Milton (Frontenac)
2 Tommy Milton
Louis Chevrolet
Sarles (Duesenberg)
6 Roscoe Sarles
Duesenberg Brothers
Duesenberg 8
Ford (Frontenac)
23 P. Ford/Burt/Ellingboe
Stanley Kandul
Chicago Frontenac


Indianapolis Speedway (USA), 30 May 1921 (Monday).
200 laps x 2.5 mi (4.023 km) = 500 mi (804.67 km)


1Eddie HearneE. A. HearneRevere SpecialDuesenberg3.0S-8
2Tommy MiltonLouis ChevroletFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-8
3Ira VailIra VailLeach SpecialMiller3.0S-8
4Ralph DePalmaRalph DePalmaBallotBallot3.0S-8
5Eddie MillerDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
6Roscoe SarlesDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
7Joe BoyerDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
8Ralph MulfordLouis ChevroletFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-8
9Albert GuyotDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
10Howdy WilcoxJules GouxPeugeotPeugeot3.0S-4
14André BoillotLouis CoatalenTalbot-DarracqSunbeam3.0S-8
15René ThomasSunbeam Motor Car Co.SunbeamSunbeam3.0S-8
16Ora HaibeSunbeam Motor Car Co.SunbeamSunbeam3.0S-8
17Riley J. BrettGeorge L. WadeJunior SpecialBrett3.0S-6
18Louis FontaineGeorge L. WadeJunior SpecialBrett3.0S-6
19Jean ChassagneJean ChassagnePeugeotPeugeot3.0S-4
21Bennett HillJohn ThieleDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
22 Jules EllingboeJules EllingboeFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-4
23Percy FordStanley KandulChicago FrontenacFrontenac3.0S-4
24Jimmy MurphyDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
25Joe ThomasDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8
27Tom AlleyLora L. CorumFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-4
28Cornelius Van RanstCornelius Van RanstFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-4

Relief Drivers

2Barney Oldfield (for Tommy Milton)FrontenacFrontenac0driven by Milton
3Frank Elliott (for Ira Vail)Leach SpecialLeach Special0driven by Vail
5Jimmy Murphy (for Eddie Miller)DuesenbergDuesenberg107Rel. Miller lap 93-200
8Louis Chevrolet (for Ralph Mulford)FrontenacFrontenac0driven by Mulford
9Louis Inghibert (for Guyot)DuesenbergDuesenberg0driven by Guyot
9Joe Boyer (For Guyot)DuesenbergDuesenberg38Rel. Guyot lap
9Eddie Miller (For Guyot)DuesenbergDuesenberg51Rel. Guyot lap
16Ora Haibe (for Dario Resta)SunbeamSunbeam0driven by Haibe
17Harry Thickstein (for Riley Brett)Junior SpecialJunior Special0driven by Brett
18Joe Thomas (Louis Fontaine)Junior SpecialJunior Special0driven by Fontaine
21Jerry Wonderlich (for Benny Hill)DuesenbergDuesenberg42Rel. Hill lap
21J. A. Thiele (for Benny Hill)DuesenbergDuesenberg0driven by Hill
22Dave Koch (for Jules Ellingboe)FrontenacFrontenac0driven by Ellingboe
23Andy Burt (for Percy Ford)Chicago FrontenacFrontenac11Rel. Ford lap
23Jules Ellingboe (for Percy Ford)Chicago FrontenacFrontenac95Rel. Ford lap
24Eddie Pullen (for Jimmy Murphy)DuesenbergDuesenberg0Rel. Murphy
25Al Soules (for Joe Thomas)FrontenacFrontenac0driven by Thomas
27Tom Alley (for Lora Corum)FrontenacFrontenac0driven by Alley
Mervin F. C. HeadleyFrontenacFrontenacentry withdrawn

Milton wins the Indianapolis 500, Sarles second, Ford third.

