The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend, which is typically the last weekend in May and it is contested as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel formula colloquially known as Indy Car Racing. The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500, the event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world. The official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, but the permanent seating capacity is upwards of 250,000, the inaugural running was won by Ray Harroun in 1911. The race celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, and the 100th running was held in 2016, alexander Rossi is the defending champion. The most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser, the active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three.
Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six, the most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 16 total wins and 17 poles. For a list of races and winners, see List of Indianapolis 500 winners, the Indianapolis 500 is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5 mile oval circuit. Drivers race 200 laps, counterclockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles, since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled on or around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece. The event is contested by Indy cars, a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, as of 2015, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower. Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider.
The race is the most prestigious event of the IndyCar calendar and it has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world. Likewise, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself is regarded as the worlds largest sporting facility in terms of capacity, the total purse exceeded $13 million in 2011, with over $2.5 million awarded to the winner, making it one of the richest cash prize funds in sports. Due to safety issues, the race is not held in wet conditions, in the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain showers cease, and the track is sufficiently dried. If rain falls during the race, officials can end the race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909 as a gravel-and-tar track and hosted a smattering of small events, including ones for motorcycles. The first long distance event, in conditions, was the 100-lap Prest-O-Lite Trophy in 1909
Thomas Tommy Milton was an American race car driver best known as the first two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. He was notable for having only one eye, a disability that would have disqualified him from competing in modern motorsports. Milton was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 14,1893 and he began his career in racing in 1914, competing on dirt tracks in the Midwestern United States. By 1917, he was competing nationwide, and earned his first major win at a track in Providence, that year he suffered severe burns when his car burst into flames during a race at Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He returned to the track the year to win the Universal Trophy on June 19 before winning the 1920 United States National Driving Championship. Milton was a starter in the Indianapolis 500 eight times, earning the position once. He drove for Duesenberg his first time in 1919 and again the year when he finished third. In 1921, the twenty-seven-year-old Milton won the race driving a straight-eight Frontenac built by Louis Chevrolet.
In 1922 fuel tank problems forced Milton out of the race after only forty-four laps, Motor Co. with a Miller 122 and won the race for the second time. His last was the 1927 Indianapolis 500 where he finished eighth, at the 1936 race, Milton returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to drive the Packard 120 Pace Car. At his suggestion, the tradition of giving the winner the Pace Car began that year. In 1949 Milton was appointed chief steward for the Indianapolis 500, health problems forced him to retire in 1957. Milton died in 1962 in Mount Clemens, Michigan, at the age of 68 of self-inflicted gunshot wounds and he was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1992. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1998, Tommy Milton – Website of the Ramsey County Historical Society, St Paul MN, with an online exhibit sharing photos of Milton based on an article in the Ramsey County History Quarterly. The Greatest 33 Trimble, Steven C, Tommy Milton St. Pauls Speed King, Ramsey County History Quarterly V42 #4, Ramsey County Historical Society, St Paul, MN,2008
Spotter (auto racing)
A spotter in auto racing is a trained team member whose job is to relay information to their driver, keeping them alert of what is occurring on the track. They are typically positioned higher, atop one of the grandstands or other support buildings, spotters keep in constant contact with their drivers via two-way radio communication. Spotters are considered the eyes and are one of the more notable yet simple. Spotters became commonplace in NASCAR and CART in the late 1980s, no tracks had video boards, and monitors carrying the satellite feeds of the race telecast was still decades away. Pit crews notably had very little information on what was going on out on the track, at some point in the 1980s, teams began experimenting with an additional crew member stationed at another position at the track. Some teams would station a crew member in an observation tower, the position gave the teams a unique view of the track, and allowed the spotter to relay information that could not been observed from the pits.
Initially, the information gained was simple, for instance, if a crash occurred on the track, he could warn his driver about the location of the crash, and could advise on how to take evasive action. At other times, he could observe the other cars, and relay information about their performance, before the teams possessed weather radar in the pits, the spotters could relay information about approaching rain, for strategic purposes. By the early to mid-1990s, NASCAR began to standardize the organization of the spotters, at each track, a special area was reserved for the spotters, one with the best view of the circuit. At certain tracks, such as Daytona and Indianapolis, multiple spotters are utilized, spotters duties increased as the years went by, and now include assisting drivers in making passes and racing in heavy traffic. Spotters are known to work amongst each other, for mutually beneficial situations, for instance, spotters for two cars running together might consummate a deal for their respective drivers to pit together, that way they could re-enter the track together, as drafting partners.
