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#1 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 20:51

We all know that Ray Harroun won the first Indy 500 in a single seat Marmon Wasp with a rear view mirror. However I hear that he had a co-driver who drove part of the race. Does anyone know about that? Should they both be honored for the win?

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#2 fines

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 21:34

Cyrus Patschke drove for about half an hour in both works Marmons during the race, finishing first and (from memory) sixth in the other car (main driver Joe Dawson?).

Yes, he should be remembered (forgotten too often anyway!), like Luigi Musso and Luigi Fagioli for winning WDC races.

#3 ensign14

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 21:48

Like Don Herr is forgotten despite relieving Joe Dawson in 1912 and Norm Batten is forgotten despite relieving Peter dePaolo (Batten received 110 points for his part, driving 21 laps, and was a rookie winner).

Of course, there is the thing about whether Harroun actually won the race...but I'm not touching that one with a barge pole.

Don? :p

#4 GIGLEUX

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 22:08

Dawson was in fact classified fith. The two Marmons were different, Harroun's Wasp being a 6 cyl. of 477 cu.i displacement (4.5x 5.0 in.) and Dawson's one a 4 cyl. of 495 cu.i.(4.25x7.0 in).
From The Automobile of June 1,1911 we know that "he (Harroun) was assisted in his work by Cyrus Patschke, who took the wheel for about 100 miles when the Marmon was working its way through to the front. Patschke also assisted in driving the four-cylinder Marmon N°31 when Dawson required relief.".
In fact History retained only Harroun which is rather unfair for Patschke

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 22:38

Originally posted by ensign14
Like Don Herr is forgotten despite relieving Joe Dawson in 1912 and Norm Batten is forgotten despite relieving Peter dePaolo (Batten received 110 points for his part, driving 21 laps, and was a rookie winner).

Don? :p


Herr got ZERO points since there were no points to be awarded. Why? There no National Championship run in conjunction with the National Championship Trail until 1916.

The situation that Patschke and Herr and more than a few have fallen into is pretty frustrating at times since the way "victory" or placings is apportioned at the International Sweepstakes is often quite inconsistent.

However, outside TNF and a few similar fora not a soul cares. :(

#6 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 01:09

Thanks for the info. Co drivers kind of fall thru the cracks.

#7 Buford

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 06:08

At Indy the only time a co-driver is noted in the history books for a win was when one driver started and another finished. I don't know the facts but in the early years I was under the impression a co-driver for the winning car was not uncommon.

#8 Henri Greuter

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 07:43

http://www.indystar....6-7902-188.html


The question answered by Donals Davidson Himself.


henri greuter

#9 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 21:42

Not to be a muck raker, I read some where that Ray Harround may not have won Indy. Was there a scoring problem? Did other drivers question the results?

#10 art anderson

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 05:03

Originally posted by Buford
At Indy the only time a co-driver is noted in the history books for a win was when one driver started and another finished. I don't know the facts but in the early years I was under the impression a co-driver for the winning car was not uncommon.


Correct. Simply because in each of the two "Co-Winner" situations at Indianapolis, the winning driver took a lesser car (or a similar car, but back in the pack) and brought it home to the checkered flag.

The first time that happened was in 1924. Both Joe Boyer and Lora L Corum were teammates with Duesenberg, and drove virtually identical cars. Boyer was clearly the class of the field, until his car broke, while Corum was several places back. Fred Duesenberg is reported to have called in Corum, who wasn't getting the job done (to Duesenberg's satisfaction), and replaced him with the now-idled Boyer, who brought the car home for the victory.

The second, and last time was in 1941, when after his car faltered, Mauri Rose was asked to relieve Floyd Davis, who while having a competitive car, was not doing all that well. Rose stepped in, and brought the car to the Checkered Flag.

Relief drivers at Indianapolis were quite common, well through the middle 1950's. This was simply due in part to the roughness of the track (Indianapolis was no "billiard table smooth" race course back then, and the bricks were murderously torturous on the driver. Even into the late 1950's, Indy took more than three hours to run, and with the non-reversible steering gear of the early years, the task of steering was two-way--to the left or right, and then physically back to center, no tendency of those cars to correct steering back to center once turned. Add to this the terrific vibration transmitted back to the driver's hands through the steering wheel, and little wonder that drivers had to stop to have their hands bandaged up, so they could continue (no soft steering wheel rims--either wood, or hard rubber). In addition, the very rough steering, and minimal understanding of any sort of comfortable drivers' seating, and the propensity for fatigue was there.

Also, on any number of Memorial Days in years past, temperatures at Indianapolis have been in the high 80's, and on at least a couple of occasions, near the 100-degree mark. Heat exhaustion was another, very serious factor. Through 1925, it was quite rare for a driver to finish the 500 miles without relief.

