There was no racing at the fairground track between 1942 and 1945 because of World War II. The last winner before the war, in 1941, was Rex Mays who also was the next one to win in 1946.
It became known as the Rex May Classic between 1956 and 1979. he didn't race, but he had a team which won many times.
Indy cars first raced at the track in 1980. It sounds as if there almost wasn't a race this year, but someone must have stepped up and caused it to happen.