Spotters on competing teams might arrange for their drivers to gang up on another car. Altercations on the track can lead to heated exchanges among the respective spotters. Spotters are former drivers, instructors, or various crew members who do not otherwise have in-race duties, some drivers may prefer constant streams of information, while others may insist on limited chatter. In addition, they may have agreed upon dark periods, where no discussion is allowed, the job of spotting is often considered difficult and undesirable, despite its simple outward appearance. Weather conditions in the spotters high perches are usually to the extreme, unshaded from hot sun, unshielded from high winds, the responsibility of keeping their driver safe on the track is a working burden. Lapses in concentration can have consequences to their driver on the track
Raffaele Ralph De Palma was an Italian-American racecar driving champion who won the 1915 Indianapolis 500. His entry at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame estimates that he won about 2,000 races, DePalma won the 1908,1909,1910, and 1911 American AAA national dirt track championships and is credited with winning 24 American Champ car races. He won the Canadian national championship in 1929, DePalma estimated that he had earned $1.5 million by 1934 after racing for 27 years. He is inducted in numerous halls of fame and he competed on boards and dirt road courses and ovals. Born in Biccari, Italy, DePalmas family emigrated to the United States in 1893, DePalma was immediately successful in car racing. In 1911, DePalma won the first Milwaukee Mile Championship Car race, however, he is still remembered for the dramatic manner in which he lost the 1912 Indianapolis 500. After leading the race for 196 of the 200 laps, his Mercedes cracked a piston and with only 2 laps remaining, he, at that time, only cars completing the full 200 laps received any prize money.
This Mercedes remains on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. He went on to earn the U. S. national driving championship that year, after being impaled by a corn stalk, he was hospitalized for 11 weeks, he recovered and was back to racing the following spring. He entered the 1914 Indianapolis 500 but was not able to finish the course, DePalma had been let go by the Mercer Automobile Co. racing team in favor of Barney Oldfield. In a Mercedes Gray Ghost, he showed he was a tactician in beating Oldfields much faster car. He ended 1914 by winning his second U. S. national driving championship, the following year,1915, he drove to victory at 1915 Indianapolis 500 with a Mercedes 4.5 liter Gp car. DePalma was a competitor but one of the most popular racers with his fellow drivers and the fans because of his good sportsmanship. In June 1917 he lost to Barney Oldfield in a series of 10 to 25 mile match races at the Milwaukee Mile. On February 12,1919 at Daytona Beach, Florida, he drove a Packard to a speed record of 149.875 mph over a measured mile.
International competition began following the adoption of the three liter engine limit in the U. S. and Europe in 1920, DePalma began the year driving for the French manufacturer, Ballot. His Ballot vehicle won the position for the 1920 Indy race and he led for many laps but bad luck dogged him in the race. However, DePalma did race his Ballot vehicle in the Elgin Road Race, in 1921 DePalma traveled with other Americans to Le Mans to compete in the French Grand Prix
World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Dario Resta, nicknamed Dolly, was an Italian Briton race car driver. He was the winner of the 1916 Indianapolis 500, dario Resta was born in Faenza, Italy but was raised in England from the age of two. He began racing there in 1907 when he took part in the Montagu Cup and he set a record of 95.7 mph in a half-mile run a few years later. After competing in Grand Prix motor racing in Europe, including the 1913 French Grand Prix, in early 1915 he was brought to the United States by Alphonse Kaufman, an America importer of Peugeots, to drive Kaufmans Peugeot EX3. In February he won the United States Grand Prix at San Francisco followed by a victory in the Vanderbilt Cup. After leading during the stages of that years Indianapolis 500, he finished second to Ralph DePalma when his car skidded. Resta drove his blue Peugeot to victory in the inaugural 500-mile race on the track at the Chicago Speedway on 26 June 1915. The race received eighteen pages of coverage in the 1 July 1915, with World War I raging in Europe and the United States entering the war in 1918, races were reduced to a minimum.
During 1918 Resta drove a Peugeot at a race in Sheepshead Bay, during this time Resta became an American citizen, dedicated his time to his business and moved his family to Bakersfield, California. During his time in California, Resta created a racing track at Buttonwillow, California. In 1923 Resta returned to racing at the age of 39, making his first appearance in Beverly Hills, next, he made another attempt at Indianapolis but was forced out of the race after 225 miles. Racing again in Europe, Resta finished 3rd in the Penya Rhin Grand Prix and he drove for Sunbeam in the 1924 season with team mates Henry Segrave and Kenelm Lee Guinness. Dario Resta was killed in England on 2 September 1924 at the age of 42 when his car crashed at Brooklands while trying for a new speed record. Resta was driving a Sunbeam when a belt on his car broke on the second lap, the car crashed through a corrugated iron fence on the Railway Straight and caught fire. This accident hospitalized his riding-mechanic, Bill Perkins, causing him to miss the San Sebastian Grand Prix a few weeks later, Perkins was Sunbeam driver Kenelm Lee Guinnesss regular mechanic and so was substituted by Tom Barrett.