In 1926, Champion Spark Plug Company created an incentive, however: The Champion 100-Mile An Hour Club, open to only those drivers who completed the full 500 miles without relief, at an average speed of 100mph or faster. Even into the early 1960's, it was not easy to qualify for the 100-mph Club, often only 2 or 3 qualified as new members in most years.

Art Anderson

#11 D-Type

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 14:39

How did they work the points for the USAC Championship (or whatever it was called at different times)?

#12 JB Miltonian

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 20:27

Regarding Frank's question in post #9, I found a couple of pertinent quotes in "Famous Indianapolis Cars And Drivers" by Brock Yates, copyright 1960.

"Following the race, Mulford lodged an official protest, claiming he was forced to run 201 laps to Harroun's 200 and therefore was the winner. The protest was disallowed by the Speedway scorers."

"For his effort Harroun won the $10,000 first prize for himself and the Marmon company, but he also gathered enough protests from the other drivers that the American Automobile Association outlawed single-seater racing cars from American tracks. They were not permitted back until 1923."

Apparently Harroun's "Wasp" was the only single-seater in the race. There is a marvelous photo in this book of the cockpit of the Wasp, with a system of gears attached to the steering column just above the pedals. Looks dangerous!

#13 ensign14

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 20:51

Originally posted by D-Type
How did they work the points for the USAC Championship (or whatever it was called at different times)?

Seems to have been pro-rata for the proportion of the race driven. Batten's 110 points was for 11% of the distance he covered with 1000 points for an Indy win.

Don's done some detective work on another thread somewhere but there was a basic 100-80-70-60-50-40-30-25-20-15-10-5 system for the 50s and 60s multiplied by 2 for races of over 100 miles, 4 for over 200 miles, 6 for over 300 miles and 10 for the biggie. Probably for other years as well.

#14 Don Capps

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 21:33

Here is something that might be helpful: http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=39493

#15 D-Type

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 22:12

After reading that thread my first reaction was "Sorry I asked"

My second one was "What a valuable piece of ferreting out the information" Congratulations.

In the thread you mention microfilm and microfiche readers. Many engineering, architectural and surveying practices maintain microfilm records as they need to retain copies of drawings (plans) for ever and a day. Also utilities and local authorities. But this is gradually changing as they move over to scanning them into a computer. But it takes time and money to make the transfer. the older the firm the more there is to transfer. It's an alternative source of a reader if anybody needs one.

#16 gerrit stevens

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 16:51

Originally posted by art anderson


Relief drivers at Indianapolis were quite common, well through the middle 1950's. This was simply due in part to the roughness of the track (Indianapolis was no "billiard table smooth" race course back then, and the bricks were murderously torturous on the driver. Even into the late 1950's, Indy took more than three hours to run, and with the non-reversible steering gear of the early years, the task of steering was two-way--to the left or right, and then physically back to center, no tendency of those cars to correct steering back to center once turned. Add to this the terrific vibration transmitted back to the driver's hands through the steering wheel, and little wonder that drivers had to stop to have their hands bandaged up, so they could continue (no soft steering wheel rims--either wood, or hard rubber). In addition, the very rough steering, and minimal understanding of any sort of comfortable drivers' seating, and the propensity for fatigue was there.

Art Anderson


I thought the last time driver were relieved at Indy was in the 70's.
A few examples.

1970: Mel Kenyon (16th, 108 laps), reliever Roger McCluskey (finishing 25th) laps 109-160.
1973: George Snider (12th 58 laps), reliever AJ Foyt (25th) laps 59-101.
Snider received 58/200 part of the original 50 points = 14. Foyt did not receive any points.
1975: Bob Harkey (10th, 17 laps) relieved on laps 18-162 by Salt Walther (who finished 33rd).
According to the Indy yearbook Harkey received 14 pts. 10th place would normally give 150 points but Harkey drove only 17 laps, so he received only 17/200 part of 150 (a right calculation gives only 13 points). Walther received no points.
The Wallen book of the 70's gives however 150 points to Harkey despite being relieved.
1977: John Mahler (finished 14th, 149 laps) was relieved by Larry Cannon on laps 150-157.

All the relievers finished the race.


The last race in which I noticed a reliever was at the Ontario 500 (4 September 1977) where Janet Guthrie was relieved by Dick Simon.

"Shared" winning drives apart from 1924 and 1941.
1911 Ray Harroun/Cyrus Patchke
1912 Joe Dawson/Don Herr
1923 Tommy Milton/Howard Wilcox
1925 Peter De Paolo/Norman Batten

Last "shared" drive in top 6 finish (Indy 500).
1955: 2nd Tony Bettenhausen/Paul Russo and 5th Walt Faulkner/Bill Homeier.
According to data of Dick Wallen (supplied by Phil Harms) also the relieving drivers were credited with points according to the part of the race they drove.


Gerrit Stevens

#17 Don Capps

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 18:01

According to data of Dick Wallen (supplied by Phil Harms) also the relieving drivers were credited with points according to the part of the race they drove.


