The Formula 1 Wiki
Advertisement
The Formula 1 Wiki

The 1951 Indianapolis 500 was the second race of the 1951 Formula One Season. It was the second time (of 11 in total) the Indianapolis 500 was held as part of the Formula One World Championship, although none of the regular drivers (who had taken part in the previous race) entered the 1951 event. Instead, the field was made up of 33 Americans, including Johnnie Parsons who won the previous year's event.

The event was won by Lee Wallard in his second and last Indy 500 start (Wallard entered the race in 1954 but failed to qualify). Second place was claimed by Mike Nazaruk while Manny Ayulo crossed the line in third, having relieved Jack McGrath at the halfway point; the two drivers shared the points for third place. Polesitter, Duke Nalon retired from the race with 49 laps to go. Nalon was among 25 drivers who failed to finish the race, with only 8 seeing the chequered flag.

Background[]

Making his return to the Indianapolis 500 after suffering a serious injury in 1949, Duke Nalon made a comeback to the sport when he scored the pole position.

Qualifying[]

Report[]

Qualifying for this event was scheduled to take place over six days, but was extended to seven as the sixth day was washed out. Grid order was determined by aggregate time over four laps, with earlier runs counted ahead of later ones.

Pole position was decided on the first day, as were the rest of the top-11, 12th and 13th on day 2, 14th-24th on day 3, 25th and 26th on day 4, 27th on day 5, and the remaining 6 places on day 7. Despite setting a time faster than the polesitter, Walt Faulkner only qualified 14th as his time was set on a later day.


Results[]

Pos No. Driver Constructor Time Gap % Avg Speed
1 18 Duke Nalon Kurtis Kraft-Novi 4:23.74 100% 136.50
2 99 Lee Wallard Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:26.59 +2.85 101.1% 135.04
3 9 Jack McGrath Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:28.05 +4.31 101.6% 134.30
4 27 Duane Carter Deidt-Offenhauser 4:29.16 +5.42 102.1% 133.75
5 16 Mauri Rose Deidt-Offenhauser 4:29.82 +6.08 102.3% 133.42
6 98 Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:32.08 +8.34 103.2% 132.31
7 83 Mike Nazaruk Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:32.35 +8.61 103.3% 132.18
8 3 Johnnie Parsons Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:32.41 +8.67 103.3% 132.15
9 5 Tony Bettenhausen Deidt-Offenhauser 4:32.83 +9.09 103.4% 131.95
10 4 Cecil Green Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:32.92 +9.18 103.5% 131.91
11 59 Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:36.61 +12.87 104.9% 130.14
12 25 Sam Hanks Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:30.68 +6.94 102.6% 133.00
13 44 Walt Brown Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:32.92 +9.18 103.5% 131.91
14 2 Walt Faulkner Kuzma-Offenhauser 4:23.02 -0.72 99.7% 136.87
15 73 Carl Scarborough Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:25.46 +1.72 100.7% 135.61
16 10 Bill Schindler Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:28.59 +4.85 101.8% 134.03
17 1 Henry Banks Moore-Offenhauser 4:28.86 +5.12 101.9% 133.90
18 23 Cliff Griffith Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:28.98 +5.24 102% 133.84
19 8 Chuck Stevenson Marchese-Offenhauser 4:29.13 +5.39 102% 133.76
20 81 Bill Vukovich Trevis-Offenhauser 4:29.21 +5.47 102.1% 133.72
21 22 George Connor Lesovsky-Offenhauser 4:29.96 +6.22 102.4% 133.35
22 69 Gene Force Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:30.47 +6.73 102.6% 133.10
23 19 Mack Hellings Deidt-Offenhauser 4:30.83 +7.09 102.7% 132.92
24 68 Carl Forberg Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 4:30.90 +7.16 102.7% 132.89
25 48 Rodger Ward Bromme-Offenhauser 4:26.93 +3.19 101.2% 134.87
26 12 Johnny McDowell Maserati-Offenhauser 4:31.75 +8.01 103% 132.47
27 76 Jimmy Davies Pawl-Offenhauser 4:29.63 +5.89 102.2% 133.52
28 32 Chet Miller Kurtis Kraft-Novi 4:25.10 +1.36 100.5% 135.80
29 52 Bobby Ball Schroeder-Offenhauser 4:28.46 +4.72 101.8% 134.10
30 26 Joe James Watson-Offenhauser 4:28.82 +5.08 101.9% 133.92
31 57 Andy Linden Sherman-Offenhauser 4:32.26 +8.52 103.2% 132.27
32 6 Duke Dinsmore Schroeder-Offenhauser 4:32.78 +9.04 103.4% 131.97
33 71 Bill Mackey Template:Hall-Offenhauser 4:33.82 +10.08 103.8% 131.47