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1921 Indianapolis 500 was special, as for the last time with such a large European involvement. The 9th International 500 Mile Sweepstakes at Indianapolis was held to the 3-Liter formula or 183 cubic-inch. Six overseas cars were entered to defy American ingenuity. Two Sunbeams and a Talbot-Darracq were English while two Peugeots and a Ballot were French. Ralph DePalma (Ballot) was leading in the fastest car at record speeds until the 112th lap when a connecting rod bearing broke. Then Tommy Milton (Frontenac) was first while Roscoe Sarles (Duesenberg) was in contention but could neither beat De Palma nor later Milton who kept the lead until the end to win the race. Sarles finished second ahead of Percy Ford who was relieved by Burt and Ellingboe in the Frontenac. Eddie Miller (Duesenberg) came fourth with help from Murphy and Ora Haibe (Sunbeam) fifth, the only European car to survive the fierce battle. Guyot helped by Boyer and Miller (Duesenberg) were sixth. Famous drivers like Boyer and Murphy in Duesenbergs ran into trouble. Louis Fontaine (Junior) spun off the track, climbed the outside wall, scaring nearby spectators, but no one was hurt.
The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was held on Monday May 30, Memorial Day, a national holiday. The AAA carried over the 183-cubic-inch formula from 1920, matching the international 3-Liter formula, which might also attract more European entries to Indianapolis. The racing purse was the largest ever at $100,000. Prize money of $50,000 was allocated to the first ten cars classified, with $20,000 for first, $10,000 for second, 5,000 for third, 3,500 for fourth, 3,000 for fifth, 2,200 for sixth, 1,800 for seventh, 1,600 for eighth, 1,500 for ninth and 1,400 for tenth. In addition, numerous trophies and special prizes were awarded to the winners as well as $100 lap prize money given to the race leaders lap by lap. However, the "citizens" lap prize fund was limited to $20,000, generated by donations from companies and all gate money.
Of the 29 entries only 23 cars were able to qualify. Following is information of only a very few contenders.
#2 - Tommy Milton, 28, started racing in 1913 on the dusty fairground circuits. In 1917 he won his first major victory at Providence, Rode Island. Milton won his first national championship in 1920 with 4 victories out of 10 title races. For 1921 he left Duesenberg and entered a new car, called Durant Special but was forced to withdraw because it could not be completed in time. After the tragic death of Gaston Chevrolet in November 1920, there was an opening in the Frontenac team of Louis Chevrolet and Milton agreed to drive one of the new 8-cylinder Frontenacs designed by Van Ranst for 1921 Indy.
#4 - Ralph DePalma, 38, was born in Italy. Since 1893 in the USA where he was the dirt track king from 1906 to 1911 and national champion in 1912 and 1914. He won the 1912, 1914 and 1920 Elgin National Trophy, the 1912 and 1914 Vanderbilt Cup, the 1915 Indianapolis 500. In 1920 and 1921 he drove for Ballot in 3-Liter cars, 183 cubic inches, with a straight-8 (66 x 112 mm) 2973 cc engine, delivering 107 hp at 3800 rpm. The weight was quoted as 780 kg and top speed as 180 km/h. The Ballots were said to be the fastest cars at that time.
#14 - #15 - #16 - The Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq team entries from England were three new cars for the 3-Liter formula with straight-8 (65 x 112 mm) 2973 cc aluminum engine with steel liners, double ohc with four valves per cylinder, delivering 108 hp at 4000 rpm, capable of 176 km/h. The dry weight was 1014 kg. They ran the cars as Sunbeams or Talbot/Darracqs, due to the STD merger in 1920, cause of the persisting confusion. At Indianapolis apart from the radiators, the three cars were identical. André Boillot's car #14 carried the Talbot Darracq badge. René Thomas #15 car and #16 of Ora Haibe ran as Sunbeams.
#22 - Jules Ellingboe, who won a name for himself on dirt tracks, made his first speedway debut at the 1921 Indianapolis 500 with a Frontenac. After he retired on lap 49, he relieved #23 Percy Ford for 95 laps and finished the Chicago Frontenac in third place.
