RACE: 19th Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 30, 1931
WINNER: Louis Schneider, B.L. Schneider
AVERAGE SPEED: 96.629 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: Defending champion Billy Arnold was every bit as dominant as he was in 1930. The race's fastest qualifier charged from the No. 18 starting spot into the lead on Lap 7, a lead he held for 155 laps until a crash on Lap 163 ended his day and led to tragedy: A bouncing tire from the car hit and killed 11-year-old Billy Brink. Schneider inherited the lead and led the rest of the race to earn his only 500 victory.
NOTABLE: Arnold led an incredible 353 out of 400 laps during a two-year run but wound up 19th in 1931, the second-worst showing of his five Indy starts. Schneider's 43.19-second margin of victory over Fred Frame made it the closest race in history, breaking Louis Meyer's previous mark (43.89) from 1928. Meyer finished a career worst 34th in the 40-car field. The 15 cars that finished on the lead lap also set a record.