Local Driver on Front Row For 500-mile
By George Thomas, Plain Dealer Sports Editor
Indianapolis – Wabash’s Jimmy Daywalt climbed another rung up the ladder on the road to greatest in the auto racing world here Saturday afternoon.
The sun-tanned driver from the banks of the Wabash river will be one of the front row occupants in the 500-Mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 31. This came as a result of Daywalt’s record breaking qualifying time Saturday at the West Sixteenth street 2 ˝ mile oval.
Daywalt was clocked in 139.797, which is better than the old mark set by the late Chet Miller in a Novi in 1952, but the Wabashian had to relinquish laurels to Jack McGrath of Inglewood, Calif., who turned the 10-mile qualifying run in 141.033 shortly before Daywalt qualified.
The 28-year old Daywalt still looking much like a smiling college boy, wheeled the new Sumar Special, owned by Chapman S. Root, Terre Haute multi-millionaire, over the 10-mile distance in 1 minutes 17.58 seconds.
His lap times and average speeds looked like this for the laps.
Following his run, Daywalt admitted he was “scared” and stated also that he “eased up” after his sizzling first lap. A new gadget, which helped to speed up the car must have helped, Daywalt said. In a practice run earlier in the day, Jimmy whipped around at a speed of 138 miles per hour and decried it was timed to qualify. Both he and his crew figured Daywalt could have done 140 or better.
Jim told this writer he would take it easy until the day of the race. The new Sumar (No. 19) car will be completely dismantled by its crew at the Sumar Enterprises garage on the speedway grounds. This is done to check all deficiencies and to replace imperfect or worn out parts with new ones.
McGrath drove the new Hinkle special in his record breaking qualifying run. The 34-year old man is the head mechanic of his own car.
He’ll be holding the pole position on race day on the front row, with Daywalt in the middle spot and Jimmy Bryan, a cowboy from Phoenix, Ariz., on the outside. Bryan zipped around at an average of 139.665 in the white colored Dean Van Lines special, the same car that won the Hoosier 100 at the Indianapolis Fair Grounds last fall.