#24 - Jimmy Murphy, 27, raced since 1919 with Duesenberg. In 1920 he won 3 of 10 championship races and finished second in that year's AAA championship. Still with Duesenberg in 1921, in February he won the 25-Mile race at Beverly Hills and in April the 50-mile and 25-Mile race at Beverly Hills ahead of Indy.
#28 - C. W. Van Ranst, who was Louis Chevrolet's right-hand man in the designing and constructing of the utmost in racecars, the Frontenac, made his debut as a big-league driver in the 500-mile race.
Preceding the time trials, which began on the Wednesday before Monday's race, most drivers practiced with their cars much earlier. On Friday, May 20, there was a lot of action for several thousand people who sat in the stands of the Speedway when DePalma's Ballot caught on fire in the afternoon. After he failed to kill the flames with an extinguisher on the car, he raced back to the pits for help. The damage was not serious and a short time later he was out on the track turning at a fast clip. Dario Resta, who was out of racing since 1916, arrived at the track and took the Sunbeam for a spin. Howdy Wilcox went for a ride in the Peugeot, while André Boillot was out in the Talbot-Darracq, Tommy Milton in a Frontenac, Eddie Hearne in a Revere and Benny Hill in a Duesenberg.
      The cars were practicing again on Monday, a week before the race. From the 28 entries, 24 were present, four had withdrawn, their identity was not published. But one of those withdrawals was Milton's Durant-Special and another with Mervin F. C. Headley, who was forced to withdraw the Frontenac through inability to complete purchase of the car. Headley had not paid for his car and the receiver of the Monroe Motor Car Company, who held the car as an asset, refused him the right to use it. Ira Vail with the Leach Special No. 3 arrived Monday. Vail had won more than fifty dirt track races and last year he relieved Joe Boyer for 100 miles and was relief for Gaston Chevrolet. Ora Haibe, with the Sunbeam team, covered many miles without mishap. In the afternoon René Thomas took the Sunbeam out to the bricks. Ralph DePalma made five appearances. On his fourth test spin he ran out of fuel and had to be towed in by a Sunbeam.
      The Duesenbergs were expected to show up on Tuesday. Late afternoon Percy Ford in the Chicago Frontenac Special, fresh from the shops, took the brick oval for a trial spin. After warming up for several laps, Ford attempted a lap for speed. when at the first curve the left rear wheel swung wild with a broken axle shaft, the wheel had hopped up, clamping the driver's arm to the body of the car and rebounding to the retaining wall. Ford hung to the wheel but managed to keep the car on the track and limped to the pits with his axle dragging. He returned from the speedway hospital ten minutes later, his arm bandaged. Albert Guyot, who had competed in four prior races, had watched last year's race from the pits. He had a strenuous workout in the Duesenberg, which he would drive also in the French Grand Prix. Van Ranst, who was considered as a dark horse with his Frontenac, drove only regular times. Ira Vail in the Leach Special continued his Monday practice. Ralph Mulford arrived at night to drive a Louis Chevrolet Frontenac.
Wednesday elimination trials:
The elimination trial to determine the starting order for the race was conducted from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The three fastest drivers were getting the front row positions, the next three the second row and so on. Cars failing to qualify had a second opportunity on Friday at the same time. The rules demanded an average minimum qualification speed of 80 mph. This meant that the average for each of the four laps had to be 1m52.50s or less. Drivers who made 80 mph or more for the four laps were not entitled to any additional trials. The fastest times set on Friday would draw positions immediately back of those which had qualified on Wednesday.
