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Early Indianapolis 500 races


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#1 RAP

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 16:51

In 1920, qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 went from one lap to four. And the lineup went to three-wide from four (or five?)

 

I feel this should be a really easy question to answer but can someone tell me, year by year from 1911 to 1919

 

a) the number of cars in each row of the grid

 

b) how the grid was set eg was 1911 by ballot? 

 

 eg 

 

https://www.npr.org/...blood-and-smoke

 

Ignoring what I take to be the pace car, there seems to be 4 cars on row 1 and 5 on R2 as #9 is on the outside



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 17:39

In 1912 they appear to have been five-wide apart from the last row. There's a photo currently on eBay - item number 141790681785

Same picture as a colourised postcard here: https://www.chucksto...cards/#group-25

 

Four-wide in 1913: https://www.chucksto...cards/#group-27

 

Four-wide in 1914: https://www.chucksto...postcard-front/

 

Four-wide in 1915: https://eu.indystar....-year/80847922/

 

4-4-3-4-3 in 1916: https://www.theindyc...oad-to-100-1916

 

Four-wide in 1919: https://www.sandiego...eb22-story.html



#3 Collombin

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 17:44

1911 - set by order of entry, rows of 5 except 4 on the front row

1912 - order of entry, rows of 5

1913 - order by a draw, rows of 4

1914 - same as 1913 except 3 on front row

1915-19 - 1 lap qualy run, rows of 4

1920 - 4 lap qualy run, rows of 4 except 3 on front row

Obviously the back rows were not always full.

Beaten to it.....

Edited by Collombin, 17 September 2019 - 17:45.


#4 DCapps

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 18:16

 

Of the far too many poorly-written books regarding the 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the one by Charles Leerhsen is easily among the worst. This is in no small part due to his being able to otherwise write what could have been a good book. But, he did not.



#5 RAP

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 19:28

Thanks very much for the quick responses. 

 

Re 1914 the cars look to be 3 - 4 - 5 - 5 in the post card. 

On the card you can see that 38 -25-23-9 are row 2 and these were 4th-7th fastest, then one can see 31 on the outside of row 3 and as he was 12th in qualifying then it must be 3-4-5.

Any ideas why such an unusual layout ?

 

RAP



#6 Bonde

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 22:05

Could it be something to do with the rule regarding on which day the qualifying speed was set?


Edited by Bonde, 17 September 2019 - 22:05.


#7 Collombin

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 22:50

No, it was done by a draw in 1914. I did wonder if De Palma's withdrawal might have been a factor, but it seems he was drawn further back than that.

#8 Rob G

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:17

 

Re 1914 the cars look to be 3 - 4 - 5 - 5 in the post card. 

On the card you can see that 38 -25-23-9 are row 2 and these were 4th-7th fastest, then one can see 31 on the outside of row 3 and as he was 12th in qualifying then it must be 3-4-5.

Any ideas why such an unusual layout ?

 

 

Maybe to avoid congestion behind the pace car when the field was released? Just a guess.