Failed To Qualify[]

Race[]

Report[]

Sam Hanks has some trouble starting his car as it is being pushed from the pit lane to begin the pace lap. Just before crossing the white line at which all drivers must have there cars started, Hanks' car starts and he roars away to join the rest of the pack.

Mauri Rose spinning the grass, just moments before his car begins to flip.

The race begins and Lee Wallard takes the lead from Jack McGrath and the pair begin to pull away from the remain front runners. At the rear of the field, it has become clear which cars are off of the pace as they begin to break off from the pack. At the end of lap two, McGrath steals the lead and wins a $100 lap prize. However, Wallard isn't making it easy to lead as the pair swap positions again on the fourth lap.

After only eight laps, Joe James is forced to retire from the race because of transmission issues. Johnny McDowell would not be far behind after he ruptured his fuel tank in the pits on the fifteenth lap. And then three laps later, Mack Hellings pulls off into the pits because of damage to his engine.

Duke Nalon makes a horrible judgement error as he rolls past his crew and has to wait to be pushed back to his box. Meanwhile Cecil Green is right on the rear of McGrath and challenging for the lead. He can't get it done and McGrath maintains his lead.

McGrath pulls into the pits on the one hundredth lap to make a driver change. Manny Ayulo will take over the second half of the race, but by this point Wallard has taken the lead, putting a victory out of the picture for Ayulo.

Lee Wallard (back) and Andy Linden (front) battling for the lead.

There is trouble as Mauri Rose loses control of his car in the corner. He skids down into the grass and he car goes sideways. The tyres dig into the ground and his car is sent into a flip. Rose walks away from the car uninjured, but his race comes to an end, as he is the first car to flip in the race.

Approuching lap 179, Wallard and Andy Linden are neck and neck racing around the corner. They swap positions, but Linden is not able to lead a lap as Wallard retakes his first position. Behind them, Tony Bettenhausen has spun his car in the corner. He spins down into the grass and comes back up on the track, but does an excellent job to put the car back down into the grass.

Lee Wallard celebrating his first victory as his car coasts into the pits.

Trouble for Wallard who is currently leading the race. In the closing laps of the race, he loses his shock absorbers and brakes. Despite these bumpy and dangerous circumstances, he muscles onward and crosses the finish line in first place to earn his first and only win in Formula One. After his visit in the victory lane, Wallard is taken directly to the circuit's medical facility where he is treated for severe chafing, caused by his fire retardant suit.

The race proves to be one of the safest Indianapolis 500's in history, with no driver injuries. However, only eight drivers finished the race.

Results[]