In 1916, the AAA did not award points to drivers who relieved another driver for a stint if that driver had started the event in another car. If the driver was a true relief driver and had not started the event, he then received points aportioned by the length of the race he drove in relief. Obviously, this rule was later revised.

#18 robert dick

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 11:55

Originally posted by xkssFrankOpalka
Not to be a muck raker, I read some where that Ray Harround may not have won Indy. Was there a scoring problem? Did other drivers question the results?


"Who really won the first Indy 500?" :
http://www.na-motors...1/RussellJ.html

#19 fines

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 15:07

Scoring of those early races, especially on these "short" ovals was always inconsistent, often a nightmare. Many wins and places were protested, and it's nigh impossible to tell from a distance of almost a hundred years what was going on. Mulford's Indy claim is given disproportionately too much coverage. A race is a race, and a winner is a winner, that's all.

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#20 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 20:36

I would like to bring this thread back, mainly due to a question about relief drivers. Now obviously, the likes of Patschke or Manny Ayulo in 1951, would count having raced in an Indy 500 (but not having a start, clearly), but the only thing I am having trouble clarifying, with a relief driver who didn´t take part in the race but was the nominated relief driver (a common thing between 1911-1950´s) do they count as a non-qualifier, or do they not count towards the results at all, as I am debating whether to include relief drivers who aren´t listed as non-qualifiers or starters in the big 1911-2004 WATN or not...


Can anyone either clear this up or offer me advice as to the best suggestion with these folk? If you want me to clarify more or give examples, I will...

#21 ensign14

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 21:50

Treat them the same as Rudolf Uhlenhaut at the British GP in 1955. If they practised, they go down as a DNQ - self-evidently if they did not make a qualifying attempt they could not qualify!

#22 D-Type

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 00:41

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
I would like to bring this thread back, mainly due to a question about relief drivers. Now obviously, the likes of Patschke or Manny Ayulo in 1951, would count having raced in an Indy 500 (but not having a start, clearly), but the only thing I am having trouble clarifying, with a relief driver who didn´t take part in the race but was the nominated relief driver (a common thing between 1911-1950´s) do they count as a non-qualifier, or do they not count towards the results at all, as I am debating whether to include relief drivers who aren´t listed as non-qualifiers or starters in the big 1911-2004 WATN or not...


Can anyone either clear this up or offer me advice as to the best suggestion with these folk? If you want me to clarify more or give examples, I will...

What classifications do you have?

DNQ - Did not qualify
DNS - Did not start
DNF - Did not finish
Finisher

Any others?

Assuming that's it then let's take it step by step

If a driver tried to qualify but failed he is a DNQ
If he didn't try to qualify all he could be is a spectator
If a driver tried to qualify and succeeded either he is a starter or if for some reason he didn't take the start he's a DNS
Having become a starter, a driver is either a DNF or a finisher

So, a relief driver who qualified in his own right but didn't take the start he is a DNS
If he tried to qualify but failed he is a DNQ
If he didn't qualify and didn't drive, he took no part in the race so can only be a spectator

If a relief dricer did drive then whether he was a qualifier is irrelevant. He becomes a co-starter and progresses to be a co-DNF or a co-finisher.

So we now have a hierarchy

Spectator
DNQ
Q_NS
Q_SR_DNF
Q_SR_F (or Q_S_DNF)
Q_S_DNF (or Q_SR_F)
Q_S_F

The only problem left is which is the better performance: to be a relief driver of a finisher; or to be the original driver of a non-finisher?

Are there any other permutations?

So Richie, you have to decide whether to complicate things with R for Relief/Reserve, or Res for Reserve driver and Rel for Relief driver, or to keep it simple.

I would simply classify them as DNS - they were there, they didn't start. If you think about it, it's no different from the man who couldn't get his engine to run so didn't take the start.

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 01:10

How about adding 'DNS-R'... is there room in the database for that?

ensign 14... was Uhlenhaut an entry, or did he just go out for a thrash around?

#24 Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 03:02

D-Type has got it covered, but if driver practiced and, for whatever reason, did not *try* to qualify, I'd either mark him as PRA(cticed) or DNAQ (did not attempt to qualify). I look at it subjectively- if I was (alive back then and) allowed on the track with GP drivers on practice for a race, I'd certainly want to put it on my CV and have that fact acknowledged. :) So, in turn, I'm willing to extend others the same courtesy.

Richie- how about labeling them as relief drivers (say, REL) which would then mean they did not actualy take part (otherwise they'd be listed as retirements or finishers)- but I believe in latter case also a number of laps covered should be indicated.

#25 scurrg

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 05:24

This picture caught my eye for the cartoonish way the tires are leaning forward. The whole car appears to be leaning forward. But the supports for the grandstand roof in the background are nice and vertical.

http://my.brickyard..../2002-04-11.jpg

I guess it has something to do with the way the shutter works in the camera. It somehow records the image from the bottom up.

