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XL INDIANAPOLIS INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SWEEPSTAKES
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date 30 May 1956
Winner Pat Flaherty
Average speed 128.490
Pole position Pat Flaherty
Pole speed 145.596
Fastest qualifier Paul Russo
Rookie of the Year Bob Veith
Most laps led Pat Flaherty (128)
Pre-race ceremonies
National anthem
Back Home Again in Indiana
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Pace car driver
Honorary starter {{{honorary_start}}}
Attendance
TV in the United States
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The 1956 Indianapolis 500 was held on Wednesday, 30 May 1956 at Indianapolis. As with other Indy 500s of the 1950s, it was counted as a round of the World Drivers' Championship.

The 1956 race would be the first 500 to be governed by the United States Automobile Club as the American Automobile Association withdrew the previous August. Another change would have a more immediate effect on the current race. The track had been resurfaced with asphalt with only a small line of bricks still remaining on the main stretch. With the new surface, a new track record was expected. Pat Flaherty did not disappoint with a pole speed of 145.596 mph (234.314 km/h), over 4.5 mph (7.2 km/h) faster than the 1954 record. 29 drivers qualified opening weekend. The second weekend saw heavy rain that completely canceled Saturday and left only a small window on Sunday for 4 drivers to fill the field. Nino Farina was one of the drivers left out when he didn’t get a chance to qualify his Bardahl-Ferrari.

The early part of the race turned into a three man duel between Russo, O’Connor, and Flaherty. Russo was the first to retire when his tyre failed and his car crashed and caught fire. At quarter distance due to yellows and the pit stops, Parsons took the lead followed by Freeland. By the 200-mile (320 km) mark Flaherty took over the lead followed by Freeland, Sweikert, and Parsons but Hanks was working his way through the fields after sustaining some damage in the Russo crash, eventually taking second. Flaherty had built up such a lead that he was able to make his last pit stop and remain in front. He crossed the finish line with Hanks the only other car on the lead lap. The only real change in the top cars toward the end was both O’Connor and Jim Rathmann having to drop back with mechanical problems while both drivers were in the top 5.

Classification

Pos Grid No Driver Constructor Qual Rank Laps Led Time/Retired Points
1 1 8 United States Pat Flaherty Watson-Offenhauser 145.59 1 200 127 3:53:28.84 8
2 13 4 United States Sam Hanks Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.05 21 200 0 +0:20.45 6
3 26 16 United States Don Freeland Phillips-Offenhauser 141.69 22 200 4 +1:30.23 4
4 6 98 United States Johnnie Parsons Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 144.14 7 200 16 +3:25.69 3
5 4 73 United States Dick Rathmann Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 144.47 6 200 0 +4:21.81 2
6 10 1 United States Bob Sweikert Kuzma-Offenhauser 143.03 12 200 0 +5:35.05
7 23 14 United States Bob Veith Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.53 16 200 0 +6:25.63
8 15 19 United States Rodger Ward Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.17 27 200 0 +6:32.31
9 21 26 United States Jimmy Reece Lesovsky-Offenhauser 142.88 14 200 0 +6:38.31
10 30 27 United States Cliff Griffith Stevens-Offenhauser 141.47 24 199 0 +1 Lap
11 22 82 United States Gene Hartley Kuzma-Offenhauser 142.84 15 196 0 +4 Laps
12 7 42 United States Fred Agabashian Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 144.06 8 196 0 +4 Laps
13 25 57 United States Bob Christie Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.23 20 196 0 +4 Laps
14 28 55 United States Al Keller Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.19 26 195 0 +5 Laps
15 32 81 United States Eddie Johnson Kuzma-Offenhauser 139.09 32 195 0 +5 Laps
16 29 41 United States Billy Garrett Kuzma-Offenhauser 140.55 30 194 0 +6 laps
17 33 64 United States Duke Dinsmore Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 138.53 33 191 0 +9 laps
18 3 7 United States Pat O'Connor Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 144.98 4 187 39 +13 Laps
19 19 2 United States Jimmy Bryan Kuzma-Offenhauser 143.74 9 185 0 +15 Laps
20 2 24 United States Jim Rathmann Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 145.12 3 175 0 Engine
21 31 34 United States Johnnie Tolan Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.06 31 173 0 Engine
22 5 99 United States Tony Bettenhausen Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 144.6 5 160 0 Accident
23 14 10 United States Ed Elisian
United States Eddie Russo
Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.38 25 160 0 Brakes
24 16 48 United States Jimmy Daywalt Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.97 28 134 0 Accident
25 24 54 United States Jack Turner Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.39 18 131 0 Engine
26 20 89 United States Keith Andrews Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.97 13 94 0 Transmission
27 9 5 United States Andy Linden Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 143.05 11 90 0 Oil Leak
28 27 12 United States Al Herman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 141.61 23 74 0 Accident
29 17 49 United States Ray Crawford Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 140.88 29 49 0 Accident
30 12 15 United States Johnny Boyd Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.33 19 35 0 Oil Leak
31 11 53 United States Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser 142.48 17 22 3 Spun Off
32 18 88 United States Johnny Thomson Kuzma-Offenhauser 145.54 2 22 0 Spun Off
33 8 29 United States Paul Russo Kurtis Kraft-Novi 143.54 10 21 11 Accident 1

Notes

See also

Previous race:
1956 Monaco Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1956 season
Next race:
1956 Belgian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1955 Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500 Next race:
1957 Indianapolis 500
1955 Indianapolis 500
Bob Sweikert
1956 Indianapolis 500
Pat Flaherty
1957 Indianapolis 500
Sam Hanks
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