The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on May 31, 1955 · Page 18
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 18

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Tuesday, May 31, 1955
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TIIE INDIANAPOLIS STAR -TUESDAY, MAY 31, 1955 Cops Sports Editor ace ?.4C,E 1S- Sweikert 500-Mile I r IN A JOKING mood last week end, Bob Sweikert told this writer it was going to be "a cold day in May" .vhen he would win the 500-mile race. And, it was. Sweikert was kidding at the time, trying to belittle "lis own chances. But, he didn't fool any of his listeners. Sweikert went about the job if preparing for the race in leadly earnest. His pit crew jracticed refueling and tire ihange operations for almost 4 "whole afternoon Friday. THE VICTORY Bob (cored tnljthe S9th 500-mile, race was 1 1', well-deserved one. Bob 4 rove a speedy and a thinking rnc. No one will say that ho did not deserve to win. t t also was a victory for ast Chance Row," a string oCthree adjoining garages in Gftsoline Alley, in all of which the drivers had two strikes apfece on them before they finally qualified. weikert made the grade on hut third attempt Saturday, Mjay 21, after switching off nrtromethane or "pop." THE OTHER TWO tenants of: "Last Chance Row," Don Freeland and Jim Rathmann, duJrt't fare quite so wela Both qualified, all right, but neither finished in the top 10 even thflugh Freeland led the race for awhile. This has been a great racing year so far for Sweikert. His sprint car team, with himself and Jerry Hoyt as the drivers, has been practically mopping honors on the high banks. Sweikert plans to incorporate his racing team as one of h)s first acts. He probably will race in the 100-miler at Milwaukee next week in a brand new championship-style oar built for him by A. J. Watson, who was head mechanic fir his Speedway victory. Emptiness Grips Vuky's Garage iVflv ud on the north side of te garages a mechanic leaned ajainst the fence and cried. There were some, with the morbid impoliteness of people at such times, who stood and stared. 4 But moat walked by as hough they didn't even see a fcuy leaning on the fence and prying. And when they passed an empty garage, the door lightly open, they looked quickly and hurried their People with bad troubles time for itraneers. have no Snmetimes the strangers have sense enough to realize it. ?So Bill Vukovich's garage, tije one that always was crowded with curious passersby Wanting a look at the champ or the champ's car, stood in a vell of emptiness. I Scoreboard j League Standings -; AMERICA ASSOCIATION T.I.4. II 0 i mi. .in. o .2 nnb. " stj r.Ki ;t 2? INDUNAFOUS 1 entries w ...... IS 1 .Sas OB. ID I 2 17Vt AMEKICAN LEAGUE rrt. . .. .mo ,sn .422 .4.1 ,3!n .sis an 13 I ... lift CMra. ..15 .18 Ilatroit ... .... 4 Ration ........ )ft w..hlnr"m ..... 'J rttn.M City a . . 1 i n SVi 12 1 2 IS it hlllMK 1 so J NATIONAL LEAGUE Wn Lt Trt OB. 10 i m i a IS "4 14 ZO Brt-fclra 3J INlc.io T !ka Vrk IS JO .) 17 .14 MftwaakM ZI 21 22 .4 SI. ImI. ........ 1 .4.10 fliclnn.il 1 2S .439 rhll.dI.I,l IS 24 .420 ri(Mkrk 1 30 .: ? Yesterday's Results AMERICAN ASSOCIATION , IninoII. -0, I..L.UL 0 4 . MtnaMp.ll. 14-8. lit. P.ul a I .ee.r-4 eaine Innlngi). aeneer S3. Oia.ha 2-7. 