Milton (Miller)
1 Tommy Milton
H.C.S. Motor Co.
H.C.S. Special Miller
Hartz (Miller)
7 Harry Hartz
R. Cliff Durant
Durant Special Miller
Murphy (Miller)
5 Jimmy Murphy
R. Cliff Durant
Durant Special Miller


Indianapolis Speedway (USA), 30 May 1923 (Wednesday).
200 laps x 2.5 mi (4.023 km) = 500 mi (804.67 km)


1Tommy MiltonH. C. S. Motor Co.H. C. S. SpecialMiller2.0S-8
2Ralph DePalmaPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-6
3Dario RestaPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-6
4Joe BoyerPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-6
5Jimmy MurphyR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
6Eddie HearneR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
7Harry HartzR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
8Cliff DurantR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
9Ira VailLouis ChevroletScheel FrontenacFrontenacDNA - did not appear
10Dave LewisLouis ChevroletScheel FrontenacFrontenacDNA - did not appear
11XXXXDNA - did not appear
12Cornelius Van RanstLouis ChevroletScheel FrontenacFrontenacDNA - did not appear
13Herbert ScheelLouis ChevroletScheel FrontenacFrontenacDNA - did not appear
14Christian LautenschlagerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesIndianapolis2.0S-4
15Max SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesIndianapolis2.0S-4Karl Sailer qualified
16Christian WernerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesIndianapolis2.0S-4
17XXXXDNA - did not appear
18Pierre de VizcayaMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-8
19Bertrand de CystriaPrince B. de CystriaBugattiIndy2.0S-8
20 XXXDNA - did not appear
21Martin de AlzagaMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-8
22Raul RegantiMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-8
23L. L. CorumBarber-WarnockFronty-FordFord-T2.0S-8
24Jerry WonderlichDuesenberg BrothersDuesenberg SplDuesenberg2.0S-8DNQ - did not qualify
25Howdy WilcoxH. C. S. Motor Co.H. C. S. SpecialMiller2.0S-8
26Harlan FenglerR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
27Louis ZborowskiCount L. ZborowskiBugattiIndy2.0S-8
28Leon DurayR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
29Earl Cooper / AlleyR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8
30XXXXDNA - did not appear
31Frank ElliottR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller 2.0S-8
32F. Hollis WellsF. H. W. SpecialR-PDNS - did not start
33Phil 'Red' ShaferDuesenberg BrothersDuesenbergDuesenberg2.0S-8DNQ - did not qualify
34Wade MortonDuesenberg BrothersDuesenbergDuesenberg2.0S-8
35Bennett HillHarry A. MillerMiller SpecialMiller2.0S-8

Relief Drivers

1Howard WilcoxH. C. S. SpecialMiller47Relieved Milton lap 103-149
3Ernie AnsterbergPackard SpecialPackard10Rel. Resta lap 71-80
3Joe BoyerPackard SpecialPackard8Rel. Resta lap 81-88
6Earl CooperDurant SpecialMiller113Rel. Hearne lap 88-200
8Eddie HearneDurant SpecialMiller19Rel. Durant lap 98-116
8Eddie HearneDurant SpecialMiller52Rel. Durant lap 149-200
15Karl SailerMercedesIndianapolis128Rel. Max Sailer lap 73-200
16Max SailerMercedesIndianapolis4Rel. Werner lap 84-87
16Max SailerMercedesIndianapolis15Rel. Werner lap 112-126
26Lou WilsonDurant SpecialMiller24Rel. Fengler lap 46-69
28Lou WilsonDurant SpecialMiller4Rel. Duray lap 133-136
29Tom AlleyDurant SpecialMiller20Rel. Cooper lap 2-21
31Dave LewisDurant SpecialMiller 30Rel. Elliott lap 109-138
34Jerry WonderlichDuesenbergDuesenberg24Rel. Morton lap 30-53
34Jerry WonderlichDuesenbergDuesenberg13Rel. Morton lap 88-100
34Phil ShaferDuesenbergDuesenberg23Rel. Morton lap 65-87
34Phil ShaferDuesenbergDuesenberg29Rel. Morton lap 172-200
34Ora HaibeDuesenbergDuesenberg60Rel. Morton lap 100-160
35Martin de AlzagaMillerMiller15Rel. Hill lap 30-44

Milton wins the Indianapolis 500, Hartz 2nd, Murphy 3rd.