      Ralph DePalma won the pole position in the first of the qualifying trials for the race, when he flashed across the wire at the remarkable average of 100.75 mph for the four laps in 5m57.34s for the ten miles. The first of the four laps were timed in 1m29.20s, the second in 1m29.53, the third 1m29.50s and fourth 1m29.11s. The amazing speed demonstrated by DePalma was the fastest ever clocked officially on the famous course. Roscoe Sarles forced his Duesenberg to make the four laps at an average of 98.55 mph, which placed him second on the front row. Joe Boyer in his Duesenberg reached an average for the ten miles of 96.65 mph, which placed him also on the front row. Eddie Hearne in the Revere placed in fourth place with 96.18 mph, Jules Ellingboe (Frontenac) with 95.40 mph followed and Jean Chassagne (Peugeot) with 91.00 mph completed the second row. Joe Thomas, (for Louis Fontaine) in a Junior Special with 88.30 mph placed seventh, followed by Percy Ford (Chicago Frontenac) with 87.00 mph and Eddie Miller (Duesenberg) in 83.85 mph completed the third row. The last to qualify was Ira Vail (Leach Special) with 82.35 mph on the fourth row. On Wednesday Tommy Milton snapped a connecting rod, breaking through the crankcase of the Frontenac at the south curve. There was some doubt about preparing his car in time to qualify.
      Only one mishap marred the precision on the Speedway. On his fourth and last lap Lora L. Corum lost control of his Frontenac, made two complete turns and smashed tail end into the lower retaining wall. The main damage was a bent rear axle and the car was towed to the garages. Wilcox, the Sunbeams, Talbot-Darracq and others made no attempt to qualify. The 14 drivers which did not race, were working on their cars. The two new Duesenbergs from the New Jersey factory would hopefully qualify by Friday.
Friday elimination trials:
On Friday eight drivers were able to qualify and the six drivers who did not take part could qualify on Saturday. André Boillot (Talbot-Darracq) qualified with 97.60 mph winning the second position on the fourth row, followed by Howard Wilcox (Peugeot) with 96.00 mph flat won the outside position. Ora Haibe drove the Sunbeam for the sick Dario Resta with 93.50 mph placed on row five, Albert Guyot (Duesenberg) qualified with 87.78 mph and Bennett Hill (Duesenberg) with 87.75 mph. On row six qualified Riley J. Brett (Junior Special) with 87.70 mph, René Thomas (Sunbeam) with 83.75 mph and Lora L. Corum qualified for Tom Alley (Frontenac) with 80.50 mph on row six. Officials stated that Lora Corum would be removed from the 500-mile event the moment he showed speed which he could not control. On the following Monday, at the time for the race, Corum was in the hospital suffering from nervous exhaustion and Corum's place at the wheel was taken by Tom Alley. Dario Resta had been ill for several days, according to reports by Speedway officials and it was not certain if he would start the race.
Saturday elimination trials:
On Saturday afternoon three more racers qualified. Two drivers who did not take part had another opportunity to qualify on Sunday. Jimmy Murphy (Duesenberg) qualified with 93.60 mph on row seven, followed by Tommy Milton (Frontenac) with 92.06 mph and Ralph Mulford (Frontenac) with 91.70 mph. Rules were suspended at the Indianapolis Speedway on Saturday to permit Eddie Pullen (Duesenberg) and C. W. Van Ranst (Frontenac) to qualify on Sunday. It was reported that Joe Thomas of the Junior Special team will not drive. His relief driver was Al Soules. Ora Haibe drove one of the Sunbeams, confirming that Dario Resta will not drive this year. Haibe was not as experienced a driver as Resta. Tommy Milton's Frontenac was pushed to the garage after the bearings had been burned out.
Sunday elimination trials:
Sunday afternoon was the last chance to qualify. Joe Thomas qualified for Eddie Pullen, who did not drive, (Duesenberg) with 95.25 mph on row eight, followed by C. W. Van Ranst (Frontenac) with 88.35 mph.
On Sunday the 2˝-mile track was bathed in gasoline and alkali to remove the oil and grease. This was done each year just before the big event to ensure safety for the drivers. All along the course little heaps of sand were piled up and during the race men would sprinkle the sand over oil spots wherever they appeared. Every precaution was taken to make the brick pathway skidproof.
      Carl G. Fisher, president of the Speedway Company estimated the crowd of 135,000 to 150,000 persons, the largest crowd ever assembled in one sporting event, present on Memorial Day, on Monday morning 9:30 a.m. The 23 cars lined up on the starting grid, for the first time in rows of three.
Pole Position







