RACE: 22nd Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 30, 1934
WINNER: Bill Cummings, H.C. Henning
AVERAGE SPEED: 104.863 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: The big race turned into a dramatic two-man showdown between Bill Cummings, the 1933 pole winner, and future two-time winner Mauri Rose. Though neither led over the first 71 laps, one of the two led all but three of the final 129 laps. Cummings barely held off Rose by 27.25 seconds in the closest finish in Indy 500 history, and it took a record speed to win it. Rose filed a protest after the race, but the results were upheld.
NOTABLE: Race organizers settled on the traditional three-car, 11-row, 33-car starting grid to make the race safer, but of the 33 starters only 12 finished the race. Organizers also lowered total fuel capacity to 45 gallons, meaning cars had to average more than 11 miles per gallon to finish the race.