These articles were originally published in the August 14, 1909 Indianapolis News. This package contains one article of one newspaper column in length and another very brief item of two paragraphs. The longer article provides a nice description of the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Because this was the city's evening paper, it went to press prior to the races actually starting, so no results are covered.
Barney Oldfield and Harry Miller's first full-blown race car, the Golden Submarine. The theory was that the fully enclosed cockpit would protect the driver in the event of a rollover. When Oldfield almost drowned in the car after it plunged into an infield pond, the idea was scuttled. Oldfield had the top removed and the car was raced for several years in the 1920's. Oldfield campaigned this car in match races - most notably against Ralph DePalma - in 1918. Harry Miller would go on to become a dominant force in the Indianapolis 500 during the 1920's.
Here is a post card photo of a man named Fay D. Pickens wearing an Indianapolis Motor Speedway jersey. According to the information on the back of the card he was from Cloverdale, Indiana and the driver of a Knox 60 H.P. Racer.
First Super Speedway is dedicated to motor racing history with a particular emphasis on the first quarter century of auto racing in America. I do stray from the primary objective with topics that provide perspective (which is the whole purpose of a study of history afterall) or those that simply interest me.
If you love auto racing history and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway you may want to check out the "Bench Racing Weekend" coming up the weekend of March 21 - 23. Lots of vintage race cars and racing stars of the past gather to share war stories and exchange information. A special tour of the Speedway will be provided.
I never thought I would see any of this film as I thought it was lost forever. Captured here in what is called a "Rare Jack Johnson Documentary" at the 26 minute mark is film from the infamous October 1910 unsanctioned match race between Barney Oldfield and Word Champion Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson. I think the film producers dramatized the contest making it appear closer than it was. It appears the same clip is used over and over to make the finish appear closer than it was. What is more the contest was in two heats, not one.
I was directly involved with the Indianapolis 500 racing in the Split days. I was the guy behind the Nortel sponsorship associated with Scott Goodyear. We entered in '96 when Scott was with Derrick Walker but I encouraged him to move to the IRL because I really believed the "500" was the only property worth having. It was best for him and for us.
First Super Speedway contributing artist David Story is on a church mission in Uganda. Check out David's message about motorized travel in this African nation, which relies heavilly on a motorcyle called "the Bodda-Bodda." It's an interesting peek into a lifestyle vastly different from the American home of First Super Speedway.
A contemporary of Barney Oldfield, Lincoln Beachey was not only an entertaining aviator but illustrated the possibilities of airplanes and the design required to realize their potential. I came across this interesting book and Web site dedicated to his life.