by Hans Etzrodt
The 11th International 500 Mile Sweepstakes at Indianapolis on Memorial Day was the first race held to the 2-Liter formula or 122 cubic-inch. Never before had such little cars raced around the Speedway, but 24 of them qualified and started. For the first time the American cars were all single seaters and pencil thin, including five blue Bugatti from France. For the first time since 1914, Mercedes entered formula racecars, three white two-seaters, which were powered by supercharged engines, the first ever at the Indy 500 or at a formula race. For many laps until mid-race Werner's Mercedes held third place until he stopped for fuel and tires which dropped him to sixth place. The race had started with an exciting gigantic battle between Milton and Murphy with intermittent spurts for the lead by Hartz, Wilcox and Durant, all in Miller-motored cars. But Milton lead most of the time until mid-race when he stopped for fuel and tires. Wilcox relieved him, so Milton could have his badly blistered hands bandaged. Both Packards of DePalma and Resta retired early while the five Bugatti and three Mercedes were too slow to play a leading role. Eventually Milton won by a large margin ahead of Hartz, Murphy and Hearne, all in Miller powered cars. Corum (Fronty-Ford) was fifth, Elliott and Durant with Miller power finished next, followed by Karl Sailer with the best Mercedes in eighth place, 15 minutes ahead of the only surviving Bugatti. Morton's Duesenberg gained tenth-place ahead of Werner's Mercedes, the last finisher.
The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was held on May 30, Memorial Day, a national holiday, on a Wednesday. The AAA discarded the 183-cubic-inch formula, launching 122-cubic-inch cars to match the international 2-Liter formula, which might also attract more European entries to Indianapolis. The rule to carry riding mechanics became optional. As a result, every American entry at Indianapolis was a single-seat design including the five French Bugatti whereas only Mercedes entered two-seat racecars.
      In 1909 the entire 2.5-mile Indianapolis Speedway circuit had been surfaced with bricks. Although it had a smooth surface at the time, this was no longer the case in 1923 due to deterioration over the years, causing drivers to suffer from bumpy rides. The 122-inch cars were lighter than the heavier 183 types of 1922. Griffith Borgeson wrote: "their chassis were scaled-down versions of the much heavier 183's and due to their lightness, they threatened to jolt themselves and their drivers to bits over the rough brick surface. The ordeal was so grueling that, of the 24 starters, only three drivers managed to go the entire distance without relief: Murphy and Hartz on Durant Millers, and Corum on the Barber-Warnock Fronty-Ford."
      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 $12,100, generated by donations from companies and all of Friday's gate money.
Of the 35 entries only 24 cars were able to qualify. The chief engine designer for the race was Harry Miller of Los Angeles, California, who had eleven of his products facing the starter. The Miller-motored cars were the eight Durant Specials, driven by Murphy, Hearne, Hartz, Cooper, Fengler, Duray, Elliott and Durant, the millionaire owner. The cars were all new 122-inch Miller-motored cars, as were the two H. C. S. Specials driven by Wilcox and Milton which Harry C. Stutz, president of the H. C. S. Motor Car Company had entered. Stutz, a famous automobile manufacturer, had come back after his absence of four years from participation in racing. He had sold his interest in this company a few years ago and a short time later organized the H. C. S. Motor Car Company. Stutz declared that the H. C. S. team had put the winning car in perfect condition before the start of the race, and that it had been rebuilt three times before the start. The H. C. S. Specials, No. 1 for Milton and No. 25 for Wilcox, had a beautiful appearance, white trimmed in red. The Miller Special entered by Harry Miller, driven by Hill and the three Durant Specials driven by Duray, Fengler and Elliott, had been downsized 183-inch cars from 1922. The Durant Special driven by Leon Duray was planned to change its name to Overland Special and painted the car in red. The AAA officials decided on Tuesday that the car driven by Leon Duray must start as a Durant Special instead of Overland Special. The reason given was that the car was purchased by a branch agency rather than directly from the factory.
      The three Packard Specials were built at the company's Detroit, Michigan, factory. The three Duesenbergs were built and designed by Fred Duesenberg in Indianapolis, while the Barber-Warnock Special (Ford) was designed and built by Arthur Chevrolet in Indianapolis.
      According to W.F. Bradley, the Paris agent organized Bugatti's 1923 Indianapolis effort. Bugatti made five cars for Indianapolis, powered by 8-cylinder 1989cc (60 x 88 mm) engines with three valves per cylinder and three-roller bearing crankshaft while its rod bearings were plain, lubricated indirectly by jets from an oil gallery. The 1922 T30 had single-seat bodies designed by French aviation engineer Béchereau and built by Lavocat & Marsant. As the chassis width remained the same, the cars were wider than the American single seaters, with the body slightly offset to the right, the wrong side. Martin de Alzaga, the Argentinian race driver, bought three cars, one for himself, the other two for Argentinian Raul Riganti and the Spaniard Pierre de Vizcaya. The Polish millionaire Count Louis Zborowski bought one and French Prince Bernard de Cystria the other. Bugatti offered no factory support. Former race driver George Robertson managed the Bugatti team. The Bugatti drivers, left France with the steamer "Majestic", which docked in England, where Count Zborowski and Lt. Colonel Clive Gallop, who was the Count's chief engineer, boarded the ship.
