We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to “Bickelmom” for winning the second annual Oilpressure.com Indy 500 Trivia Contest. Bickelmom missed only seven of the thirty-three questions. I thought that by making the questions mostly multiple choice, that it would be easier than last year. Based on some of the responses I got, that was not the case. It’s obvious that Bickelmom put a lot of time and effort into doing her homework. She dethroned last year’s winner – “Jim In Wilmington” who gave a valiant effort but came up a little bit short. Her reward will be a very rare item – a brand new 100% cotton polo shirt embroidered with the snazzy Oilpressure.com logo. She should have it by Race Day so that she can wear it proudly in Indianapolis.

Now that the contest is over, here are the answers…

1. This driver is one of three drivers to drive in the Indianapolis 500 with an artificial leg.

(c) Al Miller

2. George Stewart was the given name for which driver?

(d) Leon Duray

3. What nickname did Wilbur Shaw give to his wife?

(a) Boots

4. How many years could Mauri Rose claim to be the reigning champion of the Indianapolis 500?

(d) Seven – He won in 1941, then the war years came, which meant he was the defending champion in 1942 to 1946. He won again in 1947 and 1948, which meant for a total of seven years, Rose could claim to be the defending champion.

5. Name one of the last three drivers to drive an Offenhauser engine in the Indianapolis 500, and in what year?

Bill Vukovich II, Dick Simon or Johnnie Parsons, Jr. in 1980

6. What was the last year that Sid Collins called an entire 500-mile race at Indianapolis?

1974 – the 1975 and 1976 races were both shortened by rain.

7. What driver was originally scheduled to drive the winning car in 1951?

(a) Tony Bettenhausen

8. In what year did Tony Hulman buy the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

(a) 1945

9. What year saw AJ Foyt drive while still recovering from a broken back?

(a) 1965 – after a crash at Riverside in January 1965

10. Who was the third driver in 1966 to make up the “super team” that also consisted of Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart?

(d) Rodger Ward – was the third driver for John Mecom’s team.

11. Who gave Rick Mears his first opportunity to drive in the Indianapolis 500?

(b) Bill Simpson – in 1977

12. Who was Cyrus Patschke?

Ray Harroun’s relief driver.

13. Mario Andretti won in 1969 driving a Brawner Hawk. In what type of car did he begin the month in 1969?

(a) Lotus – which he destroyed in practice.

14. What phenomenon occurred in every race that featured Larry Cannon as a driver?

Johnny Rutherford won every race – 1974, 1976, 1980

15. The winning driver for the Indianapolis 500 has been drinking milk in Victory Lane every consecutive year, since what year?

(d) 1956 – the tradition started in 1936, but was stopped during Wilbur Shaw’s tenure as President of the Speedway. It was revived in 1956 and has been continued since.

16. When Helio Castroneves won in back to back years in 2001 & 2002, he became the first driver to do so since which driver?

(a) Al Unser

17. In what year did a Lola chassis first race at Indianapolis?

(b) 1965

18. What was the last year that a Watson chassis raced at Indianapolis?

(c) 1980

19. What was Tony Bettenhausen’s nickname growing up as a child?

(a) Tunney – after boxer Gene Tunney, because he always got into fights as a child. That later was changed to “Tony”. His nickname while driving was the Tinley Park Express, after his hometown of Tinley Park, IL.

20. What driver became a top executive with Firestone during World War II?

(d) Wilbur Shaw

21. Who was the first driver since Ray Harroun to announce his retirement in Victory Lane?

(c) Sam Hanks – in 1957

22. What driver served in World War II as a pilot ferrying military airplanes from coast to coast?

(a) Rex Mays

23. What driver was the first to win two Indy 500’s in a row?

(b) Wilbur Shaw

24. Who was the first father/son combination to attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500?

Jim & James McElreath in 1977. Jim (the father) made the race, while James (the son) failed to qualify. James would be fatally injured later that year in a sprint car accident.

25. In what car did Bill Vukovich take his rookie test?

(b) The Boyle Maserati

26. Which of these drivers was not originally scheduled to drive a wedge-shaped Lotus turbine in the 1968 Indianapolis 500?

(c) Joe Leonard – who was originally scheduled to drive a turbine, similar to the one Parnelli Jones drove in 1967. After Mike Spence and Jim Clark both lost their lives that spring, Leonard was moved to the wedge-shaped Lotus.

27. What three men posed for the front row photo for the 1969 Indianapolis 500?

AJ Foyt, Aldo Andretti & Bobby Unser – Mario Andretti did not wish to be photographed with burns to the face in a crash he suffered earlier in practice, so he had his twin brother Aldo to pose for the front-row pictures.

28. Who became the first driver to walk to Victory Lane?

(d) Johnny Rutherford – after a rain delay. Instead of pushing his car into Victory Lane, Rutherford simply walked up ramp in front of the Master Control Tower.

29. When did Janet Guthrie first attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500?

(c) 1976

30. How many Andretti’s have won Rookie of the Year honors?

(d) Four

31. What was Tom Sneva’s profession before becoming a racecar driver?

School Principal

32. Before their return in 1995, when was Firestone’s last year at the Indianapolis 500?

(c) 1974

33. Who was Tony Kanaan’s car owner during his first Indianapolis 500?

(c) Mo Nunn

Three Tiebreakers:

1. There are currently eight living drivers that drove both front-engine and rear-engine cars in the Indianapolis 500. Name them.

AJ Foyt, Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Parnelli Jones, Jim McElreath, Chuck Hulse, Bob Harkey.

2. Who is the Chief Mechanic that has won the most Indianapolis 500’s? Name the years and the drivers.

George Bignotti – 1961 (Foyt), 1964 (Foyt), 1966 (Hill), 1970 (A. Unser), 1971 (A. Unser), 1973 (Johncock), 1983 (Sneva)

3.  What driver was posthumously awarded twelfth place in the Indianapolis 500 and in what year?

Carl Scarborough, 1953 – Took relief then died from heat exhaustion in the infield hospital during the race.


5 Responses to “We Have A Winner!”

  1. Bickelmom Says:

    YIPPEE!! I’m so excited, George! I had a great time researching the questions and learning a lot of history in the process. I even pilfered my son’s Indy 500 history book and started reading it (I’m up to 1969 right now). I will totally be wearing my Oilpressure.com shirt with pride on Sunday! Thank you, thank you!

  2. Jim in Wilmington Says:

    Congratulations, Bickelmom. It sounds like you had a great time learning about a fascinating subject. I’m glad to pass the crown to someone who did this much work and had a lot of pleasure doing it.


  3. Bickelmom Says:

    Thanks, Jim! knowing you were entering kept me researching!

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