RACE: Seventh Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 31, 1919
WINNER: Howdy Wilcox, IMS Corporation
AVERAGE SPEED: 88.050 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: The Indy 500 returned after a two-year hiatus for World War I, and 1915 winner Ralph DePalma dominated early. Two fatal accidents marred the middle portion of the race, the first killing driver Arthur Thurman and the second trapping driver Louis LeCocq and riding mechanic Robert Bandini under their car — both were doused in fuel and burned to death. Howdy Wilcox took the lead on Lap 103 and led the rest of the way to victory.
NOTABLE: Wilcox was born in nearby Crawfordsville, Indiana. According to lore, a band began playing "Back Home Again in Indiana" to honor their favorite son late in the race. The tune would become a part of the Indy 500 pre-race pageantry.