Revere Special








Chicago Frontenac




Leach Special












Junior Special

René Thomas


Tom Alley








Joe Thomas


Van Ranst


After the mechanics cranked up the cars the loud roar of the engines was heard, accompanied by a cloud of castor oil fumes. Fontaine's Junior in the third row belched smoke and fire. A backfire had ignited spilled gasoline. The fire extinguisher brigade had its first exercise and the blaze was out. Engines were warmed up, drivers and mechanics climbed into the cars. The starter, Tom Hay of Chicago, waved his starting flag to give the signal, promptly at 10 a.m. the race was on. That first lap behind Harry Stutz in a H. C. S. pace car did not count as a lap of the race. They followed him until he pulled off into the pits. Right away the fight for position began as the leader in every lap got $100. DePalma wasted no time and captured the first lap setting the pace at 89.23 mph, closely followed by Sarles and Boyer. Sarles managed to pass the flying Ballot on the stretch of the second lap and Boyer got his lone $100 lap prize money of the day on the seventh lap. But outside of these two laps, DePalma was in the lead until after the race was half run. The terrific speed was shown after the first 25 miles at the rate of 91.6 mph, and this average steadily increased to the 225-mile mark, where it reached its apex at 93.66 mph. DePalma completed the first 25 miles at an average speed of 91.6 mph with the leaders in the following order after 10 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Boyer (Duesenberg)
3.Wilcox (Peugeot)
4.Sarles (Duesenberg)
5.Hearne (Revere)
6.Alley (Frontenac)
7.Ellingboe (Frontenac)
8.Boillot (Talbot-Darracq)
9.Murphy (Duesenberg)
10.Van Ranst (Frontenac)

It was soon seen that the fast cars were out to kill off the others for when 50 miles ended, they were tearing around at better than 92 mph, while a year ago the time was about 90. Milton held the car back in seventh position. DePalma completed the first 50 miles when the pace had slackened at an average speed of 92.62 mph in the following order after 20 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Boyer (Duesenberg)
4.Alley (Frontenac)
5.Hearne (Revere)

Wilcox had engine trouble at the north curve on his 22nd lap and coasted with the blue Peugeot due to a broken connecting rod smashing the crankcase, which hopelessly ended his race driving his car off the track and parked in the grass. The other Peugeot, driven by Chassagne, followed him on the same lap to change spark plugs and was off again. Albert Guyot, driving a Duesenberg, was the next to seek the pits, but regained the track with little loss of time after changing his mechanic. Joe Thomas, driving a Duesenberg for Eddie Pullen, ended his race after 24 laps when a steering knuckle broke after he was past the center of the north curve. The car crashed into the top retaining wall, veered down to the lower wall which he side-swiped three times in a cloud of dust and appeared several hundred yards further down the track when the car had stopped bumping along the wall. Both driver and mechanic ducked and neither was hurt. The car was backed into the infield some distance away. Joe Boyer stopped at the pits for the first time at the end of his 33rd lap, changing spark plugs. After five minutes he took to the oval with fresh tires. After 33 laps Fontaine, driving one of the Junior Specials, skidded off the track as he was completing the north curve. He wrecked his car which smashed into and over the concrete wall with the rear end of the car hanging half way over the wall, piercing the wire fence which divided track from grandstand in which were hundreds of spectators. No one was hurt but Fontaine suffered a slight cut on the forehead. He refused to go to the hospital and was reluctant to leave his car.
      When 100 miles, 40 laps, had been reached, DePalma had advanced his lead to half a lap over Sarles by driving a new track record for the distance with an average speed of 93.14 mph. Alley had moved his Frontenac up into third position. Hearne was fourth, Milton fifth, Ellingboe sixth, Murphy seventh, Boillot eighth, Van Ranst ninth and Haibe tenth. The time for the distance was 1h04m25.14s. The first five cars were all racing in the same lap with twenty cars still on the track. The order was as follows after 40 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Alley (Frontenac)
4.Hearne (Revere)
5.Milton (Frontenac)
6.Ellingboe (Frontenac)
7.Murphy (Duesenberg)
8.Boillot (Talbot-Darracq)
9.Van Ranst (Frontenac)
10.Haibe (Sunbeam)