Pos No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Gap Avg Speed
(mph)
Grid Pts
1 99 Lee Wallard Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 200 3:57:38.05 126.23 2 9
2 83 Mike Nazaruk Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 200 +1:47.24 125.29 7 6
3 9 Manny Ayulo Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 100 +2:51.39 124.73 2
Jack McGrath 100 3 2
4 57 Andy Linden Sherman-Offenhauser 200 +4:40.12 123.80 31 3
5 52 Bobby Ball Schroeder-Offenhauser 200 +4:52.23 123.70 29 2
6 1 Henry Banks Moore-Offenhauser 200 +5:40.02 123.29 17
7 68 Carl Forberg Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 193 +7 Laps 24
8 27 Duane Carter Deidt-Offenhauser 180 +20 Laps 4
9 5 Tony Bettenhausen Deidt-Offenhauser 178 Spin 9
10 18 Duke Nalon Kurtis Kraft-Novi 151 Engine 1
11 69 Gene Force Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142 Oil pressure 22
12 25 Sam Hanks Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 135 Spin 12
13 10 Bill Schindler Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 129 Connecting rod 16
14 16 Mauri Rose Deidt-Offenhauser 126 Spin 5
15 2 Walt Faulkner Kuzma-Offenhauser 123 Camshaft 14
16 76 Jimmy Davies Pawl-Offenhauser 110 Gearbox 27
17 59 Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 109 Clutch 11
18 73 Carl Scarborough Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 100 Wheel bearing 15
19 71 Bill Mackey Template:Hall-Offenhauser 97 Clutch 33
20 8 Chuck Stevenson Marchese-Offenhauser 93 Fire 19
21 3 Johnnie Parsons Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 87 Magneto 8
22 4 Cecil Green Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 80 Connecting rod 10
23 98 Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 78 Camshaft 6
24 6 Duke Dinsmore Schroeder-Offenhauser 73 Overheating 32
25 32 Chet Miller Kurtis Kraft-Novi 56 Ignition 28
26 44 Walt Brown Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 55 Magneto 13
27 48 Rodger Ward Bromme-Offenhauser 34 Oil line 25
28 23 Cliff Griffith Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 30 Transmission 18
29 81 Bill Vukovich Trevis-Offenhauser 29 Oil leak 20
30 22 George Connor Lesovsky-Offenhauser 29 Engine 21
31 19 Mack Hellings Deidt-Offenhauser 18 Engine 23
32 12 Johnny McDowell Maserati-Offenhauser 15 Fuel leak 26
33 26 Joe James Watson-Offenhauser 8 Transmission 30
Non-qualifiers: see above

Milestones[]

  • Lee Wallard's first and only Formula One Grand Prix victory
  • Lee Wallard's first and only fastest lap in Formula One
  • Duke Nalon's first and only pole position in Formula One
  • The Novi engine's first and only pole position in Formula One

Standings after race[]

Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 9
2 United States Lee Wallard 9
3 Italy Piero Taruffi 6 ▼1
4 United States Mike Nazaruk 6
5 Italy Nino Farina 4 ▼2
6 Italy Consalvo Sanesi 3 ▼2
7 United States Andy Linden 3
8 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried 2 ▼3
9 United States Jack McGrath 2
10 United States Manuel Ayulo 2
11 United States Bobby Ball 2

Notes[]

V T E United States Indianapolis 500
Circuit Indianapolis Motor Speedway
IMS oval.svg
Races 1911 • 1912 • 1913 • 1914 • 1915 • 1916 • 1919 • 1920 • 1921 • 1922 • 1923 • 1924 • 1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928 • 1929 • 1930 • 1931–1949 • 1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961–2019
V T E 1951 Formula One Season
Constructors Alfa Romeo • Alta • BRM • ERA • Ferrari • Gordini • HWM • Maserati • OSCA • Talbot-Lago • Veritas
Engines Alfa Romeo • Alta • BRM • ERA • Ferrari • Gordini • Maserati • OSCA • Talbot • Veritas
Drivers Abecassis • Ascari • Bira • Bonetto • Branca • Chaboud • Chiron • Claes • Étancelin • Fagioli • Juan Manuel Fangio • Farina • R. Fischer • Fotheringham-Parker • Gordini • Giraud-Cabantous • Gerard • Godia-Sales • J. F. González • de Graffenried • Grignard • Hamilton • Hirt • James • Jover • Kelly • Landi • Levegh • Louveau • Mairesse • Marimón • Manzon • S. Moss • Murray • Parnell • Pietsch • Pilette • Richardson • Rol • Rosier • Sanesi • Schell • Shawe-Taylor • Simon • Stuck • Swaters • Taruffi • Trintignant • Villoresi • Walker • P. Whitehead
Cars Alfa Romeo 159 • Alta GP • BRM P15 • ERA B • Ferrari 125 • Ferrari 212 • Ferrari 375 • HWM 51 • Maserati 4CL • Maserati 4CLT/48 • OSCA 4500G • Simca-Gordini T11 • Simca-Gordini T15 • Talbot-Lago 26C • Veritas Meteor
Tyres Dunlop • Englebert • Pirelli
Races Switzerland • Indianapolis • Belgium • France • Britain • Germany • Italy • Spain
See also 1950 Formula One Season • 1952 Formula One Season • Category
v·d·e Nominate this page for Featured Article
Advertisement