1914 Indianapolis 500

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4th Indianapolis 500
Indy500winningcar1914.JPG
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body AAA
Date May 30, 1914
Winner René Thomas
Winning Entrant Delage
Average speed 82.474 mph (132.729 km/h)
Pole position Jean Chassagne
Pole speed Grid set by blind draw
Most laps led René Thomas (102)
Pre-race
Pace car Stoddard-Dayton
Pace car driver Carl G. Fisher
Starter Thomas J. Hay[1]
Honorary referee John A. Wilson[1]
Estimated attendance 110,000[2]
Chronology
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1913 1915

The 4th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30, 1914.

René Thomas was the race winner, accompanied by riding mechanic Robert Laly.

Background[edit]

Race history[edit]

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, and the first motorsport event at the track, a series of motorcycle races, was held in August of that year.[3] A series of automobile races were held in 1909, but concerns were raised about the condition of the course after numerous accidents, including a fatality.[4] The track was re-paved at a high-cost to Carl G. Fisher and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, and further series of races took place in 1910. Fisher was worried about the dwindling attendances at these races, and decided to establish a 500-mile race; double the furthest distance of any previous race at the track. He went on to announce that the track would host no other races during the year, and that the prize for first place would be £25,000, more than 10 times higher than any other race.[5] The total prize-fund was $85,000.[6] Fisher's plans paid off, and at the 1911 Indianapolis 500, the inaugural event, newspapers reported that in excess of 80,000 people attended the race.[7] Each of the first two races were won by Americans; Ray Harroun in 1911 and Joe Dawson in 1912. In 1913, the large prize-fund attracting European teams and racers, and the race was won by Jules Goux in a Peugeot.[7]

Rule changes[edit]

During the 1913 race, Goux had drunk champagne during each of his pit stops, and for 1914, the consumption of alcohol during the race was banned.[8] Riding mechanics were mandatory for the 1914 race.[9] The maximum engine size remained unchanged at 450 cubic inches (7,400 cc) of engine displacement.[10]

Report[edit]

Elimination trials[edit]

Georges Boillot set the fastest time during the elimination trials, exceeding 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) along the straights.

There were 45 entrants for the race, but only the quickest 30 drivers during the elimination trials would qualify for the race. The first day of trials was completed on the Monday before the race, 25 May. Caleb Bragg set the fastest official time on the first day, recording 1:36.8, though it was reckoned that Howdy Wilcox went quicker, but his time was not officially recorded. Ralph DePalma, a crowd favourite, struggled in his Mercedes and could only manage a quickest time of 1:47.4, slower than the 1:45 that it was predicted drivers would have to beat in order to qualify. Only fifteen of the drivers ran on the first day, and they continued with two session on the Tuesday.[11] On the second day, three drivers set record times around the Speedway: first the 1912 winner, Joe Dawson, set an unofficial lap time of 1:34.8. Later in the day Teddy Tetzlaff completed a lap in 1:33.4, while Jules Goux finished the day as the fastest driver, with a time of 1:31.7. Tetzlaff's lap was completed in a Maxwell which was fuelled with a 50:50 mix of gasoline and kerosene; the other Maxwell, driven by Billy Carlson, set a time of 1:36.6 fuelled by a combination of kerosene and lucubrating oil, with no gasoline.[12] Ray Harroun, who had won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, designed the Maxwell car, and was given $10,000 (equivalent to $244,000 in 2017) by the company's president as a reward for the cars qualifying with sub-1:37 times.[13]

By the end of the second day, 21 drivers had completed speed trials, and all but DePalma and Eddie Pullen had times below 1:45. Hughie Hughes's car suffered a broken crank case, preventing him from being able to set a qualifying time.[14] On the final day of the trials, DePalma managed to make significant improvements in his Mercedes, and qualified with the twentieth fastest time overall, in 1:42.12. Georges Boillot set the overall fastest time, edging out his teammate Goux by completing a lap in 1:30.13, exceeding 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) along the straights.[13] The slowest of the thirty qualifiers was Harry Grant in a Sunbeam, with a lap time of 1:44.09.[15]

Build up[edit]

