The Evening World, New York – Tuesday May 30, 1922.
Indianapolis, May 30th – With a roar from perfectly tuned motors, twenty-seven drivers, the pick of three nations, shot away at 10 A.M. to-day in the start of the 500 mile automobile race at the Indianapolis speedway for prizes totally $85000. A record breaking crowd of 135000 cheered as the starting bomb was fired. The racers were paced the first lap by Barney Oldfield, retired star of the racing world
Jimmy murphy grabbed the lead at the start, piloting his car around the treacherous south turn at a speed that brought the spectators to their feet. Leon Duray was second and Ralph Do Palma third. The time for the first lap around the 2 ½ mile course was 1.34.64, an average of 95 miles an hour.
Murphy clung to the lead at the 100 mile mark, with newcomer Douglass Hawks for Bently like a shooting star for the British company second. De Palma third and Duray fourth. The time was 1.03.14 an average of 91.07 miles per hour. It was now Hawks at this point winning $2000 in lap prizes overtaking Murphy, receiving $50 for each lap he head. Jules Ellingboe was the second driver out of the race. He threw a rear wheel, spun completely around three times, crashing into a wall. Neither Ellingboe nor his mechanician was injured. Jules Goux was forced out by a broken axle.
THe car driven by Wilbur D’Alene burst into flames as he started his 103rd mile. The driver and his mechanician attempted to extinguish the blaze but the fuel tank caught alight causing a deadly fireball taking out multiple competitors and leaving D’Alene and his machanician with life changing burns. Making them the fourth to drop out. By luck no other car was caught in the explosion.
Murphy had no conclusively lost the head to Hawks at 185 miles when he was forced ot make his first stop to change four tires and replenish his fuel supply. Murphy, up this point had one $2,750 in lap prizes. At 200 miles Hawks was in the lead, with Peter De Palma second, Duray third and Murphy fourth. The time was 2.08.18.79, an average of 93.52 miles an hour.
In a post-race statement, Hawks claimed that a new motor design by the British company was the reason to his success. They plan to take to the RAC Sunbeam Tourist Trophy on the mountain circuit on the Isle of Man later this year. We will covering this dark horse of motorsports as his and the British manufacturer Bentley in hopes to discover the secrets of their success.