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1953 Indianapolis info wanted


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#1 HangtownHealey

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 18:49

Can someone tell me the race temperatures and how many driver substitutions were made for the 1953 Indianapolis 500?
Thanks

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#2 conjohn

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 19:08

In the results there are 6 cars listed with two drivers, and 4 cars with three drivers, so at least 14 changes of drivers... but maybe more if some drivers made more than one stint in a particular car.

As to temperatures - hot... but I have no figures.

Just having had a look in Mike Lang's Grand Prix! volume 1...

It was about this time that the first of fifteen driver substitutions took place when Bob Scott replaced Carl Scarborough who had been overcome be the heat, so much that he later died.



#3 Vicuna

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 19:26

Air temps in the 90s

Track temps of 130 on race day

10 drivers require relief :love:


That's just from memory...

#4 AAA-Eagle

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 19:28

If you want to see a list of relief drivers - look this Phil Harms' file:
http://www.motorspor...ta/ch195301.pdf

#5 Buford

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 20:48

One driver died from the heat, Carl Scarborough. Not sure of the spelling. He was overcome by the heat and later died. There was also speculation he had breathed some fire bottle powder from a pit fire and that had contributed to his condition failing rapidly.

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 21:01

The air temperature was in the mid to high-90s F with the humidity being close to the same, which is why the heat was a problem. There are recordings of of 130F temperatures on the track. The high humidity, high temperatures, and the high winds created very dangerous conditions for the drivers.

That Carl Scarborough was the only driver to die from heat related injuries is amazing. Scarborough's temperature was DOWN to 103.6F just before he died. The driver reliefs went something like this:

Scott relieved Scarborough in No. 73 on lap 70
Stevenson relieved Hoyt in No. 55 on lap 83
Russo relieved Agabashian in No. 59 on lap 105
Linden replaced Stevenson in No. 55 on lap 96
Johnson relived Rathmann in No. 2 on lap 113
Stevenson relieved Bettenhausen in No. 98 on lap 116
Thompson relieved Webb in No. 62 on lap 112
Linden relieved Ward in No. 92 on lap 114
Rathmann relieved Holland in No. 49 on lap 142
Carter relieved Hanks in No. 3 on lap 152
Dinsmore relieved Linden in No. 92 on lap 145
Mantz relieved Faulkner in No. 23 on lap 135
Hartley relieved Stevenson in No. 98 on lap 161
Holmes relieved Thompson in No. 62 on lap 156
Ward relieved Dinsmore in No. 92 on lap 155

#7 HangtownHealey

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 21:46

Thanks a lot guys. I got my answer.

#8 Lotus23

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 23:09

And Don's list of the relieved contains some very tough hombres!

ISTR that Vukie's fitness level was quite high (even though he smoked!) Didn't he jog/run/bicycle a good bit? Perhaps that figured in his favor that sweltering day.

#9 Don Capps

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 17:28

A common thread running through many of the contemporary stories on Vukovich was his level of fitness, something not often mentioned in such articles on drivers. Some do mention his working out, but the details are often contradictory -- alas, not an unusual problem and the sort of thing which drives us crazy today....

Not often mentioned is that the heat & humidity also affected the spectators and support personnel at the Speedway. No recorded non-driver deaths from heat-related illnesses at the Speedway, but there are also many comments that the crowd was late in arriving and many left before the finish.

#10 MPea3

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 17:53

Originally posted by Don Capps

Stevenson relieved Hoyt in No. 53 on lap 83

Linden replaced Stevenson in No. 55 on lap 96


Different car #... same Stevenson with a car # typo or a different driver? And was he the same person who later took over the #98 car later?

Is there a listed record for the Inday car which saw the most drivers in one race, or the driver which drove the most cars in one race?

#11 Don Capps

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 18:03

Sorry, just a typo. Since the Speedway seems to have a record for every opportunity for there to be a record, I am certain that these records are in The Record Book.

#12 MPea3

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 18:08

Originally posted by Don Capps
Sorry, just a typo. Since the Speedway seems to have a record for every opportunity for there to be a record, I am certain that these records are in The Record Book.


Seems that way. It reminds me of the old saying that "baseball is the leading cause of statistics in the United States."

#13 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 01:35

Originally posted by Lotus23
And Don's list of the relieved contains some very tough hombres!

ISTR that Vukie's fitness level was quite high (even though he smoked!) Didn't he jog/run/bicycle a good bit? Perhaps that figured in his favor that sweltering day.


Not as much as being from Fresno.

I've mentioned it before (in another thread), but Vukovich was reportedly asked about the heat during the post-race interview and he replied something along the lines of: "It's not as hot as being on a tractor in Fresno." or "This isn't hot, you should be on a tractor in Fresno."

And as someone who spent 12 years in the San Joaquin Valley...it does get hot. I remember times when it was 98 degrees at 11 PM.

#14 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 21:25

A pic of Vuky after the 1953 Indy 500...

http://albums.photo....1497&p=60762919

#15 john glenn printz

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 20:00

Anyone interested in the 1953 Indianapolis 500 might want to read my account of it, located on the thread YOUR EARLIEST INDY 500 MEMORIES beginning with post 77, of January 13, 2005. It was my first live 500, when I was just 12 year old. Yes it was hot that day.

Edited by john glenn printz, 13 November 2012 - 21:42.


#16 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:37

Anyone interest in the 1953 Indianapolis 500 might want to read my account of it, located on the thread YOUR EARLIEST INDY 500 MEMORIES beginning with post 77, of January 13, 2005. It was my first live 500, when I was just 12 year old. Yes it was hot that day.

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