      The Mercedes team left on the 2nd of May from Bremerhaven, Germany, with the steamer George Washington. Four cars were shipped, three for racing and one a spare and for practice. The German team consisted of chief engineer Max Sailer, his riding mechanic Hans Rieger, his nephew Karl Sailer, Christian Werner, Christian Lautenschlager, his riding mechanic Jakob Krauss, Gustav Auer, Louis Schwitzer and Otto Weber. DMG decided for 1923 to only take part at Indianapolis, to race for the American market, an expensive undertaking, with 1922 designed cars by Paul Daimler, who left DMG end of that year. The two-seat racecars with tapered tail had a 1989cc (70 x 129 mm) 16-valve twin o.h.c. 4-cylinder engine, giving 125 hp at 4500 rpm with a top speed of 192 km/h. The supercharger came only into action with the accelerator fully pressed down. As a result, the driver had less sensitive control to apply power, which was the cause of their crashes at Indianapolis. The Mercedes to be driven by Lautenschlager was the only car in the race carrying a riding mechanic, while Sailer had a mechanic on board only during practice. The supercharged screamers from Germany were the loudest of all entries and had only an outside chance to win. The cars were heavier than the American machines, not as fast, and would have to stop several times for tire changes. The American cars were narrow single-seaters with a body width of less than the required 80 cm - 31.5 in and therefore did not comply with the official AIACR rules. Another difference was in the weight, since AAA rules stated a minimum of 1,400 lb - 635 kg - versus the AIACR formula rule of 650 kg - 1433 lb.
Preceding the time trials, which began on Saturday before Wednesday's race, most drivers practiced with their cars much earlier. The best time was made a week earlier on the Sunday before when Harry Hartz sent his Durant Special over one lap in 1m25.6s which was almost 106 mph average speed. Werner in his Mercedes showed a lot of speed on the straightaways, although he loafed on the turns and was clocked over a lap at 95 mph. Tommy Milton made a lap at 101 mph in his H. C. S. Special on his first day out. Murphy then lapped at 103 mph in his Durant Special. DePalma in the Packard turned the course a fraction of a second faster than Murphy. Using the 122-inch Packard Special, Joe Boyer made a fast lap in 1m24.8s at around 106.5 mph. Lautenschlager and Sailer both drove several laps in their Mercedes on Tuesday. The cars were not fast but the engine made a pretty sound. On Thursday Tommy Milton reappeared with the 122-inch H. C. S. Special and turned a lap in 1m25.2s at about 105.3 mph. On Friday Milton came back late in the afternoon when he was clocked in his H. C. S. Special at a dazzling burst of speed at 1m23.6s, a little better than 107 mph., a new record for the 122-inch cars.
Time trials:
The minimum qualification speed was 80 mph this year as had been the custom in the past. This meant that the average for each of the four laps had to be 1m52.50s or less. The rules also stipulated that the driver nominated to drive the car in the race must qualify in the same, or the driver who qualifies must start the same car in the race. Cars carrying mechanics in the race must carry mechanics in the time trials.
      To make a time trial, drivers or entrants reported to starter Seth Klein at the starting wire when ready to make the trial. The driver brought the car to the starting wire and stopped until given the signal by the starter that the timers were ready and that the course was clear. Upon completing the trial, the driver had to stop at the starting wire to have the car stamped by the technical committee. Drivers who made 80 mph or more for the four laps were not entitled to any additional trials. Three trials were permitted if 80 mph was not attained. In making the trial, the driver was permitted a reasonable number of laps to warm up the engine but on starting his trial, he was required to signal to the starter by holding up his hand coming down the home stretch. If the red flag was not shown, the driver would understand that his trial had not started, due to the inability of the officials to see his signal and he would start his trial on the next lap.
Saturday time trials:
The time trials to qualify for the race began on Saturday, May 26, between 1:00 and 5:00 PM. The three fastest drivers were getting the front row positions, the next three the second row and so on. Several of the cars which were not ready to qualify at the required 80 mph speed, were placed back of those which had already made the grade, regardless of what speed they showed at Monday's trials. The fastest times set on Monday would draw positions immediately back of those which qualified on Saturday.
      A crowd of about 18,000 was on hand to witness the trials. Tommy Milton in his Miller-motored H. C. S. Special 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 108.17 mph for the four laps. The amazing speed demonstrated by Milton was the fastest ever clocked officially on the famous course regardless of piston displacement. The last of the four laps was timed in 1m22.20s, at 109.45 mph average speed. The first lap was made at a rate of 107.45 mph, the second at 107.4 mph and the third at 108.5.
      Harry Hartz in the Durant Special made a ten-mile average of 103.70 mph, which placed him second on the front row. Dario Resta in his Packard Special reached an average for the ten miles of 98.02 mph, which place him also on the front row. The three French Bugattis qualified consistently. De Alzaga placed in fourth place with 92.9 mph, Zborowski with 91.90 mph followed and de Vizcaya with 90.30 mph completed the second row. When Corum qualified the Barber-Warnock Fronty-Ford at 86.65 mph a rousing cheer was given for the local entry, placing seventh on the grid. Near the end of the time trials a blinding rainstorm came up. The three German Mercedes were on the course awaiting a chance to qualify. Max Sailer took his car around once with the bricks now a bit wet and oily. When he left the northwest turn, upon gentle acceleration the car spun rapidly and uncontrollably, then skidded backwards into the retaining wall where both men were ejected. Sailer suffered a sprained wrist and bruises while Hans Rieger, his veteran riding mechanic, suffered a cut on the head and an injured spine. The back end of the car's body was caved in, but not seriously damaged. It was clear that Max was not fit to drive, so Karl Sailer, nephew of uncle Max, was assigned to qualify the spare car on Monday but would do so without a riding mechanic.
