Friday, July 01, 2011

Ralph Mulford, Knox, Indianapolis 500


Mulford (winner of the 1911 Vanderbilt Cup) was involved in a singular historically odd and slow Indy 500 the 1912 Indy 500.

 The top 10 finishers had to complete the full 500 miles to collect their prize money, there were only 24 participants, and they were on the grid according to when they registered, not qualifying speeds

 Mulford realized that if he completed the 500 miles, he would be classified as the 10th and last finisher, after passing DePalma and his mechanic who pushed their car across the line for the 198th lap.

The other 9 competitors had already completed their 200 laps, and had left he track, and with an obvious scenario laid out, Mulford knew he only had to knock out DePalma to bump him down the leader board, and pick up 10th place.

Seeing the few runners remaining, he realized that completing the 500 miles would give him 10th place and $1200 in prize money ($30,000 in today’s dollars).

So Mulford and his riding mechanic continued on. It’s reported they pitted at one point to change shocks for a more comfortable ride and again for a dinner-on-the-go of fried chicken and ice cream.

So after multiple pit stops, he completed the 500 miles with a record slowest 56 mph, in 8 hours and 53 minutes, and hour and 40 minutes slower than the 9th place finisher.

For context, the winner was at 86 mph, 6 hours 21 minutes

 His average speed of 56mph is still the slowest for a car that was classified as a finisher in Indy 500 history.

Thanks Graham!

found on http://www.vintagemotorphoto.com/

https://simanaitissays.com/2015/02/04/the-amazing-tale-of-the-slowest-indy-finisher-2/


4 comments:

  1. The photo is of Ralph Mulford's entry for the 1912 Indy 500. Mulford was involved in a controversial incident. The top 10 finishers had to complete the full 500 miles to collect their prizemoney. Mulford realised that if he completed the 500 miles, he would be classified as the 10th and last finisher. So after multiple pit stops, he completed the 500 miles in 8 hours and 53 minutes, and hour and 40 minutes slower than the 9th place finisher. His average speed of 56mph is still the slowest for a car that was classified as a finisher in Indy 500 history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He realized that by simply finishing, that he'd be 10th? And if he was the last finisher, I take it to mean he realized there was no one still racing behind him? Wow, he was moving incredibly slow! Almost 2 hours after the previous person to leave the track, and no one after him? What a monotonous afternoon he had! Slowly going around and around an empty track!

      Delete
  2. The last car to retire was Ralph De Palma on the 198th of 200 laps, so Mulford knew that if he finished the 200 laps, he would finish 10th and demote De Palma to 11th sport, and out of the prize money. Here is an excellent article about Mulford's 10th place finish:

    https://simanaitissays.com/2015/02/04/the-amazing-tale-of-the-slowest-indy-finisher-2/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one cool story I've never came across before! Thanks!

      Delete