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  • Question for the Indy 500 history experts here.

    What year had the most drivers bumped from the 500 ? I don't mean the bumps of today but where a driver who actually qualified temporary making the field but got bumped & did not make the race.. Curious as to the year and the number of drivers bumped from the starting field.

  • #2
    In recent (ish) memory there were 12 cars bumped in 1981 and that's the most I can think of, at least since the 1960's

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    • #3
      Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post
      In recent (ish) memory there were 12 cars bumped in 1981 and that's the most I can think of, at least since the 1960's
      Wow senorsoupe ! I was there for that crazy weekend.... Remember it well.

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      • #4
        It was a very entertaining Bump Day TV show.
        "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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        • #5
          Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post
          In recent (ish) memory there were 12 cars bumped in 1981 and that's the most I can think of, at least since the 1960's
          And the following year only two cars were bumped despite an entry list nearly as large as '81. The difference was in '81 it rained more often than not and teams took borderline speeds because the threat of rain meant they either may not get another shot, or rain would wash out any further attempts and their speed would hold. Such was not the case in '82. There were two weeks of good weather and ample time to qualify. There was no chance of a rain induced slow bubble speed so teams waved off runs or simply didn't make official attempts because they couldn't get to the presumed speed it was going to take to make the race.

          I remember tuning into ABC in '82 on Bubble Day for the final hour of time trials expecting the usual Bump Day drama. Instead if was an hour of nothingness. Anyone who had the speed already qualified, and all that was left were cars that simply couldn't go fast enough to justify an attempt. The final "drama" was Bill Alsup, one of the two cars that were bumped (Chip Mead was the other), possibly making a last minute run in one of the Kraco cars but that never came to pass.

          One thing to keep in mind is the number of cars bumped doesn't necessarily reflect the number of cars that actually tried. Only one car was bumped in '72 and only two in '73 but that is in no way reflective of how many cars were entered. Rain wiped out more attempts in '83 and '84 and there were huge entry lists both years. You can go further into the 80s and first half of the 90s before the spilt and find many cars entered that tried to make the field, but not necessarily many bumps because as in '82 those cars couldn't find the speed to justify an completed attempt.
          The Ayn Rand of Indycar

          No one had to badge the Offy.

          Crapping all over threads since 2000.

          Comment


          • #6
            Went through the Daily Trackside Report. Looks like 1981 was the most impressive year. And it came with half the day Saturday (day 1) lost to rain, and all of Sunday (day 2) washed out.



            Sat 5/9 - Pole Day
            13 total cars went out ("presentations to the line")
            12 took the green to start their attempt, 1 pulled in before taking the green
            9 completed their attempts
            3 waved off/incomplete

            Sun 5/10 - Second Day
            Rain

            Sat 5/16 - Third Day
            (first part of the day was the conclusion of the pole round)
            55 total cars went out
            53 took the green to start their attempt, 2 pulled in before taking the green
            26 completed their attempts
            2 cars were bumped
            27 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in

            Sun 5/17 - Bump Day
            36 total cars went out
            26 took the green to start their attempt, 10 pulled in before taking the green
            10 completed their attempts
            10 cars were bumped
            16 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in



            Totals
            104 total cars went out*
            91 took the green to start their attempt, 13 pulled in before taking the green
            45 completed their attempts
            12 cars were bumped
            46 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in


            *Not necessarily 104 different cars, some went out multiple times



            *********************

            Without backchecking in detail, I have a list that says 10 cars bumped in 1954, 10 in 1967, 11 in 1979
            Doctorindy.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dalz View Post
              It was a very entertaining Bump Day TV show.
              1981? Does it exist anywhere for someone to watch in 2020? I would totally watch it lol

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              • #8
                Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                1981? Does it exist anywhere for someone to watch in 2020? I would totally watch it lol
                The earliest known Bump Day broadcast available is 1983. There's bits and pieces of '78, but not the whole broadcast.
                The Ayn Rand of Indycar

                No one had to badge the Offy.

                Crapping all over threads since 2000.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DaveL View Post

                  The earliest known Bump Day broadcast available is 1983. There's bits and pieces of '78, but not the whole broadcast.
                  And I have watched them all lol!

                  I was just hoping that Dalz may have some sort of double secret archive of Qualification broadcasts that haven't made it to YouTube yet lol

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post
                    Went through the Daily Trackside Report. Looks like 1981 was the most impressive year. And it came with half the day Saturday (day 1) lost to rain, and all of Sunday (day 2) washed out.



