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Indy 500 1938: End of 10-lap qualifying

Indy 500 1938: End of 10-lap qualifying
Indy 500 1938: End of 10-lap qualifying
Indy 500 1938: End of 10-lap qualifying
Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 15, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of several failed revivals of the Indianapolis ABCs, the Negro League baseball team which had great success, came in 1938. 

The team was originally a charter member of baseball's first Negro National League, sharing a home stadium with the Indianapolis Indians at Washington Park and winning back-to-back championships in 1915 and 1916.

The franchise folded in 1926, but was revived again in 1938 in the Negro American League. Even so, it would be the last year the ABCs played a full season in the Circle City.

Also fleeting from the sports scene was 10-lap qualifying runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - It would be the last time so many laps would be used.

Floyd Roberts won the pole position from those qualifying laps after posting an average speed of 125.506 miles per hour. 

It was also a year that after mandating the use of riding mechanics from 1930-37, they were optional in 1938. No drivers used them.

The race itself was marred by disaster - early in the 500 miles, Emil Andres hit the wall in turn 2, flipped repeatedly down the track and his right-front tire flew 125 feet through the air and struck a 33-year-old spectator who later died at the hospital.

But the race continued, and Roberts took the lead back with 55 laps to go and didn't look back.

He took the checkered flag to become the first driver in eight years to win the race from the pole, done with an average speed of 117 miles per hour.


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