Novi, an Indy engine maker, entered cars in Indy 500 since 1946 with front-wheel drive Kurtis Kraft chassis. After years of haggling, Frank Kurtis finally convinced Novi owner Lew Welch to switch to a rear-drive chassis design that would be much more competitive than the increasingly obsolete front-drive chassis. In 1956 Kurtis designed the new 500F chassis for Novi, which featured a prominent tail fin and has been described as the most beautiful roadster ever seen at Indianapolis. In 1956, Paul Russo qualified in eighth position. The second Novi car, driven by Jimmy Davies, failed to qualify due to technical complications on the last day. During the race, Russo quickly gained an early lead in the new Novi, which lasted for the first 21 laps. At that point, a tire blew in the south-west corner, throwing Russo and the Novi into the wall and out of the race.
|1956||USAC National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Paul Russo||29||Novi Racing Corp., Inc.|
|Kurtis Kraft||Novi||Novi Vespa Spl.|