Guinness suffered a crash during this race, in which Barrett was killed
A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load and they were once common worldwide, but they have mostly been replaced by automobiles and other forms of self-propelled transport. A two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle is a cart, four-wheeled vehicles have many names – one for heavy loads is most commonly called a wagon. Very light carts and wagons can be pulled by donkeys, other smaller animals are occasionally used, such as large dogs and goats. Heavy wagons and agricultural implements can be pulled by other large animals such as oxen, water buffalo, yaks or even camels. Vehicles pulled by one animal have two shafts which attach either side of the rearmost animal, Vehicles which are pulled by a pair have a pole which attaches between the wheel pair. Other arrangements are possible, for example three or more abreast, a wheel pair with a single lead animal, or a wheel pair with three lead animals abreast.
Very heavy loads sometimes had a team behind to slow the vehicle down steep hills. Sometimes at a hill with frequent traffic such a team would be hired to passing wagons to help them up or down the hill. Two-wheeled vehicles are balanced by the distribution of weight of the load over the axle, four-wheeled vehicles remain level on their own, and so the shafts or pole are hinged vertically, allowing them to rise and fall with the movement of the animals. A four-wheeled vehicle is steered by the shafts or pole, which are attached to the front axle. Ambulance, much the purpose as the modern sense. Details of the varied but would be a lightly built and well-sprung, enclosed vehicle with provision for seated casualties. Barouche, an elegant, high-slung, open carriage with a seat in the rear of the body and a bench at the front for the driver. Berlin Brake Britzka Brougham Buckboard Bus, see omnibus Buggy, a light, four-wheeled carriage, joseph Hansom based the design of his public hire vehicle on the cabriolet so the name cab stuck to vehicles for public hire.
Cabriolet Calash or Calèshe, see barouche, cape cart Cariole Carriage, in the late eighteenth century, roughly equivalent to the modern word vehicle. It came to be restricted to vehicle and even to private. This last is the adopted by the linked article
1925 Indianapolis 500
The 13th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30,1925. Race winner Peter DePaolo became the first driver to complete the 500 miles in five hours. Norman Batten drove 21 laps of relief while DePaolo had his hands bandaged due to blisters, leon Duray won the pole position with a 4-lap track record of 113.196 mph. Peter DePaolo, who qualified second, set the 1-lap track record at 114.285 mph, for 1925, riding mechanics were optional, however, no teams utilized them
Ray Harroun was an American racecar driver and pioneering constructor most famous for winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. He was born on January 12,1879 in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania and he participated in the original setting of the record from Chicago to New York in 1903, and the re-taking of that record in 1904. He and four others drove in shifts non-stop to establish the record of 76 hours at the end of September,1903. That time was bested by another team nearly a year later, and in October 1904 and that record stood for nearly two years. Other drivers in both years included Bert Holcomb, Lawrence Duffie, and Harry Sandol, in 1903, the fifth driver was David R. Adams, in 1904 it was Eddie Bald. Nicknamed the Little Professor for his work of creating the Marmon Wasp. Harroun is best known for winning the first running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 30,1911 and he is known to have started at least 60 AAA-sanctioned races, during the years 1905–1911. From 1909 to 1911, Harroun drove primarily for the team operated by Indianapolis-based auto maker, however, at least one 1909 race result shows him driving a Buick.
Also, statistics from 1905 through 1908 show him driving cars described as Harroun Custom and he is best known for winning the first Indianapolis 500, driving a Marmon. Harroun won a total of 8 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, during the years that Harroun was driving, the AAA designated some races each year as championship events. However, there was no actual year-long championship, and no points were awarded, in 1927, points were assigned retroactively, and champions were designated for those years. At that time, Harroun was designated the champion for the 1910 season, at the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, his use of what would now be called a rear-view mirror, rather than the riding mechanic specified in the rules, created controversy, but was ultimately allowed. Harroun went on to win at an speed of 74.602 miles per hour. Harroun, who out of retirement to race in the first 500. Harrouns historic Firestone-shod yellow #32 Marmon Wasp, in which he won the Indianapolis 500, is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, the 50th Anniversary race in 1961 was won by A. J.
Foyt, and both Harroun and Foyt appeared together on the television program Ive Got a Secret -- their secret being their respective wins at Indianapolis, after retiring from racing, Harroun continued engineering work for Marmon, and for the Maxwell racing team. In 1916, Harroun started his own company in Wayne, Michigan. The venture folded after World War I, and today a street in Wayne is named for him, in 1927 he joined Lincoln Products
1911 Indianapolis 500
The 1911 International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30,1911. It was the running of the Indianapolis 500, which is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. Ray Harroun, an engineer with the Marmon Motor Car Company, came out of retirement to drive, over the previous two seasons, the Speedway had scheduled numerous smaller races during a series of meets over the two years. It proved to be an event, immediately establishing itself both as the premier motorsports competition in the nation, and one of the most prestigious in the world. The endurance event was favored by several manufacturers, but debate soon proceeded as to what would be most beneficial to the spectators as well as the participants. While a 24-hour race would be possible on a technical level despite its extreme nature, deciding on a race window extending from 10, 00AM to late afternoon, local time, early estimates placed the planned race distance at 300 to 500 miles.
