We Have A Winner!

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For the third year in a row, the Oilpressure.com Indianapolis 500 Trivia Contest has been won by "Mike in Vernon Hills". Longtime listeners of The Talk of Gasoline Alley with Donald Davidson know that Mike is a regular and almost nightly caller to that show. Entries were down this year, perhaps due to the difficulty of the quiz. But those that entered did very well. The most missed by any of the entries was seven. That was an incredible effort by everyone who participated. But Mike topped them all, missing only two. Congratulations, Mike! And thanks to everyone who participated.

As usual, there was a disputed question. This year, it was question #5. I was really looking for after they started lining up by qualification speed for each day. However, I didn’t put that in the wording, making the 1914 race the correct answer.

And now, the answers:

1. Who is the only driver to drive in four different cars in the same Indianapolis 500?

Cliff Woodbury in 1929

2. Name at least two Indianapolis 500 starters who were fatally injured in racing; whose widows went on to remarry other Indianapolis 500 starters.

Scott Brayton’s widow married Robbie Buhl. Ernie Triplett’s widow married Bob Swanson, who would also lose his life while racing among several others

3. Who drove the first front-engine car with a turbo-Offy? What was the year?

Bobby Grim in 1966

4. Who was the first Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter to finish thirty-third in the same race while starting on the pole?

Cliff Woodbury in 1929

5. What driver holds the record for being the fastest qualifier to start the furthest back in the field? What was the starting position and what was the year?

Chet Miller was the fastest qualifier in 1952, but started twenty-seventh or I also accepted Georges Boilot, who started 29th in 1914

6. What driver holds the record for the fastest official speed recorded in a four-wheel drive car? What was the year?

Joe Leonard in 1968

7. What driver marched in the pre-race festivities in his high-school band as a youth, before racing in the Indianapolis 500 as an adult? (question courtesy of Will McCarty)

Johnny Parsons, Jr., who played trumpet in the Indianapolis Scecina High School Marching Band and drove in twelve “500’s” from 1974 to 1996

8. What car owner had to grant Joe Leonard’s release from a contract before he could drive the Lotus turbine for Andy Granatelli?

Parnelli Jones

9. What four winning drivers had to take a relief driver during the race before getting back in to drive their car on to victory? What were the years?

Ray Harroun (1911), Joe Dawson (1912), Tommy Milton (1923), Peter De Paulo (1925)

10. Name the four relief drivers and their respective years from question No.9

Cyrus Patschke (1911), Don Herr (1912), Howdy Wilcox (1923), Norman Batten (1925)

11. What driver holds the record for the fastest qualifying speed in a front-wheel drive car? What was the year?

Chet Miller qualified the front-drive Novi at 139.034 mph in 1952; a record for a front-drive car that stands today. He was fatally injured in practice one year later in the Novi

12. What Indianapolis 500 winning driver was a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Engineering?

Billy Arnold

13. Who was the last Indiana-born driver to go the full five-hundred miles in the Indianapolis 500?

Tony Stewart in 2001

14. Who is currently the oldest living former winner of the Indianapolis 500?

Parnelli Jones

15. Who is currently the oldest living person to drive in the Indianapolis 500?

Paul Goldsmith; born October 2, 1925 (age 92)

16. What Indianapolis 500 winning driver was fatally injured in a passenger car accident on the same street where the Jones & Maley Special sat on top of a roof for five decades?

Bill Cummings. The 1934 winner

17. Who was the first British-born driver to win the Indianapolis 500?

George Robson, in 1946

18. Who is currently the youngest former winner of the Indianapolis 500?

Alexander Rossi

19. Who was the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 under USAC sanction?

Pat Flaherty

20. Al Unser was the oldest driver to win the Indianapolis 500, when he won in 1987 at the age of 47 years, 360 days. Who was the second oldest winner?

Bobby Unser, when he won in 1981, who was 47 years and 93 days

21. What winning driver finished his qualifying run in the rain, in the same year in which he won?

Bill Vukovich, in 1953

22. What year saw a second-day qualifier start on the outside of the front row, alongside two first-day qualifiers? Who was the driver on the outside of the front row?

1955. Jack McGrath started on the outside of the front-row as a second-day qualifier. The two first-day qualifiers were Jerry Hoyt on pole, and Tony Bettenhausen in the middle.

23. In one Indianapolis 500, two different drivers made two separate trips to the infield care center in the same race. What year was the race and who were the drivers?

1953. Gene Hartley and Andy Linden.

24. Driver Pancho Carter is known to have not gotten a haircut until he was over three years-old, by which time he had very long ringlets. What former Indianapolis 500 starting driver gave him his first haircut?

Cal Niday. Duke Nalon claimed to have done it, but it was claimed first by Niday who was a barber

25. What year did the slowest qualifier start in the second row? Who was the driver?

1912; Harry Knight

26. What pole-winning driver went by a fictitious first name, while his given name was Levon?

Freddie Agabashian

27. Who was George Bignotti’s father-in-law at one time?

Louis Meyer

28. Who set the first official track qualifying record at IMS in the “500” era? What was the year and the speed?

Teddy Tetzlaff in 1912; 84.25 mph

29. Dallara owns the most Indianapolis 500 victories for a chassis manufacturer with seventeen. What chassis manufacturer holds the second-most with how many?

Penske Cars, Ltd., with seven. 1979, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994

30. Firestone has the most Indianapolis 500 wins by a tire manufacturer with sixty-eight wins. Which two manufacturers are tied for the fewest number of wins (zero wins does not count).

Two tire manufacturers are tied for the fewest wins with one each – Michelin in 1912 and Palmer in 1914

31. When Troy Ruttman won the Indianapolis 500 in 1952, he became the youngest winner at the age of 22 years, 86 days – a record that still stands today. Whose record did Ruttman break?

Joe Dawson, the 1912 winner at 22 years and 232 days

32. On four separate occasions, the winning Indianapolis 500 driver was entitled to carry car No.1 as the defending series champion, yet chose not to. Name the drivers and the year of the four wins.

Bobby Unser (1975); Kenny Bräck (1999); Dario Franchitti (2010, 2012)

33. Although the Mercedes 209 was the most famous engine to take advantage of the purpose-built pushrod rule, what was the other purpose-built pushrod engine to enter the 1994 Indianapolis 500?

The Greenfield; built by Greenfield Industries and was to be driven by Michael Greenfield in car No.42

Tie-Breaker: What is my dog’s name and what was she named after?

Maley; she is named for the Jones & Maley Special; otherwise known as “The car up on the roof”, that has since been taken down and sent off for restoration

3 Responses to “We Have A Winner!”

  1. Always enjoy reading the contest results, maybe next year I will finally take the plunge and enter.

  2. Ok I found my problem with 25. I didn’t realize they started five wide. Also after spending way too much time on number 16. I’m glad I got that one right.
    I’m still very happy with my results. I did better than last year.

  3. billytheskink Says:

    Not my finest performance this year, but I enjoyed doing the research and learning more about the 500, as always. I also realized that I have a book that doesn’t realize that Bobby Unser was the 1974 national champion (always look through two sources, if you can).

    Can anyone stop the Mike from Vernon Hills dynasty? (no, but darned if it isn’t fun to try)

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