4 Xa-ie4 ft. rharleal.ai 4 (aecftnel f fun, rain), AMERICAN LEAGUE i Wlill S-S, Nrw T.ra S-S I first raRH 10 taninirl). ? ltaltfm.r 8-1, rt.rt.rj -. I ( L.elatid -0, Ol'.i. 1-S. Kuu Cllr S-S. Delr.lt S-4 (ae-J u4 gun 11 innlnts), NATIONAL LEAOlE . StrMklra -, rittakanth 4- rv.w Tott rhll.d.lshl. I Chir.f. -4. St iMll S-S (tlr. . liu 10 tantno. MC.n4 fun 11 lnlnl. ' Mllwukn 7-S, Clmlnn.U I I. : Today's Schedule I AMERICAN ASSOCIATION I IlNDUKArOLIS at I. .ill lll. v inisht). . nRT.r t 0ui (nlrhtl. , Minnripoll. St M rl (nitht), ll. u Ck.rlttl.il (nlikl), J NATIONAL. LEAOI E T.tl.b.-tl. Brrniklrn nlihu-Frlrn4 ft I , ti Ukirw 12-01. hiU..l.lu t N.w Tnfk f.lht .k-Mir r3-2l r. M.fli. I.N-S). Only rhedotr4. , J AMI RICAN LK4GI E .ltl.r. at rte'duA (aihl-WII.a ftv4, vi. Friler ft-1). ,0lT fr Wkr4alf Positions At DJ-iver eikert Bfttenhausen and P. Russo 4 7 5 7 7 6 8 4 3 2 tiviea 7 10 9 89 74 3 Tbomson 10 .. .. 10 6 8 6 4 FJuJkner and Homeier.. 6 94 8 10 95 98 5 linden 9 10 7 fi Herman 9 7 OiConnor 6 5 6 5 4 5 2 8 E&ywalt 10 .. 10 9 Flaherty 10 I Av. ipeed: 136.358. 136.894. 130.295, 121.755, 124.105, 125.686, 128.251, 126.809, 127.578, 128.2C9. Yes, it really was a cold day in May. A LOT OF THE drivers said they would have preferred even the searing heat of the last two years to the high winds which raked the track yesterday and made the turns extremely hazardous. WHEN' BILL, VUKOVICH died in the blazing four-car pileup on the backstretch, It marked the second time '. in history that a 800-Mille Race winner had been killed at the Speedway. The other was Floyd Roberts, 1938 winner. Both were killed in almost the same spot and both in similar accidents. Another ironic touch is that each was killed the very year after a Speedway victory. All the racing fraternity Is saddened at the loss of a real champion. There is no doubt about it. He will go down in history along with Shaw, Meyer, Rose and the rest of the great ones. IT IS REGRETTABLE especially because this apparently was to have been Vukovich's last Indianapolis race. He had given several indications around the track that if he made it three in a row, he would quit. And, the Associated Press reported from Fresno, Cal., his home, late yesterday that he had promised his attractive wife, Esther, this would De his last "500." The last checkered flag has waved for one of the great ones. This was the place where a cocky little man with muscular shoulders and quick, short steps had paced back and forth shouting insults at other drivers and making boasts which everyone knew Bill Vukovich could carry out. This was the place where the little man cussed the fates that pushed him against the wall on the 192d lap and vowed he would come back and blow the others off the track. And this was the place where he returned twice to be acclaimed as one of the great drivers in the history of the Speedway. Now it was an empty garage. A GOOD MAX WAS GONE. B.C. Omaha, Denver Split Twin Bill Omaha (AP) Omaha kept a shaky grip on fourth place in the American Association with a split in a twin bill against fifth-place Denver last night. Denver took the opener, 3-2, in 10 innings and Omaha came back to grab the nightcap, 7-3, in nine innings. FIRST GAME DrtlMr AS H O Omaha AB H O PlMra 3 4 3 t.mmr ft 1 0 Rfhd.n.3 Blnnem.3 4 He-rtnf.ct Mouall.l 3 fikira rf 0 schfll.rf 4 0 Crwll,If 3 0 'Kwii.lf 3 3 Fhlllpuxf 3 2 Thm,3 4 jTtl (. If Krldly.lf Thbrrr.X Hfld.aa Houk.c Jnhnan.e Terry. p Kucab p Rliian.e f Srhmdt.p 1 3lSo.ncr.p 0 -Kn 1 iRand 1 Totall 3S T 30 tot Totali 33 4 30 RlnliHl for Cariw.ll in alitth. Grounded Into doublt plif for Schmidt In ftfih. struck out tor Sncr In 10th. Pemver 100 010 000 S-B Omaha 000 003 000 0-2 K RlMtn. RBI-Plpwi 2. Rlchtrdicm, Kucab 1. K'nlg 3 SB-Held. 3B-Plewi, Kucab. SB-H.rior. Moitall. S-Plew, DP -Throneberrv. H.ld and Thronebfrry. Ku-ntt and Filch, rdson. Plew, Rlch.rdann and Tnron'.'oerry Left-Denver 3. Om.na t BB-Schnl1t 3. Terry 5. Kuc.h 1. SO -Schmldl . Pierce 3, Terry 3. Kucab 3. HO-Schmldt 4 In 5 Innlnin. Pierce 3 In 4 (faced twn In 10(hl, Spencer 1 In 1. Terry 2 In 51.. Kucab 3 tn 4. R nd I.R-Schmldt 2-3, Pierce 3-2 Spencer 1-t. Terry 3-2, Kurab 0-0. Wlnner-Ku-c.p) (2-01 Loer-Pierc4 (0-3). U-Kar-ner, Crawlord. T-J 47. SECOND CAME Denver 010 300 000- S 1 Omaha. 