#26 ensign14

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 07:03

Originally posted by Ray Bell

ensign 14... was Uhlenhaut an entry, or did he just go out for a thrash around?

He was down as a reserve driver, but I don't know whether he did go out for a practice. I assume he did, else the RAC would not let him in as a reserve should one of the Merc drivers have fallen ill or something during the race.

#27 dolomite

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 18:14

Originally posted by scurrg
I guess it has something to do with the way the shutter works in the camera. It somehow records the image from the bottom up.


This is caused by a vertical focal plane shutter. The shutter is directly in front of the film plane, and effectively forms a slot which scans across the film from the bottom to the top of the picture. By the time the slot has got to the top the car has moved forward compared to when it was at the bottom, resulting in the 'leaning forward' effect. Today's SLR cameras still use the same type of shutter but they are so much faster that the same effect is not visible.

#28 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 20:26

Thanks guys. I think the distinction of whether they actually did a practice lap or not is probably (especially going back 90 years) going to be too difficult. Following what D-Type, Ensign & Wolfie in particular have said, I will include them in the database, with a simple 1 if they raced & a simple 0 if they didn't. Heck knows, I've enough problems with adding all other bits & pieces to it. :lol:
Thanks folks :wave:

#29 D-Type

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 21:42

Originally posted by dolomite


This is caused by a vertical focal plane shutter. The shutter is directly in front of the film plane, and effectively forms a slot which scans across the film from the bottom to the top of the picture. By the time the slot has got to the top the car has moved forward compared to when it was at the bottom, resulting in the 'leaning forward' effect. Today's SLR cameras still use the same type of shutter but they are so much faster that the same effect is not visible.

Most modern 35mm SLR's have a focal plane shutter that runs horizontally (cranking on winds it up) so the effect is far less pronounced - as it's effectively a foreshortening or stretching that gets lost in the perspective.
I do love the leaning forward look - it looks so purposeful. I've never seen one going the other way and leaning backwards - I suppose it would lokk as if it was desperately trying to stop.

#30 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 23:24

Originally posted by ensign14
He was down as a reserve driver, but I don't know whether he did go out for a practice. I assume he did, else the RAC would not let him in as a reserve should one of the Merc drivers have fallen ill or something during the race.

Uhlenhaut drove during practice for this and several Grands Prix during 1955. I think it was a practice they started after Monaco. The objective was to perform a reliability test in the spare car. I don't think there was any intention of him racing.

Did he ever compete in a motor sports event?

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 23:44

ISTR that he wanted to, but that the powers that be decided he was too valuable in the design and testing department to be put at risk.

That would be a comment from Neubauer's book, however...

#32 1920sracing

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 03:09

In response to Art Andersons statement that Joe boyer was claerly the class of the field until his car broke.

The class of the first half of the race were Jimmy Murphy and Earl Cooper. Boyer hadn't done much until getting in Corum's car...not to be to pickey.

1920sracing

#33 john glenn printz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 14:39

THE FIRST INDIANAPOLIS 500 (1911) by John G. Printz and Ken M. McMaken, (written in 1987). Most of the AAA races held during 1909 and 1910 were limited to the "stock chassis" type of racing car. Pure "thoroughbred" racing car contests were relatively few and far between. In 1911, the most prestigious U.S. automobile race was the American Grand Prize held on November 30, at Savannah GA. It was closely followed in importance by the Vanderbilt Cup race, held three days earlier on the same circuit. Although the first Indianapolis 500 staged on 30 May 1911 had by far the most starters, an unprecedented 40, this contest can rank only as the third most prestigious American automobile race for 1911. Of the 40 cars in the first 500, only six were of foreign make, three Fiats, two Benz', and one Mercedes and all were in the hands of U.S. drivers. Most of the entrants were typical American built "stock chassis'' type racing cars with very few special racing cars among them. There were no official entries from foreign manufacturers but the event certainly had the overwhelming support of the indigenous U.S. automobile industry. Factory teams appeared from the following U.S. makes; Alco, Amplex, Apperson, Buick, Case, Cole, Cutting, Fal, Firestone-Columbus, Inter-State, Jackson, Knox, Lozier, McFarlan, Marmon, Mercer, National, Pope-Harford, Simplex, Stutz, Velie, and Westcott. For the American automobile makers, the 500 was the biggest race of the year, but the first Indianapolis 500 was more a U.S. race of domestic importance rather than a contest of true international prestige. There were no foreign drivers in the contest but most of the better America pilots of this epoch were there, i.e., Caleb Bragg, David Bruce-Brown, Bob Burman, Joe Dawson, Ralph DePalma, Harry Grant, Ray Harroun, Ralph Mulford, Teddy Tetzlaff, and Spencer Wishart. The most notable absentees were Bert Dingley, Barney Oldfield (then under AAA suspenion) and George Robertson, who had retired. The field certainly represented U.S. motor racing in its very best, both with regard to the cars and the drivers at the time.