After 41 laps Boillot ended his race with a worn-out connecting rod bearing of his Talbot-Darracq after the oil pump was jammed by a broken piece of gudgeon pin circlip. On lap 49 Ellingboe retired his Frontenac with a broken oil line. At 350 miles officials began to wonder what had happened to Jules Ellingboe in his Frontenac. No official report had been made of him. Upon investigation it was learned that during the 49th lap he had broken an oil line, the fixing of which had required one hour and fifteen minutes. He withdrew from the race. Jimmy Murphy in the Duesenberg very nearly became the next one to be counted out when his steering knuckle broke on the 59th lap and his car whirled around three times on the course. No one was hurt and the car was wheeled into the pits. Within a few minutes, repairs had been made and the car was off with Eddie Pullen at the wheel. After 150 miles, 60 laps, DePalma lacked but 200 yards of being a full lap ahead of Sarles and had increased his pace by averaging 93.33 mph for the distance. Milton had moved with his Frontenac to third position, closely followed by Hearne's Revere. The time was 1h35m25.95s. There were still 19 of the starters in the race with the leaders in the following order after 60 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Milton (Frontenac)
4.Hearne (Revere)
5.Alley (Frontenac)
6.Van Ranst (Frontenac)
7.Murphy (Duesenberg)
8.Haibe (Sunbeam)
9.Thomas (Sunbeam)
10.Hill (Duesenberg)

On his 60th lap, 150 miles, Riley Brett in the other Junior visited the pits for a tire change. On the 63rd lap Jimmy Murphy in the Duesenberg took to the pits for a rear wheel change and a supply of fuel. Jean Chassagne lost the hood of his Peugeot at the south turn on the 65th lap. Abiding by AAA rules, the Starter Tom Hay gave him the white flag, forcing him off the track. Then Chassagne started the lone search for the lost hood. The rules stated that he could not drive his car after the loss of a component part. Never before had such a thing happened at the Speedway. Supposedly Chassagne had slowed down, found the hood and placed it for the race before he finally withdrew. On the 65th lap Eddie Hearne stopped at the pits. Only 18 cars were left when Joe Boyer in his Duesenberg coasted into the pits on his 74th lap with rear axle trouble. There was no possible hope for him to continue. After 200 miles, 80 laps, DePalma was flashing over the timing wire for an average of 93.68 mph. This figure stacked up against 91.10 mph established as a record last year. Alley had rushed into second position at this stage with Sarles, Milton, Van Ranst, Haibe and René Thomas following in this order. With a time of 2h08m5.31s DePalma had beaten all existing records and was seen already as the winner. After 200 miles it appeared that he could not be beaten as his serious contenders were only Alley and Milton in Frontenacs and the Duesenberg of Sarles. At this stage, 17 cars were still in the race. The order was as follows after 80 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Alley (Frontenac)
3.Sarles (Duesenberg)
4.Milton (Frontenac)
5.Van Ranst (Frontenac)
6.Haibe (Sunbeam)
7.Thomas (Sunbeam)
8.Hearne (Revere)
9.Hill (Duesenberg)
10.Ford (Frontenac)

On his 87th lap Van Ranst driving one of the Frontenacs went out of the race with a broken water connection. The last of the Junior Specials, driven by Harry Thickstein for Riley Brett dropped out, when he crushed the retaining wall on the south curve on lap 91. He attempted to reenter the race but was ruled out. This left only 14 cars in the race. For the first time Roscoe Sarles was forced to the pits to refuel his Duesenberg on his 94th lap, losing little time doing so. Percy Ford, Frontenac, was relieved by Andy Burk on the 94th lap and on lap 105 by Ellingboe. Joe Boyer relieved Guyot in his Duesenberg and Jerry Wonderlich took Bennett Hill's place at the Duesenberg wheel.
      At the 100 laps half-way mark, 250 miles, DePalma was leading Milton by three laps when his engine began misfiring with dirty plugs. The time was 2h40m23.63s with an average of 93.52 mph for this distance. After two more laps, DePalma stopped for 4m55s, made a complete change of tires, took on fuel and water, changed plugs and was away from the pits still a fraction of a lap ahead of Milton. DePalma was cheered when he came into the pits and the crowd went wild when he resumed the track. Alley was third followed by Sarles, Thomas and Hearne after 100 laps:
1.DePalma (Ballot)
2.Milton (Frontenac)
3.Alley (Frontenac)
4.Sarles (Duesenberg)
5.Thomas (Sunbeam)
6.Hearne (Revere)