000 530 00--7 & 1 Parxoni and Johnson; willli. Dixon (Tj and. Riggaa. Local ABC Scores Link-Belt Crlndera., 724-S0S-7T9-3.31 1 S, M, URni 70-22-777-3.379 I.lnk-Belt Poitt. Drive. 775-799-4SI-J,423 Rt-T.jc Company... 705-B63-677-3.04S Riviera No. 3 .... Rl 0-B01 -745-3. 3 Madden Furniture .. 777-750-41-2.18 Link Bell Drill PreM 71 -3.-3.3T4 P.lton Bin. St(l...17-3,52t Jewish Vent Club.. 44-3-llH-3.41 Roller Ch.ln S3-l-47-2.544 Jeih Men I Club No. 3 04-S31-59-3 4S4 De.Me. Tnnv Ciniiant'.no 496 and Joe Schem-b-a 44-fl41; Rlthard Rlrim 4.S0 and Tl S.-h-.enbii-hlrr 570-1.020; Pete Cor. nr. and Dan Cocaro M.1-1,020: Krd Mounla 547 and John Rlggln 493-1 040. Single. Mount! 479. J. Kiuin 533 D. Conaro 43 t. p fofiaro 4.T6. R. Rigein 509, Rch-nba-hler 5 IS. Schembrt 491, Constantino 491. 50 - Mile Posts 80 100 150 200 250 300 SS0 400 450 500 53221 13111 . ' i A i - - !, ! Fw . x , t '!t , s . A $, . Firemen battU desperately to put out the flames vkh'i car (top) after the winner of the 1953 and 1954 race in a five-car collision on the backstretch. In the bottom How BOB SWEIKERT First Place it f , ANDY LINDEN Sixth Place Unofficial standings of other contestants: 11th Weyant. 13th Johnson. 13th Carter. 14th Rathmann. -, tiN -. 1 x V WTtt .r- VfSe 'i: . V Vi-) 'er.3 V-v..-,)f : i (' 1 lr , - I -fv-j -.1 : JWitJl tta-i iTmnmiwrf-hl i rl -'- - Sma 'l 'n ittwirf wi 1,111 111 1 The Flaming End Of They Finished In 39th TONY BETTENHACSEX Second Place Ah HERMAN Seventh Place ISth FreeUnd. 16th Nlday. 17 th Cross. 1 8 1 h Templeman. 19th Hanks. 20th Andrews. 1 . t$ - M on Bill Vuko- vich's lifeless was involved Don Pertain) picture Vuko- JIMMV DA VIES Third Place PAT O'CONNOR Eighth Tlace Jlst Parsons. 22nd E. Russo. 23rd Crawford. 24th Bryan. 25th Vukovich. 2Cth McGrath. A Champion 4 hand sticks out from under 500 -Mile Classic JOHNNY THOMSON Fourth Place J15IMY DAYWALT Ninth Tlace 27th Keller. 28th EHslan. 29th Boyd. SOth Ward. 31st Hoyt. S2nd Agabashlan. M I'- flaming car. (Star Photos by HALT FAULKNER Fifth Place t yftanfme nw- 4ne J tLid aai.n jj4 PAT FLAHERTY Tenth Place 33 rd Reese. Winners time was 3 hours 53 minutes 59.53 seconds. Winners speed was 128.209 mph. Last year's winning speed was 130.84a Vukovich Killed In Pileup Concluded From Pace 1 first time In history. Tony Bet-tenhausen of Tinley Park, 111., with relief from Paul Russo of Houston, Tex, finished second in the Chapman Special. Jimmy Davies of Pacoima, Cal, was third in the Bardahl Special. Johnny Thomson of Springfield, Mass, was fourth in the Peter Schmidt Special. Other finishers in the top 10 were Walt Faulkner of Long Beach, Cal, with relief from Bill Homeier of Pacoima, Cal., fifth in the Merz Engineering Special: Andy Linden of Man. hattan Beach, Cal, sixth in the Massaglla Special; Al Herman of AUentown, Pa, seventh in the Martin Brothers Special; Pat O'Connor of North Vernon (Ind.), eighth in the Ansted-Rotary Special; Jimmy Daywalt of Indianapolis, ninth in the Sumar Special, and Pat Flaherty of Chicago, 10th in the Dunn Engineering Special. All