#34 john glenn printz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 15:18

1911 Indianapolis 500. (cont.-1) The first 500 miler was announced by the Speedway management on 20 September 1910. The race would be open to all cars weighing 2300 pounds or more, with a piston displacement of 600 cubic inches or less. Thus the stock chassis, semi-stock, and thoroughbred type racing cars were all thrown in together. The 600 cubic inch limit here excluded many of the more powerful and faster European Grand Prix cars of that day, which would compete in the upcoming American Grand Prize. Both Spencer Wishart's Mercedes and Bob Burman's Benz were similar to 1908 French Grand Prix machines but their piston displacements had now been lowered to conform to the 600 cubic inch limit. An entry fee of $500 would be charged up to March 1, 1911, and would be raised after that date to $750. As originally announced, the 500 was to be held on May 27, a Saturday, but later was moved forward to May 30. Already by 1 January 1911, four vehicles had been entered. Lewis Strang's Case, a Simplex with no driver named, C. B. Baldwin's Inter-State, and Johnny Aitken's National. Eventually, 42 of the official 46 entrants, actually tried to qualify. Qualifying for the first 500 consisted of merely running a single lap at speed around the entire course and of being timed, while doing so, through a special half-mile speed trap located on the front straightaway at 75 mph or better. Two cars flunked this test- Rupert Jeffkin's Velie and Louis Edmunds' Cole. No data was released on these half-mile trials, but the best cars ran through them in the 95 to 100 mph vicinity. About 5000 witnessed the first day of qualifing on May 26. A good lap speed in 1911 was about 82 or 83 mph. The engines in the better cars had about 120 horsepower.

There were the usual pre-race accidents. On May 24, Joe Horan skidded in his Amplex, the car overturned, and Horan suffered a broken leg. Three days later, Harold Van Gorder had a tire blow out on his Lozier and the vehicle rolled twice and landed upside down in the middle of the track, but no one was seriously hurt. Thirty-four cars qualified on May 26 (Saturday) and the remaining six on Monday, the day before the race. The cars lined up on race day according to the date of their entry with the first entrant in the No. 1 position, the second entrant in the No. 2 spot, and so on however it worked out. The car numbers were similarly assigned. That is, car No. 32 represented the 32nd vehicle entered, etc. Five cars were in each starting row except in the very first, where the pace car, a Stoddard-Dayton, occupied what is now called the pole position. The first 500 used a mass pack "flying start" to get the race underway and special practice sessions were held to acquaint the drivers with regard to this then very unusual procedure. Twenty-six cars had been the most ever started here before and fourteen more added up to a colossal spectacle. A preliminary pre-race event was staged the day before the first 500, as Bob Burman attempted to set new speedway class records for the quarter, half, and one mile distances in his "Blitzen Benz". Burman was successful, running the mile in 35.25 seconds or 102.127 mph, the half mile in 16.83 seconds, and the quarter mile in 8.16 seconds.

Edited by john glenn printz, 01 June 2011 - 19:09.


#35 ensign14

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 16:22

Originally posted by gerrit stevens


I thought the last time driver were relieved at Indy was in the 70's.

Just to update this...this has now been superseded, as in the 2004 race Robby Gordon had to leave during a rain stoppage to take part in the World 600, and Jaques Lazier took over.

#36 john glenn printz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 16:36

1911 Indianapolis 500 (cont.-2) And so, on 30 May 1911, before a crowd of 80,000 persons on a cool Indiana day at about 9:45 a.m., began the series of the greatest spectacles that U.S. automobile racing proper has to offer. There was one pace lap around the 2 1/2 mile brick track, behind the Stoddard-Dayton pace car driven by Carl G. Fisher, then it pulled off on the left and the large pack of moving machinery was unleashed and left to its own devices. Johnny Aitken, who had started 4th, made history as he shot out in front for the first four laps before being overhauled by Spencer Wishart's Mercedes. Fred Belcher, in a Knox, got around Wishard on lap 10. At 10 laps (25 miles) the running order was 1. Belcher (Knox), 2. Aitken (National), 3. Bruce-Brown (Fiat), 4. DePalma (Simplex), 5. Harroun (Marmon "Wasp"), 6. Dawson (Marmon), 7. Mulford (Lozier), 8. Turner (Amplex), 9. Bragg (Fiat), and 10. Tetzlaff (Lozier). The faster cars and pilots had already moved up as Bruce-Brown in third, had started 25th; Harroun in fifth, had started 28th; Dawson in sixth, started 27th; Bragg in ninth, started 35th, and Tetzlaff in 10th, had started 30th! On his 13th lap, Arthur Greiner's Amplex blew a tire while exiting turn two and then crashed. The 500 mile event had already claimed its first fatality as Samual P. Dickson, the riding mechanic, was killed instantly. Dickson had been thrown twenty feet from the Amplex and hit a fence. At 20 laps (50 miles) the order was DePalma, Bruce-Brown, Aitken, Mulford, Turner, Wishart, Bragg, Teltzlaff, Harroun, and Merz (National). On circuit 24, Bruce-Brown, took the lead and started pulling away from the rest of the starting field. By lap 60 (75 miles), Bruce-Brown was exactly two minutes ahead of Ray Harroun, who was riding in second, just five seconds ahead of DePalma in third. At the halfway mark (100 laps or 250 miles) Bruce-Brown had a lead of 56 seconds over Harroun. The order now was 1. Bruce-Brown, 2. Harroun, 3. Mulford, 4. DePalma, 5. Dawson, 6. Wishart, 7. Merz, 8. Turner, 9. Cobe (Jackson), and 10. Aitken.