The Duesenberg originally driven by Jimmy Murphy changed drivers three times. Pullen succeeded Murphy and was followed by Guyot, who on his 106th lap stopped to change two tires, take on oil, water and fuel. Murphy in the meantime had relieved Eddie Miller in the Duesenberg. The bold DePalma was forced to stop again after 275 miles on his 108th lap to change spark plugs. Peter DePaolo, the boy mechanic was right at the hood. The time consumed was 4m45s. The speed king took to the track, amid renewed cheers, his lead now shattered. DePalma made a few more laps and then was forced to push his car from the track with a broken connecting rod after 112 laps, when only 11 cars were left in the field. From that time on the race began to assume the appearance of a procession while the real racing thrills came in the first half of the race. Eddie Hearne was out of the running after 111 laps when valve trouble and a broken oil line put Hearne out of the race. After 300 miles, 120 laps had been reached, Milton was leading Alley by more than a lap, while Sarles was pressing him closely in third place. Eddie Miller, who was in the back in the first 200 miles, came strong with help by Murphy after 300 miles and was occupying fourth place, followed by the two Sunbeams of Haibe and Thomas. The average had dropped to 90.36 mph with a time of 3h19m11.64s, after 120 laps:
1.Milton (Frontenac)
2.Alley (Frontenac)
3.Sarles (Duesenberg)
4.Murphy for Miller (Duesenberg)
5.Haibe (Sunbeam)
6.Thomas (Sunbeam)

Tom Alley dropped out after 133 laps. Although in second position and going for the big money, Alley's car caught fire on the north curve when he broke two connecting rods. Guards and the mechanic helped him move the Frontenac into the grass where the fire was put out. No one was hurt. Alley then pushed the car to the pits. At 350 miles, 140 laps, only 10 cars had survived the terrific ordeal, with Milton leading. Sarles was second with his Duesenberg and René Thomas in third with his English Sunbeam. The average was 90.22 mph with a time of 3h52m45.95s, after 140 laps:
1.Milton (Frontenac)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Thomas (Sunbeam)
4.Haibe (Sunbeam)
5.Guyot (Duesenberg)

After the 144th lap René Thomas in the Sunbeam dropped from the race with a broken water connection. Only nine cars remained now in the field in the early stage of the final 150-mile sprint. Just after flashing across the wire in the lead by two full laps at 400 miles, 160 laps, Milton stopped at the pits to take on fuel oil and water for the final 100-mile dash. As Milton started on his sprint the crowd cheered him as they had DePalma, a new star having developed within an hour's time. From then on until the finish Milton drove steadily and consistently. Sarles, who was still in second position, had cut the lead down to one lap during Milton's stop. Haibe's Sunbeam was in third place, while Ellingboe, who had replaced Percy Ford in the Chicago-Frontenac, had moved up to fourth, with Miller's Duesenberg, driven by Murphy, in fifth place. The time was 4h27m36.76s for an average of 89.68 mph after 400 miles, 160 laps:
1.Milton (Frontenac)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Haibe (Sunbeam)
4.Ellingboe for Ford (Chicago-Frontenac)
5.Murphy for Miller (Duesenberg)

