Monday 30th May 1938
Floyd Roberts driving the ill-fated Burd Piston Ring Special, dominated to win the Indianapolis 500 by three laps. Roberts’ car started in the pole position, and was the first car to win from that start since 1930. Roberts led 92 laps, posted an average speed of 117.200 miles per hours, and won $32,075. Roberts’ car was owned by Lou Moore, who was also the chief mechanic. The race was marred by the death of 33-year-old spectator Everett Spence. On lap 45 the number 42 car driven by Emil Andres hit the wall in turn two, then flipped over several times, causing its right front wheel to fly off. The wheel traveled 100 feet (30 m) through the air and hit Spence, who was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital. Andres suffered a concussion, broken nose, and chest injuries. For 1938, riding mechanics were made optional; however, no teams utilized them in the race.