      The timers were about ready to close shop, but "Howdy" Wilcox was going to qualify the white H. C. S. Special regardless of the slippery condition of the track. He did not want to postpone it until Monday in order that he could work on his car that same day. Rain was pouring down in a thunder storm and with the bricks wet and slippery, Wilcox amazed the official timers on his first time around he gave the signal. Coming down the straight at close to 100 mph and skidding and sliding around the turns in a wonderful exhibition of driving. He negotiated the sensational four laps in 7m24.52s for an average of 81.00 mph and qualified in eighth position. It was another case of many of the drivers waiting until too late. Several more might have qualified if they had taken advantage of the good weather between 1 and 3 o'clock. Jimmy Murphy in the Durant Special made one start and was not satisfied with a lap in 1m26.12s at 104.5 mph and did not finish his trial. Joe Boyer made a lap in his Packard in 1m28.50 at an average of 101.8 and then quit. Two of the Duesenbergs entered for the race were reported as being worked on but did not appear.
Monday time trials:
Monday was the last day assigned by the AAA for time trials and any cars not ready had to receive special permission from the officials to make the trials on Tuesday. Due to time lost on Saturday because of rain, an additional period was allowed between 10:30 Monday morning and 12:00 noon. Drivers also had the regular afternoon time from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Fourteen additional cars were qualified, thereby bringing the field of starters to 22 cars. The fastest time was made by Murphy in 5m45.94s at 104.05 mph to start in the remaining position of the third row. Durant in the Durant Special at 102.65 mph placed in the fourth row with DePalma, Packard Special, at 100.42 mph and Cooper, Durant Special, at 99.40 mph. Boyer, Packard Special, qualified for the fifth row at 98.80 mph with Hearne, Durant Special, at 97.30 mph and Werner, Mercedes, at 95.20 mph. The sixth row was filled by Elliott, Durant Special, at 93.25 mph, Lautenschlager, Mercedes, at 93.20 mph and Hill, Miller Special, at 91.20 mph. Fengler, Durant Special, at 90.75 mph qualified for row seven with Karl Sailer, Mercedes, at 90.55 mph and Duray, Durant Special, at 89.90 mph. De Cystria, Bugatti, at 88.90 mph placed in the eighth row.
      It was decided for the technical committee to conduct its brake test and weigh cars immediately after qualifying on Saturday and Monday afternoons. Every driver, relief driver and riding mechanic had to pass the physical tests before being eligible to compete in the race. Dr. R. H. Allen, the Speedway surgeon, conducted these examinations. Referee David Beecroft and Starter E. V. Rickenbacker met with the drivers at 4 pm on Tuesday in the press stand at the Speedway. Every driver and member of a racing crew had to attend this meeting. T. E. Myers gave out the race day badges and admissions to the crews at the meeting.
Tuesday time trials:
The AAA officials granted an extension of time to the three Duesenbergs and the French Bugatti of Reganti to qualify these cars on Tuesday morning. Reganti made the ten miles in 5m18.72s at an average of 95.30 mph. On the last lap he was clocked in 1m33.37s, an average of 96.50 mph, the best time made by any of the foreign entrants. He was placed in the eighth row. The three Duesenbergs were not ready at sundown Tuesday night and were given a special arrangement to qualify on Wednesday's early morning test. At dawn on race day, five o'clock on race morning, Phil Shafer qualified the #34 Duesenberg but Morton was to start the car in the race. The other two Duesenbergs were being driven from the Indianapolis factory to the Speedway and got stuck in the race day traffic jam unable to make it in time before the track was closed.
Relief drivers:
Ernie Ansterberg was to serve as relief driver for the three Packard Specials. Ira Vail and Ernie Oleson were to serve as relief drivers for the Durant team. Tom Alley had been nominated the relief driver for Fengler. B. R. Dutton was to serve as Wilcox's relief. Phil Shafer was relief driver for Wade Morton. Karl Sailer was to qualify and drive the Mercedes instead of Max Sailer, who had an injured wrist as a result of Saturday's accident in the north turn. Gustav Auer and Max Sailer were then the assigned Mercedes relief drivers. But Max Sailer would start the race in the spare car. Steve Gallop was to serve as Zborowski's relief, while Haibe and Wilson were the relief for the other four Bugattis. Salvatore Barbino of New York was nominated to act as relief driver for the Bugatti team, announced on Tuesday night. A list of relief driver activity is at the beginning of the report.
A few starting numbers were scratched for which drivers and cars were often unknown. The #32 F. H. W. Special, nominated to be driven by F. H. Wells, was withdrawn on Monday when it was found that the block had been cracked. There were four Scheel-Frontenacs, #9 to #13, on the entry list, but they did not appear. For the first time since 1916, the veteran designer Louis Chevrolet was not represented in the big race. The four cars built by Chevrolet incorporated the rotary valve idea of Herbert Scheel, a St. Louis automobile engineer, and had been withdrawn from the race because the cars were not yet ready. Other drivers who withdrew their entry before qualifying began were Jules Goux (#16 Schmid), Albert Guyot (#24 Rolland-Pilain), Harry Thickstein (#37 Clements, Fronty-Ford) and Charles Shambaugh (#38 Shambaugh).
Indianapolis was overcrowded by an estimated 100,000 visitors, congested street intersections, hotels, theaters, restaurants and train stations. Hotels were handing out lists of addresses to visitors who applied for rooms. Army cots were placed in many of the hotel corridors to care for Speedway fans. This was the largest crowd ever assembled in one city for a sporting event.
      On Wednesday morning, the 24 cars lined up on the starting grid as follows:
Pole Position

