1955 Indianapolis 500

The Indianapolis 500 1955 took place on May 30, 1955 held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis and was the third race of the Formula 1 season 1955 and the first race of the AAA season 1955.

  • 3.1 Start -up
  • 3.2 race
  • 4.1 Drivers' Championship



The Indianapolis 500 was part of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1955, but the European team did not participate in the race and looked to as a void result. The driver's field consisted of U.S. drivers and teams who participated in no other Formula 1 race of the 1955 season. With Bill Vukovich the winner of the Indianapolis 500 1953 participated and 1954. Its designer Kurtis Kraft provided a large part of the car of the race and dominated the weekend. The driver's field was limited to 33 cars, 35 Americans took part in the race.


The pole position was determined in four time trial competitions, the first time trial decided on the pole position. The first time trial on May 14, was marked by heavy rain and strong winds, which prompted the drivers and teams to stay in the box. The pole in the second time trial, it was decided to determine a day later, but Jerry Hoyt did not abide by the agreement and went unexpectedly to the track and secured the pole position. It was the only pole position of his career and the only for its designer Stevens. Tony Bettenhausen also went to the track and qualified in second position. Other drivers did not participate. On May 15, all other drivers drove under dry conditions from the other places on the grid. The time trial was overshadowed by a serious accident by Manny Ayulo, when he lost control of the car and drove unangeschnallt in a boundary wall. He died a day later from his injuries and was the first fatal accident drivers of the Formula 1 season 1955.


When flying start to the Indianapolis 500 race in 1955 Jack McGrath took the lead and extended his lead to some seconds. Bill Vukovich was in the first round in fourth place behind Johnnie Parsons and Jerry Hoyt. Vukovich passed in the second round Hoyt and Parsons and was thus behind the leader McGrath, smoke rising from the engine in his car. After another round it became clear that McGrath had technical difficulties, Vukovich approached and attacked the leaders. In round three overtook Vukovich McGrath, the lead was but a few laps later again. Then came an exciting battle for the lead, the Vukovich decided in his favor, as McGrath fell back by electrical problems. After 50 rounds, a quarter of the race distance McGrath came to repair the box to his own car. However, this was not possible and McGrath retired from the race.

Vukovich built in the following laps his lead on the competition further and dominated the race. When he began to overtake the first car took place before him a crash with Rodger Ward, Johnny Boyd and Al Keller. The drivers involved tried the following vehicles to draw attention to the accident, but Vukovich was unable to avoid the car and collided with Boyd. Both cars rolled over, Boyd was trapped under his car Vukovich catapulted over the barriers. The leader of the race died at the scene and the audience was informed by the announcement of the death Vukovichs. Boyd was freed from other drivers and track staff out of his car and survived the serious accident uninjured. After the race was released again, led Jimmy Bryan before Bob Sweikert. Byrans car began similar to McGrath to smoke, he lost a few laps later the lead to Sweikert and had to abandon the race.

On lap 170 another serious accident in which Cal Niday lost control of his Kurtis - force and violently slammed into a concrete wall and somersaulted several times occurred. Niday wore them minor injuries from this accident.

In the last laps led Sweikert before Jimmy Davies and Paul Russo, who had taken the car from Bettenhausen on lap 123. Sweikert had little gasoline in his car and had to drive fuel-efficient the last few laps. His margin Davies and Russo each round was low, but the two fought each other, so Sweikert could save a small lead over the finish line and won the race. Russo overtook Davies still and secured second place. With Davies in third place on the podium was filled with Kurtis cars, came in fourth place Johnny Thomson in Kuzma finish.

The victory, the podium and the points were the only of his Formula 1 career for Sweikert. In the AAA, this was the beginning of a successful season, which he finished as champion for him. In AAA he took the lead of the drivers' championship, in Formula 1, he lay with his victory at position 3 for its designer Kurtis Kraft, it was the fifth and last Formula 1 victory.

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Standings after the race

The first five of the race were 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 points. The driver with the fastest lap of the race also received 1 point. It included only the five best results from nine races.

Drivers' championship