After the rigours of the elimination trials, DePalma withdrew from the race, claiming that his car had been vibrating so heavily that his engine would not survive the race. His place was taken by Ray Gilhooley in the Italian-built Isotta car.[16] Gilhooley was known as a fearless, and sometimes erratic, driver who was feared by his peers, as they considered him unpredictable. DePalma claimed that he had twice seen Gilhooley "tear through a wooden fence at full tilt" on occasions when Gilhooley risked overtakes on dangerous corners.[17] The bookmakers made the 1913 race winner, Goux, the favourite, followed by his Peugeot teammate Boillot.[16] Although the Frenchmen were accepted to be driving the quickest cars, there was some belief in the American press that their English tires might not be as durable as American tires, which could improve the chances of the American drivers.[18]

Race[edit]

Classification[edit]

Elimination trials[edit]

Pos No. Driver Time
1 7  Georges Boillot (FRA) 1:30.17
2 6  Jules Goux (FRA) 1:31.71
3 8  Teddy Tetzlaff (USA) 1:33.4
4 16  René Thomas (FRA) 1:35.2
5 26  Joe Dawson (USA) 1:36.2
6 25  Billy Carlson (USA) 1:36.4
7 21  Caleb Bragg (USA) 1:36.8
8 19  Spencer Wishart (USA) 1:37.1
9 9  Josef Christiaens (BEL) 1:38.67
10 4  Howdy Wilcox (USA) 1:39.16
11 24  Gil Andersen (NOR) 1:39.46
12 17  Bob Burman (USA) 1:39.55
13 14  Arthur Duray (BEL) 1:40
14 31  Billy Knipper (USA) 1:40.48
15 43  Willie Haupt (USA) 1:40.68
16 10  Albert Guyot (FRA) 1:40.95
17 12  Jean Chassagne (FRA) 1:41.01
18 23  Ralph Mulford (USA) 1:42.03
19 42  Eddie Rickenbacker (USA) 1:42.11
20 18  Ralph DePalma (ITA) 1:42.12
21 2  Earl Cooper (USA) 1:42.25
22 48  S. F. Brock (USA) 1:42.47
23 34  Ernest Friderich (FRA) 1:42.59
24 38  Billy Chandler (USA) 1:42.81
25 3  Barney Oldfield (USA) 1:43.15
26 13  George Mason (USA) 1:43.22
27 5  Charles Keene (USA) 1:43.6
28 15  Art Klein (USA) 1:43.6
29 1  Louis Disbrow (USA) 1:43.7
30 27  Harry Grant (USA) 1:44.09

Race results[edit]