H.C.S. Special


Durant Special


Packard Special

De Alzaga




De Vizcaya





H.C.S. Special


Durant Special


Durant Special


Packard Special


Durant Special


Packard Special


Durant Special




Durant Special




Miller Special


Durant Special

M. Sailer



Durant Special

De Cystria






Mercedes #15 in row 7 had been qualified by Karl Sailer but his uncle Max Sailer started in the race. After the mechanics cranked up the cars the loud roar of the engines was heard, accompanied by a cloud of castor oil fumes. The starter, Eddie Rickenbacker, waved his starting flag to give the signal. That first lap behind Fred Duesenberg in a Model A Duesenberg pace car did not count as a lap of the race. They followed him until he pulled off into the pits. At 10 o'clock to a fraction of a second, as the drivers came around and flashed across the electric timing tape past the stands, the race was under way. Milton with his H. C. S. Special surged into the lead and negotiated the first three turns and at the fourth turn Jimmy Murphy (Durant Special) passed on the inside. Murphy had jumped from his position in the third row to the lead of the first lap and held it before the end of the third lap when Milton grabbed the lead again. Then they alternated in the lead for a couple of laps. Milton led for nine consecutive laps with Murphy pushing Milton every inch of the way. Leon Duray (Durant Special) stopped at the pits. The French Bugattis appeared to be very sturdy and capable of going the route, but were lacking speed. The drivers were hardly in the class of their American counterparts. The Bugatti of the Argentinian Martin de Alzaga was the first car out of the race with a broken connecting rod when his blue car was pushed off the track after six laps. Milton completed the first 25 miles at an average speed of 97 mph with the top ten in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Milton (H. C. S. Special)
2.Murphy (Durant Special)
3.Boyer (Packard)
4.Hartz (Durant Special)
5.Wilcox (H. C. S. Special)
6.DePalma (Packard)
7.Werner (Mercedes)
8.Durant (Durant Special)
9.Resta (Packard)
10.Lautenschlager (Mercedes)

The second car out of the race was the Mercedes of Lautenschlager, the only car carrying a riding mechanic. On lap 14 as he swept into the south turn of the Speedway, the car suddenly skidded, spun completely around twice before it crashed into the inside concrete retaining wall and tossed out riding mechanic Jakob Krauss. Several other racers narrowly missed hitting the spinning Mercedes. The driver was unhurt except for a few bruises but his 30-year old riding mechanic Jakob Krauss was taken to the field hospital in a semi-conscious condition but his injuries were not serious, he suffered a contusion of the left leg.
      On lap 19 Reganti's Bugatti was flagged off course with a fuel-tank leak that could not be repaired. He retired at his pit, the third foreign car out during the first 50 miles. After 20 laps Murphy's Durant Special and Milton's H. C. S. Special were separated by less than a car length for first place. Wilcox was third followed by Durant and Hartz. Werner's Mercedes was sixth, the best placed foreign car, ahead of Hearne, DePalma, Resta and De Vizcazya in the fastest Bugatti. Murphy completed the first 50 miles in 31m03.10s, at an average speed of 96.61 mph with the top ten in the following order after 20 laps:
1.Murphy (Durant Special)
2.Milton (H. C. S. Special)
3.Wilcox (H. C. S. Special)
4.Durant (Durant Special)
5.Hartz (Durant Special)
6.Werner (Mercedes)
7.Hearne (Durant Special)
8.DePalma (Packard)
9.Resta (Packard)
10.De Vizcaya (Bugatti)