Meanwhile two other serious accidents had occurred. On about the 50th lap Louis Disbrow's Pope-Hartford blew a tire on the front straight and Tetzlaff, moving directly behind him, couldn't avoid him. The rear wheels of Disbrow's car were torn off and Tetlaff's Lozier turned over. Dave Lewis, the riding mechanic for Tetzlaff, sustained a broken leg. On Joe Jagersberger's 88th circuit, his car's steering knuckle broke and the machine shot into the inside wall directly in front of the judges and scorer's stand. Jagersberger's car, a Case, bounced off the wall and went back onto the track again and into the path of Harry Knight's Westcott. In this fracas, Jagersberger's riding mechanic, C. L. Anderson, had jumped onto the track but had fallen down. Harry Knight, in trying to avoid hitting the sprawled out body of Anderson, quickly cut the wheel to the left. Knight's car didn't hit Anderson but got totally out of control and headed directly towards the pit area where it crashed into Herbert Lytle's Apperson parked there for a tire change. Lytle and his riding mechanic had just been climbing back into the car and both saw Knight's Westcott heading toward them. They managed to jump free, but the designer of the car, Edgar Apperson (1870-1959), had just leaned over to crank the engine. The impact of Knight's machine turned the Apperson over and then Knight's Westcott landed upside down on Caleb Bragg's parked Fiat, which had already retired with a broken crankshaft. Somehow no one was seriously injured although four machines had been wrecked in this melee.

Edited by john glenn printz, 25 July 2009 - 20:27.


#37 northhouse

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 16:47

I have a question about the 1911 Indianapolis 500. In a June 11, 1911 newspaper article about the death of Marcel (AKA Maurice) Basle, its says he was a relief driver for his brother in the 500. Is there any evidence that he actually drove in the race, or was just nominated as a relief driver? I can provide a copy of the article if anyone is interested.

#38 john glenn printz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 18:46

1911 Indianapolis 500 (cont.-3) By the halfway point or 100 laps, the track was already very oily, and only 29 of the original 40 starters were still running. On lap 103, the leader, Bruce-Brown, had to pit to replace a shredded tire. From this point on, tire and ignition problems, with the resultant long pit stops, dropped Bruce-Brown from contention for first place overall. The first place spot now became a battle between Harroun's Marmon and Mulford's Lozier. On lap 177 Mulford passed Harroun only to blow a tire on his 182nd circuit. Mulford coasted into the pits on the wheel rim and had a 2 1/2 minute stop. Harroun then took the lead and on the 200th and last lap, Ray had a margin of one minute and 42 seconds over Mulford. The final finishing order (top ten) was 1. Ray Harroun (Marmon), 2. Ralph Mulford (Lozier), 3. David Bruce-Brown (Fiat), 4. Spencer Wishart (Mercedes), 5. Joe Dawson (Marmon), 6. Ralph DePalma (Simplex), 7. Charles Merz (National), 8. William Turner (Amplex), 9. Fred Belcher (Knox), 10. Harry Cobe (Jackson), 11. Gil Anderson (Stutz), and 12. Hughie Hughes (Mercer). All of these twelve competitors were given credit for running the entire 200 lap distance. About 26 cars were still running at the end. Harroun's elapsed time was six hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds, for an average speed of 74.59 mph. The winner Harroun is said to have made five pit stops; Bruce-Brown, nine, and Wishart, seven. Harroun's relief driver, Cyrus A. Patschke (1889-1951), drove the Marmon from about the 170th to the 250th mile stretch (laps 71 to 102). Mulford drove the entire 500 mile distance without relief and thereby became the first man ever to do so.

The first Indianapolis 500 made a great impression on everybody and was a huge success, and the idea for such a race was hailed as a stroke of true genius. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway management deserves much real credit here and the early announcement of a guaranteed $25,000 purse made the whole affair jell. The purse was as follows: $10,000 for first place; $5,000 for second; $3,000 for third; $2,000 for fourth; $1,500 for fifth; $1,000 for sixth; $800 for seventh; $700 for eighth, $600 for ninth; and finally $500 for tenth. These were unheard of sums for prize money at the time and sparked much interest.

