|1952 Indianapolis 500|
|Date||30 May 1952|
|Official name||36th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes|
|Location||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.023 km (2.5 miles)|
|Distance||200 laps, 804.672 km (500 miles)|
|Weather||Warm and sunny|
|Time||4:20.85 (4 laps)|
|First||J. C. Agajanian|
The 36th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was a motor race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1952. It was the opening race of the 1952 AAA National Championship Trail and was also race 2 of 8 in the 1952 World Championship of Drivers.
Troy Ruttman won the race for car owner J. C. Agajanian. Ruttman, aged 22 years and 80 days, set the record for the youngest 500 winner in history. It was also the last dirt track car to win at Indy. Ruttman's win also saw him become the youngest winner of a World Drivers' Championship race, a record he would hold for 51 years until the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix when Spanish driver Fernando Alonso won at the age of 22 years and 26 days.
Bill Vukovich led 150 laps, but with 9 laps to go, he broke a steering linkage while leading. He nursed his car to a stop against the outside wall, preventing other cars from getting involved in the incident.
In the third year that the 500 was included in the World Championship, Ferrari entered the race with Alberto Ascari on Ferrari 375 Indianapolis. The effort gained considerable attention, but Ascari was forced to retire after a few laps when the hub of a wheel on his car collapsed. He was classified 31st. It was the only World Championship race in 1952 that Ascari entered and did not win.
Fifth place finisher Art Cross was voted the Rookie of the Year. Though at least one rookie starter was in the field every year dating back to 1911, this was the first time the now-popular award was officially designated.
Time trials was scheduled for four days, but rain pushed qualifying into a fifth day.
|2||10||59||Jim Rathmann||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.34||7||200||0||+4:02.33||6|
|3||5||18||Sam Hanks||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.73||14||200||0||+6:11.61||4|
|5||20||33||Art Cross||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.28||26||200||0||+8:40.15||2|
|6||21||77||Jimmy Bryan||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.14||27||200||0||+9:24.32|
|7||23||37||Jimmy Reece||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.99||29||200||0||+10:35.24|
|8||14||54||George Connor||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.60||15||200||0||+12:00.61|
|9||9||22||Cliff Griffith||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.61||6||200||0||+12:23.76|
|10||31||5||Johnnie Parsons||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||135.32||19||200||0||+13:37.78|
|11||3||4||Jack McGrath||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.66||5||200||6||+14:21.72|
|13||16||14||Joe James||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.95||22||200||0||+16:55.65|
|15||13||65||George Fonder||Sherman-Offenhauser||135.94||13||197||0||+3 Laps|
|16||24||81||Eddie Johnson||Trevis-Offenhauser||133.97||30||193||0||+7 Laps|
|17||8||26||Bill Vukovich||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||138.21||2||191||150||Steering||11|
|18||11||16||Chuck Stevenson||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||136.14||9||187||0||+13 Laps|
|19||12||2||Henry Banks||Lesovsky-Offenhauser||135.96||11||184||0||+16 Laps|
|20||28||8||Manny Ayulo||Lesovsky-Offenhauser||135.98||10||184||0||+16 Laps|
|21||33||31||Johnny McDowell||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.93||32||182||0||+18 Laps|
|22||29||48||Spider Webb||Bromme-Offenhauser||135.96||12||162||0||Oil leak|
|23||22||34||Rodger Ward||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.13||28||130||0||Oil Pressure|
|24||30||27||Tony Bettenhausen||Deidt-Offenhauser||135.38||17||93||0||Oil Pressure|
|25||4||36||Duke Nalon||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||136.18||8||84||0||Supercharger|
|26||32||73||Bob Sweikert||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.98||21||77||0||Differential|
|27||1||28||Fred Agabashian||Kurtis Kraft-Cummins diesel||138.01||3||71||0||Turbocharger|
|28||18||67||Gene Hartley||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||134.34||24||65||0||Exhaust|
|29||25||93||Bob Scott||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||133.95||31||49||0||Transmission|
|30||27||21||Chet Miller||Kurtis Kraft-Novi||139.03||1||41||0||Supercharger|
|33||2||9||Andy Linden||Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser||137.00||4||20||0||Oil Pump|
The race was carried live on the radio on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. During the offseason, the Speedway management created the network to handle broadcasting duties in-house. The arrangement was under the flagship of 1070 WIBC-AM of Indianapolis, and featured a crew that consisted mostly of WIBC talent. WIBC landed exclusive rights of the broadcast in the Indianapolis market, which eventually would draw the ire of the other major stations in the area. In later years, the broadcast would be carried on all five stations inside the city.
Sid Collins served as booth announcer. Jim Shelton was among the turn reporters, reporting from turn 4. Gordon Graham reported from the pits and from victory lane. Like previous years, the broadcast featured live coverage of the start, the finish, and 15-minute live updates throughout the race. At least twenty stations around the county picked up the broadcast.