On lap 21 Tom Alley who had relieved Earl Cooper was on the back stretch and tried to pass two others on the southeast turn. One of the cars blocked him. When he attempted to retard speed doing about 100 mph, the foot throttle became stuck. Unable to slow down, he tried to swing to the inside when the car skidded off the track and crashed through the outside fence, tearing ten feet of fence away and injuring three boys on the outside who did not have time to get out of danger. Alley was thrown twenty feet from the car by the force of the impact. When he regained consciousness, he said his accelerator stuck and he was unable to control the car. The three boys standing on the outside of the fence were caught under the wreckage, and one, Herbert Shoup of Lafayette, Indiana, was so badly injured he died that night. The boys were seriously cut and bruised and were taken to the field hospital. Alley suffered severe lacerations about the back and face. Physicians said that the injuries to his back might prove more serious than first examination at the field hospital showed, and preparations were made to take an X-ray of his spine at the Methodist Hospital. It was also feared that the sight of his left eye might be affected. He was unconscious at a late hour that day, but doctors reported that his injuries may not prove fatal.
      In the meantime, Boyer stopped the Packard Special to change spark plugs. Three Bugattis came down the stretch in a line, running consistently but not fast. The Mercedes had a whine caused by their supercharger. On lap 30 Morton stopped the Duesenberg at the pits and was relieved by Jerry Wonderlich.
      At 75 miles after 30 laps, Milton was leading at 96 mph average speed. The order of the leading eight drivers was the same as seen after 20 laps, followed by de Vizcaya and Zborowski. Between lap 20 and 40, Milton, Wilcox and Murphy alternated in the lead with Milton out in front the greater part of the time. On lap 36 Milton lead Murphy by a car length, but a Mercedes running alongside of him held the pace. It appeared to be forcing him at an impressive fight at top speed. On the next lap Murphy was hanging onto Milton's rear wheels and the Mercedes was left behind. On lap 38 Milton, Murphy and Wilcox came down the stretch abreast and struck the tape of the electric timer all at the same fraction of a second, recording the first dead heat. Pit signals were given with large black signs mounted on frames and chalked with mysterious white numbers. They were waved from the pit wall towards a contending driver as he approached the pits and the number they showed may mean "Step on it" or "lay back" or "come in to your pit."
      After 100 miles or 40 laps Wilcox lead ahead of Milton, Murphy, Hartz and Durant. Werner was sixth, followed by Hearne, de Vizcaya, Zborowski and Elliott. Wilcox completed the first 100 miles in 1h02m13.20s at an average speed of 96.43 mph with the top ten in the following order after 40 laps:
1.Wilcox (H. C. S. Special)
2.Milton (H. C. S. Special)
3.Murphy (Durant Special)
4.Hartz (Durant Special)
5.Durant (Durant Special)
6.Werner (Mercedes)
7.Hearne (Durant Special)
8.De Vizczya (Bugatti)
9.Zborowski (Bugatti)
10.Elliott (Durant Special)

Count Zborowski retired his Bugatti on lap 41 due to a broken connecting rod. On lap 44 Bennett Hill retired his Miller with a broken crankshaft. After 50 laps 125 miles, Murphy was losing ground but was still holding third place. On the 55th lap Murphy had dropped behind and stopped at the pits after some trouble had developed. On lap 58 Milton had a good lead over Wilcox and Hartz in third place while Morton's Duesenberg had made only 48 laps. Boyer's Packard Special retired on lap 59 with a broken differential. When Wilcox retired with a broken clutch on his 60th lap after 150 miles, seven cars were out of the race. After 60 laps, Milton completed the first 150 miles in 1h34m06.89s at an average speed of 95.63 mph ahead of Durant, Hartz, Wilcox, Werner, De Vizcaya, Elliott, Max Sailer, Hearne and Boyer in tenth place. On the 65th lap, Durant was a car length ahead of Milton. Werner was showing more speed with the Mercedes. On the 67th lap, Milton and Durant had it all to themselves as they came down the stretch. Milton had increased his lead by five seconds to Durant who seemed to be slowing down. On lap 69 Fengler retired the Durant Special with broken fuel tank. DePalma, driving a Packard Special retired on the same lap with a blown cylinder head gasket. After 175 miles, 70 laps, Milton held the lead ahead of Durant, Hartz, with Werner fourth and Murphy recovering from his pit stop had climbed back to fifth place. Max Sailer stopped the Mercedes on lap 73 due to his sprained wrist and was relieved by Karl Sailer. On the 76th lap the order was Milton, Durant, Hartz, Murphy, Werner and Karl Sailer. The Germans were showing speed and were running consistently. They had to be watched. Their cars were heavier and the drivers appeared supremely confident. Something happened to Cliff Durant in sixth place when he stopped on the back stretch. Later he would rejoin about seven laps behind. Werner's Mercedes was third and Karl Sailer was fourth. One of the Mercedes just gave Milton a pretty race down the stretch and beat him.
      After 200 miles, 80 laps, Milton was leading ahead of Hartz and Werner in third place, followed by Hearne, Murphy, De Vizczya, Elliott, Karl Sailer, Corum and Resta. Milton completed the first 200 miles in 2h05m58.02s at an average speed of 95.26 mph with the top ten in the following order after 80 laps:
1.Milton (H. C. S. Special)
2.Hartz (Durant Special)
3.Werner (Mercedes)
4.Hearne (Durant Special)
5.Murphy (Durant Special)
6.De Vizczya (Bugatti)
7.Elliott (Durant Special)
8.Karl Sailer (Mercedes)
9.Corum (Fronty-Ford)
10.Resta (Packard)

