Mears became the first rookie to qualify on the front row since Eddie Sachs in 1957.
Rice charged from 30th starting position to finish 11th. At the victory banquet, it was discovered that two of the voters had split their votes.
Donohue (7th place) won the rookie of the year award, despite finishing ten laps behind fellow rookie Peter Revson (5th place).
Voters took into account the fact that Donohue (who started 4th) had to make a lengthy pit stop early on, but his race pace was much faster.
That handed the lead over to another rookie, Graham Hill, who led the final 9 laps en route to victory.
Even though Hill won the race as a rookie starter, Stewart's performance earned him enough votes to win the rookie of the year award.
The award is voted on by a panel of judges, which is composed of selected members of the media, historians, and a handful of other experts.
The voting takes place the night of the race (or the morning after), and does not necessarily go to the highest-finishing rookie.
A total of 8 rookies qualified in 1952, the first instance which the Rookie of the year was to be given.The Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year award has been sponsored by the following companies: This award is separate from the annual rookie of the year award presented by Indy Car, as well as the Jim Trueman Award (rookie of the year) which was handed out by CART. The term "rookie" (or newcomer) at the Indianapolis 500 can at times be misleading.According to race rules, a rookie is defined as any driver who has never qualified for the race and/or has never been on the track during the pace lap, and officially credited with a start.Six rookies drove in the 1953 race, on a brutally hot afternoon.Daywalt went the entire 500 miles without relief help, and finished 6th.