1933-Meyer Wins Second 500 in Year of Innovation and Tragedy

Photo: Louis Meyer in 1928

Ten years after Tommy Milton won his second Indianapolis 500, another driver joined the two time winners club. Louis Meyer, who won in 1928, took the lead on lap129 and neverb looked back. He beat Wilbur Shaw by six minutes. Meyer completed the distance at an average speed of 104.2 miles per hour, breaking the record Fred Frame set the previous year.

1933 was a year of innovation and tragedy. Chet Gardner was the first driver to use a two way radio. His riding mechanic communicated with the pits during the race. Gardner finished fourth.

Two drivers, Mark Billman and Les Spangler, were fatally injured in the race, along with Spangler’s riding mechanic G. L. Jordan. Driver Bill Orem and riding mechanic Hugh Hurst were killed during qualifications.

New rules went into effect for the 20th 500. Qualifications increased from four lps to 10 laps. Each car started the race with six gallons of oil and could not add oil during the race.

A record 42 cars started the race. Fourteen cars completed the 200 laps. Bill Cummings won the pole and led the first 32 laps. Fred Frame and Babe Stapp exchanged the lead until Meyer took charge on lap 129. Cummings, Frame, and Stapp all dropped out with mechanical issues.

Meyer prevailed over a strong grid which featured four former winners and four future winners. 1933 was Mauri Rose’s rookie year. Meyer would go on to win a third 500 in 1936. Tommy Milton drove the pace car that year and witnessed Meyer mo ahead of him with the most wins in 500 history.

After a crash in the 1939 500, Meyer retired from racing. He formed a partnership with Dale Drake to take over the Offenhauser engine company. Meyer-Drake Offenhauser engines powered Indianapolis 500 winners into the 1960s.

From yesterday-

1923-Tommy Milton Becomes the First Multiple 500 Winner

1923- Tommy Milton Becomes the First Multiple 500 Winner