It became clear that the Mercedes 2-Liter cars, when driven really hard, were extremely tiring. On lap 84 Werner stopped at the pits and had to be helped out of the car. He was relieved by Max Sailer in spite of his injured wrist. Max stopped again on lap 87 handing the car back to Werner, their car was still in third place. On the 86th lap, Milton had a good lead. Werner flew past with 82 laps to his credit, Karl Sailer's Mercedes slowed down. Corum in the Fronty-Ford had completed only 77 laps. Earl Cooper relieved Hearne on the 87th lap. The Packard Special of Resta retired at the end of lap 88 with a blown cylinder head gasket, the same problem that had afflicted DePalma's car.
      After 225 miles, 90 laps, Milton led at 94.58 mph average, ahead of Hartz, Werner, Murphy and Hearne. Werner was proving a determined contender. The persistence with which he hung on to third place worried the first rank drivers. He was four laps behind Milton and held his position. At that time several driver changes were made. Every driver was fighting to hold his position. Werner passed around Karl Sailer's Mercedes like a flash, gaining half a mile on him in two laps but Werner failed to gain on Milton.
      At the 250-mile half-way mark, eleven cars had retired. Of the original starting field of twenty-four, thirteen were still in the race. The strain was telling on the various drivers, many of whom took relief from others who had retired their cars earlier in the race. After 250 miles or 100 laps Milton was leading at 93.98 mph, followed by Hartz, Werner, Elliott, Hearne, de Vizcaya, Murphy, Corum, Durant and Resta tenth.
      Milton made his first stop at the pits on the 103rd lap. Wilcox, his teammate, had retired on lap 60, and seeing Milton's bare blistered hands without his new gloves, which he had removed when they caused numbness during the race, he suggested to relieve him, so Milton could get his hands bandaged at the field hospital. Wilcox, took the wheel, after the car was topped up with fuel and oil and two tires were changed. In the meantime, Hartz had slipped his Durant Special into the lead, while Werner was a full four laps behind in third place. For many spectators the race had now lost its thrill due to the driver changes. On lap 112 Werner stopped for the second time, had to be helped out of the car again and was relieved by Max Sailer. After some slight repairs upon restarting the Mercedes backfired ignited some spilled gasoline and caught fire. Instantly Sailer hurled himself from the car head first and a dozen fire extinguishers were played upon the car. Without any loss of time Sailer clambered back into his seat and the German started off. The grit of the driver brought the first enthusiastic applause from the grandstands for the Mercedes outfit.
      After 300 miles, 120 laps, Wilcox, driving Milton's car, was in first place on the same lap as was Hartz, but approximately three-quarters of a lap ahead. Max Sailer for Werner was third, six full laps in the rear of Hartz with Hearne in fourth position on the same lap with the Mercedes. Murphy was fifth followed by de Vizcaya, Elliott, Durant, Corum and Karl Sailer's Mercedes tenth. So, the order of the first seven positions were exactly the same as 100 miles earlier. Wilcox for Milton completed the first 300 miles in 3h15m23.64s at an average speed of 92.12 mph with the top ten in the following order after 120 laps:
1.Wilcox (H. C. S. Special)
2.Hartz (Durant Special)
3.Max Sailer for Werner (Mercedes)
4.Hearne (Durant Special)
5.Murphy (Durant Special)
6.De Vizczya (Bugatti)
7.Elliott (Durant Special)
8.Durant (Durant Special)
9.Corum (Fronty-Ford)
10.Karl Sailer (Mercedes)

Max Sailer stopped again on lap 126 to have Werner drive his car for the remaining 74 laps. When Duray (Durant Special) retired at his 136th lap with a broken connecting rod, an even dozen starters were left on the track. At 350 miles or 140 laps, Wilcox, still driving Milton's car, had increased the lead over Hartz to a lap and one-half. Murphy had moved up to third, seven laps in the rear, with Hearne fourth and de Vizcaya fifth. Werner was forced to stop his Mercedes at the pits and dropped to sixth place, Elliott was seventh, Corum eighth, Durant ninth and Karl Sailer tenth. Wilcox for Milton completed 350 miles, in 3h47m24.31s at an average speed of 92.45 mph after 140 laps. With 51 laps to go, Wilcox stopped at the pits to refuel and replace the broken fuel filler cap. Milton took the wheel and re-entered the race with bandaged hands,
      At 400 miles or 160 laps Milton was in the lead, a little better than two laps ahead of Hartz, with Murphy seven laps behind in third place. Hearne was fourth, followed by de Vizcaya, Corum, Elliott, Werner now eighth, Shafer for Morton and de Cystria tenth. Milton completed the 400 miles in 4h21m52.99s at an average speed of 91.75 mph with the top ten in the following order after 160 laps:
1.Milton (H. C. S. Special)
2.Hartz (Durant Special)
3.Murphy (Durant Special)
4.Hearne (Durant Special)
5.De Vizczya (Bugatti)
6.Corum (Fronty-Ford)
7.Elliott (Durant Special)
8.Werner (Mercedes)
9.Shafer for Morton (Duesenberg)
10.De Cystria (Bugatti)

