Auto Racing History

Welcome to the First Super Speedway Website!

First Super Speedway is the largest on-line archive of primary research about pre-1920 auto racing history in the world. It is ideal for history researchers, authors, motor sports journalists, educators and auto racing history aficionados. This site is chockfull of volumes of material about the earliest oval horse track races, the seminal races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and road racing content as well, such as original articles about the brutally hot first French Grand Prix in 1906.

"I love what you have done with First Super Speedway! I especially appreciate the early articles about racing. It provides access to much material that is currently only available at archives. This is a boon to those of us who write about auto racing. As a scholar, I always check what I see in any book, as some people are somewhat careless in regard to sticking to the facts, so having access to the newspaper articles is really a must. Keep up the good work, and it is good work!" - Dr. Elsa A. Nystrom, Professor of History, Kennesaw State University.

First Super Speedway's Mark Dill at Work for the RACER Channel in the SVRA Paddock

- 12/30/2016
Mark Dill

"Barnstorming," in general, is about theatrical performers or daredevils of one sort or the other traveling to rural areas to stage entertainment, many times with the purpose to thrill. In the early days of the racing cars, a tour of drivers presenting high-speed contests to people, many of whom had never seen an automobile before, was a natural fit.

Many of the barnstormers labeled their rural audiences as "weedbenders," in reference to their farming profession. They probably were a naive lot as they witnessed auto races for the first time.

- 12/24/2016
Mark Dill

This editorial cartoon from 1909 appeared on the front page of the Indianapolis News. Taken out of its historical context it may be a little confusing.
Like today, the world was in massive disruption as the industrial age was in full force. People of older generations, who matured from childhood without the advances of machinery powered by engines, were struggling to maintain their position and pride in society.

- 12/17/2016
Mark Dill

Understand this with certainty: the single most important racing event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 occurred 107 years ago today - in 14 degree weather. Indeed, it may have rescued the track from powerful sentiment that had then-Lieutenant Governor Frank Hall leading the charge for legislation to outlaw auto racing in the Hoosier state.