except Flaherty completed the full 500 miles and got the checkered flag. Flaherty finished after the red flag was brought out, but may get special dispensation to become a member of the champion 100-Mile-an-Hour Club. HERMAN'S FINE job in the flamingo colored Martin car seems likely to gain him rookie-of-the-year honors. Ayulo was the 45th Speedway fatality and Vukovich was the 46th. Three other drivers anl twe spectators also were Injured, none of them seriously, in the accident which cost Vukovich his life. Johnny Boyd, 28, Fresno, Cal., suffered bad back and shoulder burns caused by friction when he skidded along the track on his back. Rodger Ward, 34, of Los Angeles, sustained right arm injuries which caused encasement of that member in a cast. Ed Elisian, 28, of Oakland, Cal, who was Vukovich's best friend and driving protege, suffered extreme shock. Elisian stopped his car to aid Boyd after he saw Boyd's racer pile Into the previous wreckage. He helped pull Boyd out of the car. Then, Elisian had to be restrained forcibly from dashing Into the flaming wreckage of Vukovich's cat to try and save his pal. Al Keller, 33, Green Acres, Fla, was shaken up in the same crash. All of these drivers were released after treatment at the Speedway hospital. THE INJURED spectators were treated in a Speedway safety patrol jeep which Vukovich's racer hurdled after hitting the outside retaining rail just north of the bridge of the Speedway Golf Course. Sgt. 1c Richard Wolfe, 4035 Kenwood Avenue, an Indiana National Guardsman, suffered a fractured collarbone when a wheel from the car hit him. He was in fair condition last night in Methodist Hospital. Lt. Charles D. Mallender of Plain-field suffered a fractured ankle. Sweikert drove a steady, heady race to come from the 14th starting position, in the middle of the fifth row, to victory. He had climbed to fifth by 50 miles, was third at 100, second at 150, 200 and first at 230. He first took the lead on the 89th lap (after 220 miles). He was still first at 300 but fell to third at 850 after making his second and final pit stop. He had the lead back at 400 after Free-land and Cross both had pitted. He was in the lead the rest of the way. As Sweikert took the checkered flae before some iso.nori speed fans, he raised- his rich arm high above his head and rmaiea it gleefully above his head. Then as he nasspri th lavender-shirted pit crew of his car seconds later, he repeated the gesture with his left hand. SWEIKERT'S two pit stops were good ones, for a minute and 7 seconds on the eighth lap for fuel and tires and on the 133d circuit for 46 M seconds for the same purpose. He got the lead to keep on the 160th lap after Freeland had come in for three tires and fuel, accomplished in 43 seconds. Freeland had led for three laps after Cross pitted while leading. After a near perfect start, McGrath took the lead going into the southwest turn and led the first three laps. Vukovich passed him on the backstretch and kept it until the 15th when McGrath "sawed him off going in the first turn, forcing Vukovich down onto the dirt. Vukovich got McGrath right back to lead the 16th lap and kept In front,- with McGrath running two seconds behind and virtually on his tail. McGrath pulled abreast at the end of the 26th lap but Vukovich refused to yield to the challenge and eked out McGrath going into the southwest turn. After Vukovich crashed, Bryan took over the lead, with Sweikert running second and Cross third. . . . . . f .

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