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Road to 100: 1920 winner didn't change tires

Road to 100: 1920 winner didn't change tires
Road to 100: 1920 winner didn't change tires
Road to 100: 1920 winner didn't change tires
Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 17:54:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- In the spring of 1920, brothers August and Frederick Duesenberg moved their automobile company from New Jersey to Indianapolis.

Their goal was to focus on not just building race cars but passenger vehicles. 

The building that was their factory still stands today on West Washington Street. 

Duesenbergs and every other car trying to make the Indianapolis 500 in 1920 had to complete four laps to qualify instead of one. 

And those who made the field had a new financial incentive: A $100 bonus for each lap led.   

Gaston Chevrolet was looking to better his 10th place finish from the year before.    

He started 6th and finally made it to the front of the pack with 14 laps to go. 

But he began running low on gas, and making it to the checkered flag was in doubt. 

He pulled into the pits for a splash of fuel and made it back on the track without losing the lead. 

Chevrolet went on to win the 8th running of the Indianapolis 500, the first driver to complete a race without a tire change, at an average speed of 88.6 miles per hour.

19191916 | 1915  | 1914 | 1913 | 1912 | 1911 | Special Section: Road to 100 | Enter to win tickets to the Indy 500 | Start your engines: 100 stories in 100 days

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