Pos No. Driver Entrant Chassis Engine Laps Time / retired Grid Laps Led
1 16  René Thomas (FRA) (R) Louis Delâge Delage Delage 200 6:03:45.99 15 102
2 14  Arthur Duray (BEL) (R) Peugeot (Jacques Munier) Peugeot Peugeot 200 + 6:38.50 10 77
3 10  Albert Guyot (FRA) Delage (Albert Guyot) Delage Delage 200 + 10:15.76 11 9
4 6  Jules Goux (FRA) (W)[a] Peugeot (Jules Goux) Peugeot Peugeot 200 + 13:38.27 19 1
5 3  Barney Oldfield (USA) (R) Stutz Stutz Wisconsin 200 + 20:05.55 30 0
6 9  Josef Christiaens (BEL) (R) Excelsior (Josef Christiaens) Excelsior Excelsior 200 + 23:38.01 7 9
7 27  Harry Grant (USA) Sunbeam Sunbeam Sunbeam 200 + 32:36.71 26 0
8 5  Charles Keene (USA) (R) Beaver Bullet (Charles Keene) Keene Wisconsin 200 + 37:11.83 27 0
9 25  Billy Carlson (USA) (R) Maxwell / U.S. Motor Maxwell Maxwell 200 + 58:56.61 5 0
10 42  Eddie Rickenbacker (USA) Duesenberg Duesenberg Duesenberg 200 + 59:48.60 23 0
11 23  Ralph Mulford (USA) Mercedes (E.J. Schroeder) Mercedes Mercedes 200 + 1:07:34.01 6 0
12 43  Willie Haupt (USA) Duesenberg Duesenberg Duesenberg 200 + 1:26:12.01 28 0
13 31  Billy Knipper (USA) Keeton Keeton Wisconsin 200 + 1:32:56.01 12 0
14 7  Georges Boillot (FRA) (R) Peugeot (Georges Boillot) Peugeot Peugeot 141 Broken frame 29 0
15 34  Ernest Friderich (FRA) (R) Ettore Bugatti Bugatti Bugatti 134 Drive pinion 18 0
16 1  Louis Disbrow (USA) Bob Burman Burman Wisconsin 128 Connecting rod 24 0
17 19  Spencer Wishart (USA) Mercer Mercer Mercer 122 Cam gear 25 0
18 2  Earl Cooper (USA) (R) Stutz Stutz Wisconsin 118 Wheel 14 0
19 21  Caleb Bragg (USA) Mercer Mercer Mercer 117 Camshaft 9 1
20 15  Art Klein (USA) (R) King (Art Klein) King Wisconsin 87 Valve 8 0
21 38  Billy Chandler (USA) (R) Braender Bulldog Mulford Duesenberg 69 Connecting rod 4 0
22 4  Howdy Wilcox (USA) Gray Fox (Frank Fox) Fox Pope-Hartford 67 Valve 3 1
23 13  George Mason (USA) (R) Mason Special Duesenberg Duesenberg 66 Piston 13 0
24 17  Bob Burman (USA) Bob Burman Burman Wisconsin 47 Connecting rod 22 0
25 26  Joe Dawson (USA) (W)[b] Marmon (Charles Ebstein) Marmon Marmon 45 Crash 17 0
26 24  Gil Andersen (NOR) Stutz Stutz Wisconsin 42 Cylinder bolts 16 0
27 49  Ray Gilhooley (USA) (R) Isotta (G.M. Heckschew) Isotta Isotta 41 Crash 20 0
28 8  Teddy Tetzlaff (USA) Maxwell / U.S. Motor Maxwell Maxwell 33 Rocker arm 2 0
29 12  Jean Chassagne (FRA) (R) Sunbeam Sunbeam Sunbeam 20 Crash 1 0
30 48  S. F. Brock (USA) (R) Ray Mercer Wisconsin 5 Camshaft 21 0
Sources: MotorSport magazine,[20] Racing-Reference[21]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jules Goux won the 1913 Indianapolis 500.[19]
  2. ^ Joe Dawson won the 1912 Indianapolis 500.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ Hyman, Herbert R. (May 31, 1914). "110,000 Cheer Winner In Race". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Kramer 2009, p. 29.
  4. ^ Kramer 2010, p. 12.
  5. ^ Kramer 2010, pp. 12–17.
  6. ^ Blakely, A. S. (May 30, 1914). "America Endeavors Today to Regain Speed Honors". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ a b Kramer 2010, p. 18.
  8. ^ Swan, Tom (May 2011). "Celebrating the Indy 500's 100th Anniversary: 100 Most Interesting Facts and Milestones". Car and Driver. Ann Arbor, Michigan. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  9. ^ Blazier, John E. and Rollings, Tom (1994). Forgotten Heroes of the Speedways: The Riding Mechanics.
  10. ^ "Who Will Share the $50,000 In Big Race Meet?". Bismarck Daily Tribune. 29 May 1914. p. 4. Retrieved 26 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  11. ^ Blankenbaker, R. M. (26 May 1914). "Time Trials at Speedway Are Started". The Indianapolis Star. p. 7. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  12. ^ Blankenbaker, R. M. (27 May 1914). "Three Racers Break Marks at Speedway". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  13. ^ a b Blankenbaker, R. M. (28 May 1914). "De Palma Last To Qualify For 500-Mile Grind". The Indianapolis Star. p. 1. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Blankenbaker, R. M. (27 May 1914). "Three Racers Break Marks at Speedway". The Indianapolis Star. p. 5. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ "Starters in 500-Mile Race and Time in Speed Test". The Indianapolis Star. 28 May 1914. p. 1. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  16. ^ a b "De Palma Out Of Big Race". New York Times. 30 May 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 26 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  17. ^ "Master Mind + Mechanics = Speed". The Ogden Standard. 30 May 1914. p. 11. Retrieved 26 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  18. ^ "Americans Rely on Tires; Hope To Win Classic". The Indianapolis Star. 29 May 1914. p. 1. Retrieved 29 December 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  19. ^ a b "Indianapolis 500: Champions". CBS Sports. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  20. ^ "1914 Indianapolis 500". MotorSport magazine. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  21. ^ "1914 International 500". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 9 December 2015.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

1913 Indianapolis 500
Jules Goux
1914 Indianapolis 500
Rene Thomas
1915 Indianapolis 500
Ralph Depalma
Preceded by
78.719 mph
(1912 Indianapolis 500)
Record for the fastest average speed
82.474 mph
Succeeded by
89.840 mph
(1915 Indianapolis 500)