Sunday 20th April 1924
Famed racing legend Peter DePaolo, nephew of racer Ralph DePalma, recorded his first racing victory with a win at the Culver City, California, board track. Racing for the Duesenberg family, DePaolo ran an impressive 135mph on average at the Culver City race. Having earned the first driving spot on the Duesenberg team with his 1924 results, DePaolo achieved historic success in the 1925 Indy 500. Leading the race at the halfway point, DePaolo had to pit to dress his blistered hands. “Daddy Duesenberg,” as his racers called Augie Duesenberg, replaced the injured DePaolo. DePaolo described his anguish at the decision, “My heart ached to see my baby rolling away from the pits without me. And more so when the engine sputtered as though it was dissatisfied with the change.” When DePaolo returned from the track hospital, his car had fallen to fifth place. Duesenberg called the car in and gave DePaolo the wheel back. “As I jumped back in the seat,” DePaolo recalled in his memoirs, “‘Daddy Duesenberg yelled, You’ve got to go like hell to get ’em kiddo.’” DePaolo obeyed orders, finally regaining the lead in the 188th lap of the 200-lap Memorial Day Classic. 150,000 spectators stood on their feet as DePaolo roared across the finish line. DePaolo later expressed dismay that he had not been able to race all the laps, but the triumph was nevertheless his defining achievement.