The winner Ray Harroun (1879-1968) had been talked out of retirement to drive in the 1911 Indianapolis 500 and he immediately retired again in victory lane. Ray had built the winning six cylinder Marmon "Wasp" in 1910 which was a streamlined, at least for its day, single seater. Harroun's Marmon was the only machine in the race that ran without a riding mechanic. The "Wasp" was not specially designed for the 1911 Indianapolis 500 as has sometimes been said. Harroun's "Wasp" had been first used at the 5-7 May 1910 Atlanta meet and was called the "Wasp" because it was painted bright yellow and sported a tail. The Marmon "Wasp" was the last single seat vehicle to run in an Indy 500 until the 1923 "500" when single seaters were pretty much the rule. Mercedes still, in 1923, elected to run two-man cars.

NOTE: No historian can provide a completely detailed report on the first 1911 Indianapolis 500 because, while there is much data on it, it is in general, contradictory. Also, the first 500, was the unfortunate victim of many scoring errors. A description of these considerations follows.

Edited by john glenn printz, 08 November 2011 - 15:13.


#39 robert dick

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:35

Originally posted by northhouse
... Is there any evidence that he actually drove in the race, or was just nominated as a relief driver? ...

1911 Indianapolis 500 - Marcel Basle :
According to Motor Age, # 17 Buick was entered by Wadsworth Warren for Charlie Basle (driver) and Joseph Demand (relief and mechanic).
A few days before the race, "Marcel Basle came in as relief for his brother Charlie, but never had a chance."
In his 41st lap Charlie Basle parked the Buick with a cracked crankcase, after six stops for tires and one stop to loosen his steering gear.

On Saturday, June 10, 1911, Marcel Basle was killed in an accident at the Hawthorne dirt track near Chicago. His Abbott-Detroit threw a right rear tire and turned turtle. He was picked up unconscious and died an hour later at the hospital.

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#40 john glenn printz

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 20:32

1911 Indianapolis 500 (cont-4) DEBACLE. THE 1911 INDIANAPOLIS SCORING FIASCO. Anyone who has any knowledge of the history of the Indianapolis 500 is aware that the scoring and timing for the first such contest in 1911 was disputed, even as to who was the actual overall winner, Ray Harroun or Ralph Mulford? The actual facts in the case appear to be somewhat similar to this. Before the race, the Speedway management thought it had developed a foolproof system for the timing and scoring. One hundred scorers were utilized, perhaps not a very large number considering that 40 cars would start. It was a three point timing and scoring scheme. First, a wire or cable was layed across the start/finish line, and would time every car for every lap. Second, a few men in the scoring booth would talk into two Columbus Dictaphone machines and call out all the car numbers as the speeding vehicles passed by their viewing point; thus a complete vocal record of the entire event would come into existence. Third, one man was assigned to each of the cars and recorded its laps completed. If any dispute about the actual finish arose, then all three of these separate sources of information could be consulted and correlated.

But all three methods failed during the actual running of the race. Some of it was mechanical failure and some of it was human error, but it all added up to one big mess. There was a great deal of tire trouble during the race and sometimes the cars had to run on the bare and sharp wheel rims to get back to their pits. One of these cars managed to cut the timing wire stretched across the track surface. The wire was repaired but the same thing happened again and again, so parts of this timing record was lost and became confused with various and unequal gaps. And when Joe Jagerberger's Case, on lap 88, caused a chain reaction accident directly in front of the scorer's stand, most of the timers and scorers panicked, got up and ran to safety instead of manning their assigned posts. For about five minutes chaos reigned and without any doubt many of these men neglected their specific duties. Perhaps also, who can say for certain (?), the men talking into the Dictaphone machines panicked or watched this violent four car mixup. It's very hard to resist the temptation to witness a spectacular crash and keep your mind and eyes on the business at hand in such a situation. If you have ever worked as a timer or scorer (I have) you know how hard this can be. If an accident occurs you absolutely should not watch it. For if you do, a few fast moving vehicles are certain to pass by, without you seeing them.

Edited by john glenn printz, 25 July 2009 - 20:30.