After 450 miles, 180 laps, Milton led Sarles by 1m45s, with the third car, the Chicago-Frontenac, driven by Ellingboe for Ford, eight laps in the rear. The time was 5h1m58.7s with an average of 89.41 mph.
1.Milton (Frontenac)
2.Sarles (Duesenberg)
3.Ellingboe for Ford (Chicago-Frontenac)
4.Murphy for Miller (Duesenberg)
5.Haibe (Sunbeam)

Milton was again pushing his Frontenac and the average climbed a little. The nine surviving cars were driving in a procession. At the end of the last lap, the checkered flag was waved from the overhead bridge to Milton, his average at 89.62 mph after 5h34m44.65s, with his car two laps and 100 yards ahead of Sarles.
      Tommy Milton cashed the $20,000 first prize and $6,200 in lap prizes and equipment prizes, a grand total of about $36,000. Roscoe Sarles won $10,000 for second place and $100 in lap prize money, Percy Ford collected $5,000 for third place, Eddie Miller $3,500 for fourth place, Ora Haibe $3,000 for fifth place, Albert Guyot $2,000 for sixth place, Ira Vail received $1,800 for seventh place, Bennie Hill $1,600 for eighth place, Ralph Mulford $1500 for ninth place and Ralph DePalma $10,600 in lap prize money. The tenth place of $1400 was prorated among the nine winners.


Pos.No.Driver/Relief DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.2Tommy MiltonLouis ChevroletFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-82005h34m44.65s - 89.62 mph
2.6Roscoe SarlesDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-82005h38m34.03s - 88.61 mph+   3m49.38s
3.23P. Ford/Burt/EllingboeStanley KandulChicago FrontenacFrontenac3.0S-42005h52m50.30s - 85.02 mph+ 18m05.65s
4.5Eddie Miller/MurphyDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-82005h54m24.98s - 84.65 mph+ 19m40.33s
5.16Ora HaibeSunbeam Motor Car Co.SunbeamSunbeam3.0S-82005h55m58.20s - 84.27 mph+ 21m13.55s
6.9A. Guyot/Boyer/MillerDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-82006h01m17.70s - 83.35 mph+ 26m33.05s
7.3Ira VailIra VailLeachMiller3.0S-82006h14m17.47s - 80.15 mph+ 39m32.82s
8.21Bennett Hill/WonderlichJohn ThieleDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-82006h19m08.74s - 79.13 mph+ 44m24.09s
9.8Ralph MulfordLouis ChevroletFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-8177flagged
DNF15René ThomasSunbeam Motor Car Co.SunbeamSunbeam3.0S-8144water connection
DNF27Tom AlleyLora L. CorumFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-4133connecting rods
DNF4Ralph DePalmaRalph DePalmaBallotBallot3.0S-8112connecting rod
DNF1Eddie HearneE. A. HearneRevereDuesenberg3.0S-8111oil line
DNF24J. Murphy/Pullen/GuyotDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-8107front suspension
DNF17Riley J. BrettGeorge L. WadeJuniorBrett3.0S-691hit wall
DNF28Cornelius Van RanstCornelius Van RanstFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-487water connection
DNF7Joe BoyerDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-874rear axle
DNF19Jean ChassagneJean ChassagnePeugeotPeugeot3.0S-465lost engine hood
DNF22Jules EllingboeJules EllingboeFrontenacFrontenac3.0S-449oil line
DNF14André BoillotLouis CoatalenTalbot-DarracqSunbeam3.0S-841connecting rod
DNF18Louis FontaineGeorge L. WadeJuniorBrett3.0S-633hit wall
DNF25Joe ThomasDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg 8Duesenberg3.0S-824steering
DNF10Howdy WilcoxJules GouxPeugeotPeugeot3.0S-422connecting rod
Fastest lap was not timed.
Winner's average speed: 89.62 mph (144.23 km/h).
Fastest lap during the time trials: Ralph DePalma (Ballot) 1m29.11s = 100.999 mph (162.54 km/h).
Weather: warm, dry

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
Indiana Daily Times, Indianapolis
L'Auto, Paris
Motor Age, Chicago
Omnia, Paris
The Boston Globe, Boston
The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 23.07.2021