                    Sat 5/9 - Pole Day
                    13 total cars went out ("presentations to the line")
                    12 took the green to start their attempt, 1 pulled in before taking the green
                    9 completed their attempts
                    3 waved off/incomplete

                    Sun 5/10 - Second Day
                    Rain

                    Sat 5/16 - Third Day
                    (first part of the day was the conclusion of the pole round)
                    55 total cars went out
                    53 took the green to start their attempt, 2 pulled in before taking the green
                    26 completed their attempts
                    2 cars were bumped
                    27 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in

                    Sun 5/17 - Bump Day
                    36 total cars went out
                    26 took the green to start their attempt, 10 pulled in before taking the green
                    10 completed their attempts
                    10 cars were bumped
                    16 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in



                    Totals
                    104 total cars went out*
                    91 took the green to start their attempt, 13 pulled in before taking the green
                    45 completed their attempts
                    12 cars were bumped
                    46 waved off/incomplete/crash/too slow to bump their way in


                    *Not necessarily 104 different cars, some went out multiple times



                    *********************

                    Without backchecking in detail, I have a list that says 10 cars bumped in 1954, 10 in 1967, 11 in 1979
                    Having been at the track that weekend in 1981 i can share one additional point that caused some of that. As mentioned much rain the 1st weekend. When day 3 came all the weather forecasts said day 4 would be a washout. Forecasts were for heavy rains on day 4. So basically everyone knew go on day 3 or else. By 3 PM the qualification line was about 30 deep. If you went out after 3 PM you were not sure if you would get another attempt. Teams were basically forced to decide take it or waive off perhaps never to see the track again. I remember after the day ended wife suggested we just head back to Chicago because of the forecast for Sunday. I suggested lets spend the night then if it raining in the morning we will just head home. To everybody's surprise Sunday was perfect & sunny.

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                    • #11
                      1954 was another year with many bumps

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                        And I have watched them all lol!

                        I was just hoping that Dalz may have some sort of double secret archive of Qualification broadcasts that haven't made it to YouTube yet lol
                        Ah I wish that were true. No dice.

                        A denouement from '81--of all the people who could have been the next in line when the 6pm gun went off, it was Bob Frey, in a prehistoric Eagle that was nowhere near qualifying speed. There was a sponsored cash prize at the time for being in that spot. I think that was what the team was aiming for. You can see it in the ABC race broadcast at the very beginning.
                        "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dalz View Post
                          A denouement from '81--of all the people who could have been the next in line when the 6pm gun went off, it was Bob Frey, in a prehistoric Eagle that was nowhere near qualifying speed. There was a sponsored cash prize at the time for being in that spot. I think that was what the team was aiming for. You can see it in the ABC race broadcast at the very beginning.
                          Right, he practiced in the high 160s while the bubble speed was 186. It made for nice TV drama but had he actually got on the track it just would have been a publicity run for the team rather than an actual competitive qualifying attempt.
                          The Ayn Rand of Indycar

                          No one had to badge the Offy.

                          Crapping all over threads since 2000.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaveL View Post

                            The earliest known Bump Day broadcast available is 1983. There's bits and pieces of '78, but not the whole broadcast.
                            The 1978 YT video appears to be a local Indy broadcast, not the ABC coverage.

                            As for 1983, the entire tentative grid was set on day 3, after Pole Weekend was washed out. On Bump Day Dennis Firestone made his legendary run with the final half-lap in a downpour, then Bill Alsup and his interesting Argo chassis waited in vain for it to dry out. If I were him I would've leaned on Binford in the last minutes to go out. "C'mon Tom, I can dodge a few damp spots and still beat 183! I'll take full responsibility for any incident."
                            "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dalz View Post

                              The 1978 YT video appears to be a local Indy broadcast, not the ABC coverage.

                              As for 1983, the entire tentative grid was set on day 3, after Pole Weekend was washed out. On Bump Day Dennis Firestone made his legendary run with the final half-lap in a downpour, then Bill Alsup and his interesting Argo chassis waited in vain for it to dry out. If I were him I would've leaned on Binford in the last minutes to go out. "C'mon Tom, I can dodge a few damp spots and still beat 183! I'll take full responsibility for any incident."
                              Also in 1983, Gary B waived a run in the 193's less than a half hour before Firestone's legendary run! A decision only approved by Chet Filip

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