The race winner, with estimates ranging toward $30,000. In choices for a date to hold the race, Memorial Day. As desired and expected, news of a contest of such distance evoked strong enthusiasm both within and without the motorsport community, everyone, it seemed, had something to say about it. By 1 May 1911, the day for entry filing. A policy originally established so as to allow teams unfamiliar with the 2, ultimately, of the full forty-six entries originally submitted, only the two cars of the Falcar team from Moline, Illinois failed to appear, due to an inability to acquire critical chassis pieces. In reality, no records of the sessions were kept at all, let alone publicized, with the sole objective being the confirmation of each cars capability to achieve the minimum speed. The largest racing purse offered to date, $27,550, drew 46 entries from the United States and Europe, grid positions were determined by date of filing of official entry forms, rather than speed, a difference from the contemporary European practice of lottery.
Entries were prescribed by rules to have a weight of 2,300 lb. The 40 cars lined up five to a row, except for the first and last, in the first row, the Stoddard-Dayton pace car was situated on the inside, with four competitors cars rounding out the row. Rows 2-8 had five cars each, while the row had only one car in it. Fishers use of the Stoddard-Dayton is believed to constitute the first use of such a vehicle, bruce-Browns Fiat which would go on to dominate the first half of the race. Others faltered during the event, of the 14 cars to fall out, riding mechanic Sam Dickson was the lone fatality
1915 Indianapolis 500
The 5th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 31,1915. The traditional race date of May 30 fell on a Sunday, the race was set for Saturday May 29, but heavy rains in the days leading up to the race flooded the grounds and made some roads leading to the track impassible. Officials decided to postpone the race until Monday May 31 in order to allow the grounds to dry out, Speedway management would maintain their policy to not race on Sundays until 1974. After a heartbreaking loss in 1912, Ralph DePalma succeeds in victory for 1915, DePalma was accompanied by riding mechanic Louis Fontaine. For 1915, riding mechanics were required, Louis Chevrolet is usually shown as American but his application for a US passport reveals that he did not become a US citizen until June 1915. Ralph DePalma is usually shown as American but his application for a US passport reveals that he did not become a US citizen until 1920
Tacoma Speedway was a 2-mile wooden board track for automobile racing that operated from 1914 to 1922 near Tacoma, Washington. In its time, the track was renowned nationwide and was considered by some to be only to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Notable competitors such as Barney Oldfield, Eddie Rickenbacker, Ralph DePalma, before long, the track acquired a reputation for being dangerous. After an arson destroyed the wooden grandstands in 1920, the facility was rebuilt but failed financially. This course was reduced in size for each of the two years and became the final 2-mile layout in 1914. On July 4 of that year, over 35,000 spectators came out to see racing, Vaudeville acts and fireworks. In 1915, the track was upgraded to a wood track with turns banked up 18 feet. At the time of construction, it was one of just eleven wood tracks in the United States, promoters claimed it would be one of the fastest race tracks, if not the fastest, in the nation. Three major races were held on the new track in 1915.
That day saw the tracks first racer fatalities, when a car carrying Billy Carlson, Carlson was one of several drivers who had urged the track be paved with creosoted wood blocks instead of split boards, for safety reasons. One other driver died at the track in 1917, due to a puncture, in time, it was realized that the nature of the tracks construction was problematic. Other board tracks were constructed with continuous wood surfaces, but in Tacoma the boards were spaced apart to save on materials. The gaps between the boards were filled with gravel, and there were constant problems with flying gravel and splinters, which caused many injuries, flat tires and accidents. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Tommy Milton once said, “Driving on the boards was always terrible and we all came in with pieces of wood bigger than kitchen matches driven into our face and foreheads. Theyd go in, hit the bone and spread out, you had to remove them, of course. You had the splinters and knots and all, but to save on lumber they had spaced out the 2x4s and caulked them with some mixture of tar, when Tacoma began to go it was like a meteor shower.
Race promoters often added sideshow attractions and staged exhibitions to help draw paying spectators, one such event in 1916 involved the head-on collision of two locomotives on a mile of railroad track temporary laid in the race course infield. Although World War I put a damper on auto racing across much of the country, and briefly stopped it altogether in October 1918, as a show of patriotism, in 1918 and 1919 races were run with cars flying the flags of Allied nations