Feverish activity before the start of the world-famous 500-mile race. The day started with fine?
Feverish activity before the start of the world-famous 500-mile race. The day started with fine weather and the tremendous crowd jamming the stands and overflowing into the infields were full of expectancy as the great cars prepared for the gruelling 200 laps around the two-and-a-half mile brick and assault track.
Cigar smoking Jimmy Bryan was the favoured driver - he was driving the car taken to victory last year by Sam Hanks.
Now the start...some confusion to begin with...the yellow flag showing for several laps until track officials got all the cars in order -- eleven rows of three cars each.
Away they went. Then suddenly...disaster in that first packed lap. Veteran Ed Elisian came into the northeast turn too fast. He spun in front of the field. Twelve cars piled into one another. And Pat O'Connor's speeding racer flipped in mid-air. It was a terrible scene.
The yellow flag went out at once...and the remaining cars were forced to hold their positions while the track was cleared or wrecks and debris. In the few tension-packed moments following the crash it was heard that Pat O'Connor was dead, killed instantly when his car turned over. But the race continued. And as the cars rounded that northeast turn, the grim reminders of that first-lap tragedy remained on the sidelines for all to see. O'Connor's car burned after the accident, but it too was cleared off the track-and Jimmy Bryan went on to wage a hot race with Tony Bettenhusen first, and then the rookie driver George Amick.
And then it was over...with Jimmy Bryan, of Phoenix, Arizona, the winner. A win that was to bring him more than 100,000 dollars prize money and endorsements throughout the year. Ed Ellison, whose out-of-control spin started the first-lap multiple crash, has been barred from racing, until he appeals to the racing board's governors.
Some are saying that it may well be that the speeds of modern cars have outgrown the old Indianapolis speedway.