THE SPORT ABROAD.
LOUIS SCHNEIDER, driving a Miller-built racing car called the “Bowes Seal Fast Special” won the nineteenth Indianapolis 500-mile race on Memorial Day, 30th May last. His time for the 500 miles was 5 hours 10 minutes 28 seconds, which gives him an average speed of 96.6 m.p.h., compared with 100.4 m.p.h. attained by the winner last year, and the record speed of 101.1 m.p.h. set up by Peter de Paolo in 1925. The slower speed this year was caused by the weather, which for once was inclement, rain falling during a considerable proportion of the time the race was being run. Second place was gained by Fred Frame on a Duesenberg, and Ralph Hepburn on a Miller was third.
Steady rain falling in the morning made the large crowd who had collected to see the race nervous lest it might be put off, but by mid-day the rain had ceased and the brick track was practically dry. Preceded by the pilot car, the 40 competitors, to which the original seventy odd entries had been reduced by the eliminating trials held during the three days preceding the race, got away for their preliminary lap. Then the flag dropped to give the flying start and the race had begun in earnest.
Immediately Billy Arnold, last year’s winner, shot to the front with his Miller-Hartz racer, and travelling at tremendous speed proceeded to cover the first fifty miles of the race at 109.8 m.p.h. Then it began to rain again, but at 75 miles Arnold’s average was still 109.1 m.p.h. and his lead was becoming increasingly comfortable. C. Cummings on an “Empire State” racer was second, followed by Frame’s Duesenberg and Louis Selmeider’s Miller. Great interest was aroused by David Evans on the Cummins Diesel engined racer, which was coming along well and averaging about 90 m.p.h.
At half distance, 250 miles, Arnold still led, but as the result of the rain his average had dropped to 94.5 m.p.h. The weather, however, cleared up again, and Arnold once more began to lap at about 106 m.p.h., with the result that when 375 miles had been covered his average had improved to 96.9 m.p.h.
By this time a second consecutive win for Arnold looked certain, and then, on the 162nd lap fate stepped in. While travelling at full speed the leading Miller lost a wheel, got out of control and collided with Luther Johnson on the Richards Special. Both cars went over the retaining wall, the Miller caught fire and was burnt out, but the men got off with minor injuries, a truly remarkable escape.
The accident, however, entirely altered the course of the race, and Louis Schneider, who had been awaiting his chance in second place, leapt into the lead which he did not lose until the finish. The final order was as follows :-
1. Louis Schneider (Miller “Bowes Seal Fast Special ‘), 5h. 10m. 28s. Average 96.6 m.p.h.
2. Fred Frame (Duesenberg), 5h. 11m. 11s. Average 96.4 m.p.h.
3. Ralph Hepburn (Miller), 5h. 18m. 23s.
4. Myron Stevens (Miller “Jadson”).
5. Russel Snowberger (Studebaker “Russel 8”).
The Cummins Diesel-engined car finished twelfth at 86.2 m.p.h.