||135.980||10||184||0||+16 Laps|
|21||33||31||Johnny McDowell||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.930||32||182||0||+18 Laps|
|22||29||48||Spider Webb||Bromme-Offenhauser||135.960||12||162||0||Oil leak|
|23||22||34||Rodger Ward||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.130||28||130||0||Oil Pressure|
|24||30||27||Tony Bettenhausen||Deidt-Offenhauser||135.380||17||93||0||Oil Pressure|
|25||4||36||Duke Nalon||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||136.180||8||84||0||Supercharger|
|26||32||73||Bob Sweikert (R)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.980||21||77||0||Differential|
|27||1||28||Fred Agabashian||Kurtis Kraft-Cummins Diesel||138.010||3||71||0||Turbocharger|
|28||18||67||Gene Hartley||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.340||24||65||0||Exhaust|
|29||25||93||Bob Scott (R)||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.950||31||49||0||Transmission|
|30||27||21||Chet Miller||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||139.030||1||41||0||Supercharger|
|31||19||12||Alberto Ascari (R)||Ferrari||134.300||25||40||0||Wheel|
|33||2||9||Andy Linden||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||137.000||4||20||0||Oil Pump|
Failed to qualify
- Pole position: Fred Agabashian – 4:20.85 (4 laps)
- Agabashian's Cummins Diesel Special was the first entry in the Indianapolis 500 to be powered by a turbocharged engine (then described as "turbosupercharged"). Gear-driven centrifugal blowers known as "superchargers" had been used since the 1920s to increase the volumetric efficiency and power output of racing engines, but the Cummins Diesel was the first to make use of the "free" energy contained in the engine exhaust stream to drive a turbine wheel connected to a centrifugal blower (thus, "turbo-supercharging").
- Fastest Lead Lap: Bill Vukovich – 1:06.60 (135.135 mph)
- As of 2015, Troy Ruttman remains the youngest driver to win the Indianapolis 500, at 22 years and 80 days.
- Ruttman also became the youngest driver to win a race counting for the Formula One championship. His record was broken by Fernando Alonso at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.
- Alberto Ascari marked the first instance of a driver competing seriously for the World Drivers' Championship (of which the 500 was a points-scoring race) to race in the 500. Although he finished 31st at Indy, he went on to win all of the remaining races and the title.
- 1952 was the only occasion when the fastest (Chet Miller) and slowest (Jim Rigsby) qualifiers for the race started next to each other.
The race was carried live on the radio on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. During the offseason, the Speedway management created the network to handle broadcasting duties in-house. The arrangement was under the flagship of 1070 WIBC-AM of Indianapolis, and featured a crew consisted mostly of WIBC talent. Sid Collins served as booth announcer. Jim Shelton was among the turn reporters, reporting from turn 4.
Like previous years, the broadcast featured live coverage of the start, the finish, and 15-minute live updates throughout the race.
Championship standings after the race
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1952 Indianapolis 500.|
- World Drivers' Championship standings
- Note: Only the top five positions are included. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.
- "More Indy Hearbreaks". Autoweek. 62 (11): 82. May 28, 2012. ISSN 0192-9674.
- "1952 Indianapolis 500". formula1.com. Archived from the original on December 1, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "1952 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes". ChampCarStats.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Davidson, Donald. (2007). "The Talk of Gasoline Alley" [Radio program]. WIBC (FM), April 30, 2007. Archived at http://wayback.archive.org/web/20070928124654/http://media.wibc.com/av/audio/talk_gas/2007/april30.mp3, retrieved on January 6, 2016.
- Greuter, Henri. "1952: Ferrari at Indianapolis". www.forixautosport.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats – Official Site
- Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975
1952 Swiss Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1952 Belgian Grand Prix
1951 Indianapolis 500
|1952 Indianapolis 500
1953 Indianapolis 500
(1951 Indianapolis 500)
|Record for the Indianapolis 500 fastest average speed
(1954 Indianapolis 500)