#41 john glenn printz

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 17:21

1911 Indianapolis 500 (cont.-5) Here are a few curious facts. In the first 500, there were cars bearing the numbers 20 and 30. But after this inaugural 500, the numbers 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and so on, were totally banned from the 500 until 1967 when Andy Granatelli's tubine car bore No. 40. Why were such numbers banned? Well, it all goes back to the Dictaphone failure in scoring, of 1911. When the Dictaphone recordings were were played, it was found that it was impossible to disentangle some of the car numbers. For instance, as car No. 24 went by, the scorer yelled into the recording device "24". But when two cars, numbered 20 and 4 went by running close to each other, he yelled into the recording machine "20" and "4". Now vocally both sounded exactly the same and there is no way later to tell the difference. The Dictaphone method of keeping track of the progress of a race will work, but numbers like 20, 30, 40, 50, etc. cannot be used and must be eliminated. The Lozier team claimed that its driver, Ralph Mulford (1884-1973), had run 201 laps to Harroun's 200. Somewhere Mulford had lost a lap in the Speedway's reckoning. The Lozier team lap chart had Mulford running one lap ahead of the Speedway's count from about lap 90 on. The Mulford-Lozier thesis is that during the wild four car melee triggered by Jagersberger, the scorer or scorers failed to count one of Mulford's laps. It's far from impossible. There is no doubt that the official Speedway timing and scoring had become a hopeless muddle, with irreversible or non-replaceable gaps, by the halfway point of the contest. It was admitted by Speedway officials on May 31 that the Warner Harograph timing device was not working for a full hour, during the race.

The Speedway gave the checkered flag to Ray Harroun and declared him the victor. Later when the Lozier team objected, the Speedway faced a delicate situation. Track officials couldn't quite prove that Harroun had won, and on the other hand, the Lozier team couldn't really prove that Ray wasn't the victor. So the Speedway stood firm on its decision to make Ray Harroun and the Marmon Wasp the winner. The track management could hardly have done otherwise. To reverse the decision as to who was the winner, or to say they didn't know who had actually won, would only have made the Speedway look completely ridiculous in the eyes of the world. Perhaps, Harroun did win it. However, Ray Harroun, and not Ralph Mulford, had always remained the official winner of the first Indianapolis 500 of 1911 to this day. But critical and serious historians of the sport, who demand a more serious criterion for the proper establishment of truth cannot but wonder, was it Harroun or Mulford? There were also disputes among the lower placed finishers, about the exact placement of their cars in the final standings. The official results of the race were given out on June 2, after much head scratching and deliberation, by a special committee composed of both AAA and Speedway personnel. Such then was the Indianapolis 500 of 1911. (NOTE: This article first appeared in INDY CAR RACING, May 1, 1987, on pages 18-20. I have made some additions and modifications to it.)

Edited by john glenn printz, 02 June 2011 - 13:24.


#42 stevewf1

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 17:48

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
I would like to bring this thread back, mainly due to a question about relief drivers. Now obviously, the likes of Patschke or Manny Ayulo in 1951, would count having raced in an Indy 500 (but not having a start, clearly), but the only thing I am having trouble clarifying, with a relief driver who didn´t take part in the race but was the nominated relief driver (a common thing between 1911-1950´s) do they count as a non-qualifier, or do they not count towards the results at all, as I am debating whether to include relief drivers who aren´t listed as non-qualifiers or starters in the big 1911-2004 WATN or not...


Can anyone either clear this up or offer me advice as to the best suggestion with these folk? If you want me to clarify more or give examples, I will...


Oh, I would definitely include them somehow... As far as databases go, the more data the merrier (so to speak).

Set up some kind of category or code such as drd for "designated relief driver" or something to indicate that the driver was indeed there, was indeed a relief driver, but did not drive. Any data not recorded is data lost...

Just my opinion. :)

#43 raoul leDuke

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 11:04

From www.historicracing.com

Cyrus Patschke was born and lived his whole life in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was a mechanic and in the very early days of auto racing he was a well known racing driver and a close friend of Barney Oldfield and Eddie Rickenbacher.

In June 1908 he drove an Acme at Jamaica, Long Island, in the Gasoline Cars races, winning both the two mile and the one mile events.

Then in the September at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia he came second in the Acme in a 195 mile race which he completed in a time of 4:14:54. In October he entered the Brighton Beach 24 Hour race. Driving with C.B.Rogers their Acme went out after 11 hours.

The next year, 1909 he won the Brighton Beach 24 hour race with Ralph Mulford in a Lozier and returned the next year to win again with Al Poole in a Sterns.

In 1911 Indianapolis decided to run a 500 mile race. Marmon had entered two single seat Wasps for Ray Harroun and Joe Dawson. As there was no provision for a riding mechanic, for the first time a rear view mirror was installed. Near the halfway point in the race, Harroun turned the wheel over to Patschke, who drove relief for about 100 miles when the Marmon was working its way through the field. Harroun returned for the final stint and won the very first Indianapolis 500 in a time of 6 hours, 42 minutes, at an average speed of 74.602 mph. Cyrus, who also stepped in to help Dawson in the other Wasp, was pertty much forgotten.

In October he raced a Marmon in the Dick Ferris Trophy on a road course in Santa Monica in a AAA sanctioned event where he finished second. He raced a couple of times more that year but failed to finish either event.

In 1914 he finished 3rd on the dirt oval at Sioux City again in a Marmon

In later years, Cyrus Patschke was also a motorcycle racer and ran an auto parts shop and an 'Overland and Will Knight' dealership at 1101 Cumberland Street in his home town of Lebanon.