It was another deadly year for the 500. Rookie driver Johnny Hannon died in practice, H.W. "Stubby" Stubblefield and his mechanic, Leo Whittaker, died during qualifications and Clay Weatherly was killed in the race.

The winner was Kelly Petillo, who ran a qualifying lap at 122.416 mph and then set a race record of 106.24 mph. His car was reputed to have been cobbled together from old airplane and tractor parts, but the part that mattered most was the engine. It was the first 500 win for the "Offy," an engine developed by Fred Offenhauser, who had previously worked for Harry Miller.

This would be the only Indy win for Petillo, but variations of the Offy would see victory lane many more times.