RACE: Second Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 30, 1912
WINNER: Joe Dawson, National Motor Vehicle Company
AVERAGE SPEED: 78.712 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: Italian-born Ralph DePalma dominated the race in a Mercedes, leading 194 laps. But his car began sputtering near the finish, and a connecting rod broke loose on the back stretch with just over a lap to go. DePalma and his riding mechanic, Rupert Jeffkins, jumped out and pushed the car across the start-finish line, but Joe Dawson roared past to complete the final lap and win the race.
NOTABLE: Eddie Rickenbacker makes his Indy 500 debut. He is better remembered as a World War I flying ace who earned the Medal of Honor, Croix de Guerre and seven Distinguished Service Crosses. Rickenbacker later bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ran it for a long period before selling it to the Hulman family, and spent many years leading Eastern Air Lines.