We Have a Winner!

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Actually, it looked for a while as if we were going to have winners – as in a three-way tie for first. Naturally, that would happen the first year that I didn’t have a tie-breaker. At least there would no prize this year, otherwise I would have been sending out three polos or T-shirts.

But with a few hours to spare, former champion Billy the Skink sent in his winning e-mail in with only two wrong answers. That was good enough to win the 2020 Oilpressure.com Indianapolis 500 Trivia Contest. Alex Cain, Patti Nolan (ikissedthebricks.com) and last year’s winner, Rick Johnson all tied for second. Each of them missed only three questions. Curiously enough, none of them missed the same three. Had Billy missed just one more, it would have been a four-way tie. The last step on the podium goes to Jim Gallo, who only missed four. Honorable mention goes to Mike Silver (ThePitWindow.com) and Mike Risch, who both missed six.

The question that tripped up many was Question 12, which asked Legendary race broadcaster Sid Collins had many skills. In the opinion of Donald Davidson, what skill did Collins excel at the most? Many of you said something to the effect of “His ability to paint a picture with words”. Donald has said that he had that ability, but on numerous occasions Donald has said that it was Sid’s skill as a Banquet Emcee that was his greatest skill. Enough of you got that one correct that I will not accept the “word picture” answer.

Just because this year’s shortened version kept in-line with this scaled-down month of August, there is no asterisk next to Billy’s name. After all, winners of rain-shortened races are still referred to as winners of the Indianapolis 500. Johnny Rutherford won the 1976 Indianapolis 500 when rain broke out on Lap 102, but no one says he won the Indianapolis 255. So Billy the Skink should savor his victory and pour himself a glass of milk. But he should drink it, and not pour it over his head. Congratulations, Billy!

Here are the twenty questions with their respective answers. Thanks to those that played along, and even if you didn’t play – I hope you learned a few useless tidbits regarding the Indianapolis 500.

George Phillips

1. Who was the first former driver to watch his son qualify for the Indianapolis 500?  Thane Houser, who drove in the 1926 race, was present when his son, Norm Houser qualified for the 1949 race.

2. Who was the first former Indianapolis 500 winner to watch his son qualify for the Indianapolis 500?  Johnnie Parsons, who won the 1950 race, was present when his son, Johnny Parsons, qualified in 1974.

3. Name the two Indianapolis 500 drivers that were lost when their ship, the SS Vestris, sank in the North Atlantic.  Earl Devore and Norman Batten

4. What driver is known for steering his flaming car through the pit area in the 1927 Indianapolis 500, thereby preventing injury to crew members? Norman Batten

5. Car No. 98 has won the Indianapolis 500 four times with four different drivers. Name the drivers and the year they won.  Troy Ruttman, 1952; Parnelli Jones, 1963; Dan Wheldon, 2011; Alexander Rossi, 2016.

6. Name the only two primary sponsors to win the Indianapolis 500 three times in a row.  Blue Crown Spark Plugs (1947-1949) & Marlboro (2001-2003)

7. Sam Hanks and Jimmy Bryan drove the same car to Victory Lane in 1957 and 1958 respectively. The same car finished thirty-third in 1959, again with Bryan as the driver. Who drove the car in 1960 and in what position did it finish?  Red Amick. Eleventh.

8. Who drove the only car with a full roll cage in the Indianapolis 500? What was the year?  Bruce Walkup. 1970.

9. Who was the last driver to win the Pole for the Indianapolis 500 on Goodyear tires, and in what year? Billy Boat. 1998.

10. Which Rookie of the Year did Robin Miller once share a house with?  Larry Rice – 1978 Co-Rookie of the Year (with Rick Mears).

11. Four times in history, the same two drivers have occupied the top two finishing positions two years in a row. Name them.

1947-1948 – Mauri Rose and Bill Holland

1949-1950 – Bill Holland and Johnnie Parsons

1959-1960 – Jim Rathmann and Rodger Ward

1974-1975 – Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Unser

12. Legendary race broadcaster Sid Collins had many skills. In the opinion of Donald Davidson, what skill did Collins excel at the most?  Banquet emcee.

13. What Indianapolis 500 winning car had the engine with the largest displacement?  Joe Dawson’s 1912 National. 491 cubic inches.

14. Which second-generation driver was on stand-by for Danny Sullivan during the 1989 Indianapolis 500, in case Sullivan could not continue due to a broken arm he sustained in a practice crash?  Geoff Brabham

15. Who was the first driver to drive in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year?  Paul Goldsmith in 1961.

16. The color green was considered unlucky in racing, according to an old superstition. Who was the first driver to drive a green car to a victory in the Indianapolis 500 and in what year?  Gaston Chevrolet in 1920

17. The iconic Marlboro livery is often associated with Emerson Fittipaldi, who drove the car for several years and then brought it to Team Penske in 1990. Who was the second driver to drive a car in the Marlboro livery in the Indianapolis 500?  Kevin Cogan in 1987.

18. How many combinations of brothers have led the Indianapolis 500? Name them.  Four. Gaston and Louis Chevrolet; Al and Bobby Unser; Buddy and Jacques Lazier; Justin and Stefan Wilson.

19. What was the first year that the Purdue All-American Marching Band performed at the Indianapolis 500? 1919.

20. Five drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 and led less than 100 miles in their Indianapolis 500 career (not counting co-winners). Who are they?  Joe Dawson, Gaston Chevrolet, Louis Schneider, Graham Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.

6 Responses to “We Have a Winner!”

  1. Great trivia as usual George! I sent mine in via the us postal service. As you know there have been some delays in the mail service. After reading your answers I think I missed only one! 😉🤣

  2. Rick Johnson Says:

    Congratulations to Billy the Skink for the victory! My biggest regret is that we have to wait until next year for the next contest. Oh well, like the race, it’s only nine moths from now. Thanks, George, for doing this each year…I can imagine it’s a lot of work. Again, congrats Billy!

  3. So I got numbers 1 and 2 wrong and was surprised- I assumed those were correct but I should have known to research more because the page I found my answers on also only listed three of the four pairs of brothers to lead the 500. I should have known some families were left off in other categories too. Fortunately, the brothers question is one I know. I have a Stefan Wilson shirt to remind me.
    No surprise that I also got the Robin Miller question wrong. I went back and forth on the Sid question but after listening to Donald a couple times decided it was being an emcee that you were looking for. Fun as always George. Third last year, tied for second this year, watch out everyone I will get that top step.

  4. billytheskink Says:

    I guess Mike from Vernon Hills decided once again to let someone else win. Awful nice of him. Glad I didn’t pull a McLaren this year and I got my entry in on time… And yes, George, I’ll drink the milk and not dump it on my head. This was a lot of fun, as it always is, and kudos to everyone who participated. We all learned a lot, no doubt, I certainly did.

    As this is the 10th trivia contest, I dug up the history of previous winners, for anyone curious:

    2010: Bicklemom
    2011: *no contest*
    2012: Billy The Skink
    2013: BryanBe (prize winner) and Steven Kilsdonk
    2014: Ryan Svaboda (prize winner) and Billy The Skink
    2015: Paul Dalbey
    2016: Mike from Vernon Hills
    2017: Mike from Vernon Hills
    2018: Mike from Vernon Hills
    2019: Rick Johnson
    2020: Billy The Skink

    Can the prospect a fourth victory pull Mike out of retirement in 2021?

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