Have you ever wondered why Ted Horn didn't win the 1948 Indianapolis 500? I heard this story some time ago.
In 1948 Horn was driving Cotton Henning's Maserati, a famous car that brough Wilbur Shaw two Indy wins. Horn looked very fast throughout the month of May and qualified on the second row. Then he led for a long time in the race when suddenly the oil pressure went down with not a lot of laps to go. Horn had to slow down to finish the race. Mauri Rose, Bill Holland and Duke Nalon passed Ted and he finished 4th.
Before the race Cotton Henning looked into the engine and found sand in the power plant. As hard as he tried to get it out of there some of it stayed in the engine. That was why Horn had to slow down during the race.
Hening and Horn never made it public but it stayed a Speedway legend. And despite Horn's good sportsmanship he did have some enemies.
I always feel that Horn is on top of the 'should have won the '500' list'. Other notables on that list are Eddie Sachs, 'The Tinley Park Express" Tony Bettenhausen, Rex Mays, Don Branson, Duke Nalon and Lloyd Ruby.