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).