For the last forty laps, the order of the first four drivers remained the same until the finish. When De Vizcaya retired his Bugatti with a broken connecting rod on lap 165, eleven cars were left on the track. There were no changes among the leaders when Milton flashed by for the 180th lap (450 miles) in the lead. A great fight, however, was going on to get inside the prize money with Morton moving up from ninth to eighth in his Duesenberg, Karl Sailer was climbing up to ninth. De Cystria fell back and was being passed by Werner.
      After 500 miles, Milton crossed the finish line in 4h55m09.36s at an average speed of 92.01 mph. After Milton completed two extra laps and pulled up in front of the stand, he received a thrilling ovation from the cheering crowd. Mrs. Milton broke through the crowd and, throwing her arms around her husband, kissed him as he removed his dust-stained goggles. Hartz was three laps behind and Murphy seven laps in third place followed by Hearne even further behind in fourth position. The Fronty-Ford of Corum finished in fifth place. Elliott was sixth followed by Durant, both in Durant Specials. Karl Sailer advanced to eighth in the Mercedes, which Max Sailer had driven for the first 82 laps. De Cystria's Bugatti was ninth, Morton's Duesenberg tenth, which was also driven by Wonderlich, Shafer and Haibe. Werner's Mercedes was the last finisher in 11th place, just outside the money.
      Milton, who was the first driver to win the race twice, cashed the $20,000 first prize, $8,500 in lap prizes and about $5,000 from accessory firms. Hartz won $10,000 for second place and $100 in lap prize money, Murphy collected $5,000 for third place and 1,100 in lap prizes, R.C. Durant received $1,800 for seventh place and $400 in lap money, Wilcox gained just $2,000 in lap prize money. The lap prizes were only available for 121 out of 200 laps.



1.1Tommy MiltonH.C.S. Motor Co.H.C.S. SpecialMiller2.0S-82005h29m50.17s - 90.95 mph
2.7Harry HartzR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-82005h33m05.90s - 90.06 mph+ 3m15.73s
3.5Jimmy MurphyR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-82005h40m36.64s - 88.08 mph+ 10m46.47s
4.6Eddie HearneR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-82005h46m14.23s - 86.65 mph+ 16m24.06s
5.23L. L. CorumBarber-WarnockFronty-FordFord-T2.0S-82006h03m16.81s - 82.58 mph+ 33m26.64s
6.31Frank ElliottR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller 2.0S-82006h04m52.87s - 82.22 mph+ 35m02.70s
7.8Cliff DurantR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-82006h05m06.30s - 82.17 mph+ 35m16.13s
8.15Karl & Max SailerDaimler Motoren Ges.MercedesIndianapolis2.0S-42006h11m49.60s - 80.68 mph+ 41m59.43s
9.19Bertrand de CystriaPrince B. de CystriaBugattiIndy2.0S-82006h26m24.78s - 77.64 mph+ 56m34.61s
10.34Wade MortonDuesenberg BrothersDuesenbergDuesenberg2.0S-82006h40m04.98s - 74.98 mph+ 1h10m14.81s
11.16Christian WernerDaimler Motoren Ges.MercedesIndianapolis2.0S-42006h41m50.51s - 74.65 mph+ 1h12m00.34s
DNF18Pierre de VizcayaMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-8165connecting rod
DNF28Leon DurayR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-8136connecting rod
DNF3Dario RestaPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-688cylinder-head gasket
DNF2Ralph DePalmaPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-669cylinder-head gasket
DNF26Harlan FenglerR. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-869fuel tank
DNF25Howdy WilcoxH.C.S. Motor Co.H.C.S. SpecialMiller2.0S-860clutch
DNF4Joe BoyerPackard Motor Car Co.Packard SpecialPackard2.0S-659differential
DNF35Bennett HillHarry A. MillerMillerMiller2.0S-844crankshaft
DNF27Louis ZborowskiCount L. ZborowskiBugattiIndy2.0S-841connecting rod
DNF29Earl Cooper R. Cliff DurantDurant SpecialMiller2.0S-821crash at back stretch fence
DNF22Raul RigantiMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-819fuel tank
DNF14Christian LautenschlagerDaimler Motoren Ges.MercedesIndianapolis2.0S-414crash at south turn wall
DNF21Martin de AlzagaMartin de AlzagaBugattiIndy2.0S-86connecting rod
Fastest lap was not timed.
Winner's average speed: 90.95 mph (146.365 km/h).
Fastest lap during the time trials: Tommy Milton (H. C. S. Special) 1m22.20s = 109.49 mph (176.21 km/h).
Weather: warm, dry
In retrospect:
The two damaged Mercedes racecars were sold in America. One ended up with Albert Schmidt and raced as a Schmidt-Special at the 1924 Indy 500 by Ora Haibe, but was listed as a Mercedes chassis and engine.

Griffith Borgeson: Bugatti, p142-143: Before the race on 30 May, Count Louis Zborowski bought a racing car from Harry Miller for the European Grand Prix at Monza. Immediately after the race Martin de Alzaga gave Harry Miller his order for two cars. De Alzaga, Zborowski and Murphy formed a Miller team for Monza, their cars fitted with Miller-built two-man bodies in conformity with European regulations. The ultra-light chassis, engineered to the last gram of possible weight-saving for oval tracks and with brakes which were little more than symbolic, were thoroughly unfit for road racing.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
MOTOR, Berlin
Motor Age, Chicago
The Boston Globe, Boston
The Chicago Tribune, Chicago
The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis
The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles
The San Francisco Examiner


© 2020 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 13.11.2020