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Road to 100: 1953

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-27 10:08:16-04

The year is 1953, and the city of Indianapolis put its focus on nurturing young racers, building what is now known as the longest soap box derby hill in the country at 30th Street and Cold Spring Road. The hill still bears the name of 3-time Indianapolis 500 champ Wilbur Shaw. 

Radio broadcasts of the Indianapolis 500 took off in 1953, with the first live flag-to-flag coverage. By then, 130 stations were broadcasting the race.

It was probably more comfortable to listen to the 37th Indianapolis 500 at home that year than attend what is now better known as the "Hottest 500"  with temperatures in the upper 90's on race day.

Falling short a year before, Bill Vukovich started from the pole and never looked back.

Vukovich led the 500 for 195 laps under scorching heat so hot that driver Carl Scarborough dropped out of the race and later died at the infield hospital of heat exhaustion.

Several other drivers were replaced by relief drivers due to track temperatures over 130 degrees. Vukovich and second place finisher Art Cross, ran the full 500 miles solo. Bill Vukovich took the checkered flag on Saturday, May 3, 1953 with an average speed of just under 128 miles per hour. 

MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

1940   1939    | 1938     | 1937     | 1936     | 1935     | 1934     | 1933   | 1932     | 1931    | 1930    | 1929     | 1928     | 1927      | 1926     | 1925      | 1924       | 1923      | 1922      | 1921       | 1920       | 1919     | 1916      | 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

Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. every night for our Road to 100, where we take a look back at each of the races leading up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Want tickets to this year's race? Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. and watch for the daily trivia question and answer, then click here to enter the answer to be entered daily for your chance to win tickets to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

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