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REVIEW OF THE YEAR
John Bentley
October 25, 1954
Since the fourth Vanderbilt Cup race in 1908?last of the big American road events for Grand Prix cars?racing in the U.S. has steadily steered away from diversity and the open road in favor of commercialized speed and endurance on the closed-track oval. Similarly, racing has been less and less used as a proving ground for automotive development. Detroit built its own testing grounds, drew its lessons from manufacturing experience, and today concedes few passenger-car improvements to racing beyond the rear-view mirror, the balloon tire and the high-compression engine.
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October 25, 1954

Review Of The Year

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Professional racing has become an advertising showcase for all kinds of automotive parts, fuels and lubricants; but to the fans, trying to disentangle the pea-like similarity of a score of dust-swirling "Specials," it's still the excitement that counts. The drivers alone hold the limelight as they re-enact the heroic struggles of the Roman charioteers of old.

TOP TEN RACES OF 1954

MAY 31: INDIANAPOLIS, IND.

500 miles; 2? mile brick & asphalt; crowd 185,000 (est.). Total prize money $269,875. 33 started?11 finished 200 laps.

1. Bill Vukovich (Fuel Injection Spcl) 130.840 mph.
2. Jimmy Bryan (Dean Van Lines Spcl).
3. Jack McGrath (Hinkle Spcl).

Earnings & points: Vukovich $74,934.84?1000 pts.; Bryan $35,884.84?800 pts.; McGrath $26,909.84?700 pts.

The race: "Iron Man" Vukovich took the lead late in the race, breaking the speedway record of 128.922 mph. set by Troy Ruttman in 1952. Bryan was one lap behind. First six finishers were all Kurtis-Kraft Offies.

JUNE 6: MILWAUKEE, WIS.

100 miles; 1 mile asphalt; crowd 31,725. Total prize money $25,550. 22 started?19 finished 100 laps.

1. Chuck Stevenson (Agajanian Spcl) 97.53 mph.
2. Manuel Ayulo (Schmidt Spcl).
3. Jimmy Reece (Malloy Spcl).

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