12Feb
02/12/2017
Mark Dill

Check out this presentation profiling Loni Unser, the latest generation of America's most famous auto racing family, and her efforts to carry that famous name forward to new achievements! Loni is the daughter of five-time Indianapolis 500 veteran Johnny. Her uncle Al Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 twice and her other Indianapolis 500 veteran uncle, Robby, won Pikes Peak nine times and most recently scored a victory in the SVRA's Brickyard Invitational Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am!

Feb.12.2017
3013
11Feb
02/11/2017
Mark Dill

There has long been confusion over exactly when the first sanctioning body-endorsed point system for an American auto racing championship was established. In early days, circa 1909, trade publications announced their pick — not unlike the old AP polls in college football or the Time Magazine “person of the year” choice that still exists today.
 

Feb.11.2017
3012
30Dec
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.

Dec.30.2016
2993
24Dec
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.
 

Dec.24.2016
2991
17Dec
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.

Dec.17.2016
2984
16Dec
12/16/2016
Mark Dill

Having purchased 320 acres of farmland in November 1908, the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) found little opportunity until the following spring to plow through the fields frozen during the winter months and begin development. They hired Ernie Moross, the best-known motorsports promoter of the era, and he immediately had a scale model of the end product erected at the perimeter of the grounds just off Crawfordsville Road.

Dec.17.2016
2983
01Dec
12/01/2016
Mark Dill

Let's connect some dots.

In 1909 Barney Oldfield bought in big time to the promise of Arthur C. Newby's National Motor Vehicle Company by purchasing a National "Six" stock car modified for racing. He made it his own by painting the cowling with the stars and stripes of the American flag and dubbing it, "Old Glory."

Dec.1.2016
2978
28Nov
11/28/2016
Mark Dill

Not unlike presenting a pace car to the winner of the Indianapolis 500, in 1909 one of the Hoosier capital city's largest auto manufacturers promised a "gold plated" passenger car to the driver setting the fastest time for a mile run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That company was Overland, and the car was a 1910 Overland Model 38.

Nov.28.2016
2977
26Nov
11/26/2016
Mark Dill

Of all things, a passenger balloon race. The national championship, no less. The reality is, almost without exception "fans" of the the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are all about the Indianapolis 500. There have been times in recent decades when people with little interest in the classic "500" came to the Speedway to witness their preferred branch of motorsport, either NASCAR or Formula One. 
 

Nov.26.2016
2975
22Nov
11/22/2016
Mark Dill

Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker was the only competitor to take part in both the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1909 and an Indianapolis 500.

Nov.22.2016
2972